Whiplash – By @McfadzeanSusan

By Susan Mcfadzean



Are you rushing or are you dragging?
Are you rushing or are you dragging?
Are your RUSHING? Or are you DRAGGING?
Marc’s warned us he will be changing personas for our final term. I think that means more Whiplash, less ‘supportive’ mentor. 
So I’m taking the chance to reflect on what this means. But not for us as a cohort. I’m considering what this means for me alone. And specifically in the long run rather than in terms of dealing with a more erratic or ‘threatening’  behaviour for my final 14 weeks of SCA. 
It’s not the Whiplash-esque attitude that I fear though. I was a disobedient kid during my school years and I’ve been shouted at enough. I’ve also got a Dad who’s mellowed with age but who used to struggle to control his short temper. So no, I can’t say it’s any level of noise or harsh words I worry about. But what does fear me is my missing safety net. My shoulder that I like to lean on. 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very aware this needs to happen. The notion I’ve always got someone with experience who I can constantly ‘check my ideas on’ needs to be ripped away like a plaster that’s stuck too long. Of course in the real world I’ll have an ECD, hopefully, a great one. But even then, they won’t be there the moment I question myself and seek reassurance. No, they’ll want me to stride in and pitch ideas with confidence. With my own belief in them. Only then should I be prepared to hear the feedback and either carry on or redirect as they see fit. 
I think I know why I struggle. After four years at a university where I so desperately wanted to put my high school years right and make bonds with my lectures, I got too close too them. I relished constant feedback. I fed off their praise and harsh criticisms equally. And apparently, that’s not done me any good. 
Marc told me I had been up to his office last term more than anyone else. At first this genuinely shocked me although really, I can believe it. True or false, my frequent visits gave him the power to strip me back. And he did. 
So going into term three I feel slightly vunerable. Not because he’s going to hurt me. But because I know, and I know he knows what needs to happen. I also know that knowing isn’t really going to make it any easier. 
What will make it easier is my own persona change. I plan to return to term three more defiant. I will only visit Marc’s office when I have solid, scamper ideas needing critiqued. What won’t change, however, is the energy I know I have. I’m so ready to channel the energy I bounced back with after my D&AD meltdown into every single day.
I want to be enjoying a creative placement in an agency this year. So Marc, please do the honours and pull the rug from under my feet. I’ve rewatched Whiplash and I’m looking forward to term three. 

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