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Jeff Beam

On Friday morning, the bulk of the Emerson undergrads presented at the IABD Conference (Emjaye McDonald presented the day before to glowing reviews from all in attendance).  8:30 in the morning in Pacific Time still felt like 8:30 in the morning, regardless that we were 3 hours ahead of Boston.  The Emerson College International Arts Exchange Program, which consisted of Alex Pearson, Evan Chapman, and myself, had to battle some technical difficulties before being able to present our powerpoint to the group.  After being saved by an internet cafe at the Imperial Palace, we delivered our pitch for an Emerson-based program that encourages dialogue between international students via the ability to talk about each others' works of art.  The project was Alex Pearson's brainchild, and I felt honored to be a part of it.

The presentation went fast, and at first I was unsure of how it was received.  However, my jangled nerves were quickly replaced with humbled pride as the Critique Panel relayed their feedback to us.  Antonio Noguero of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Diane McFarland of the University of Buffalo, Kaushik Chaudhuri of Reitaku University in Japan, and Ali Kanso of the University of Texas at San Antonio provided us with the most inspiring feedback I've think I've ever received.  All four of the panelists praised our efforts and claimed that we inspired them with our commitment to open up dialogue across the globe.  It sounds weird, but hearing that we inspired them in turn inspired me - I had approached the conference with the hope that our idea wouldn't be shot down.  I never considered the full impact of our idea could have on other people.  The most touching feedback was from Mr. Kanso, a former Emerson College professor.  He claimed that, because of us, he had to rethink his stance on anti-American sentiment, and that he felt that the future was full of hope if ideas like ours were to come to fruition.  Incredibly sincere and humbling.

The moral of this story is to not doubt yourself, and to always show up early as to avoid any unforeseen technological difficulties.
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10/27/2010 09:29:00

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