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November 15, 2011

Freaking awesome?

Conference room walll at RosettaThe Web Publishing 1 class had a field trip today to Rosetta, one of Cleveland's hottest interactive agencies.

Four of our recent grads work there and a couple of them enthusiastically shared their stories. I expected that most students on the tour would want to follow in their footsteps.

Not necessarily.

Comments from students afterwards ranged from "Awesome. Freaking awesome!" to "No, it's not for me."

Age or energy

I'm still wondering why such different reactions. My guess is it's either age or energy (or both). Like most similar organizations, Rosetta is filled with hip young people. About 400 of them. Our older students clearly didn't see themselves as they looked around the building. I can sympathize with this attitude: it could be tough to fit in.

My own experience, though, makes me believe that it's attitude rather than calendar years that makes the difference. I started my full time teaching career at Herron School of Art when I was fifty years old. I was thrilled to hear my name mentioned in conversation as one of the "young" group of faculty. Not in years, for sure, but in attitude.

Attitude may explain the varied responses to our Rosetta experience as well. Our tour guides made it clear that you had to work hard, take work home if necessary, and keep up with multiple demands and a very fast pace to survive and thrive. That's not everyone's cup of tea.

I always hope to see that "do what it takes" attitude in younger students (but too often don't). For older students with families I'm sympathetic to their hesitation to commit. I'd have to think long and hard myself, and would probably pass on a job that demanded so much. But I'm not trying to start a new career. Not sure how you can have both.

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