Verizon is coming, Verizon is coming, Verizon is coming. I’d hate to admit this to anyone but my dearest friends but I might have felt a bit star struck on Wednesday when we were visited by a Verizon film crew. I even bought a tie for the occasion. We were given the impression that we were expected to just be ourselves; to let the crew have a genuine view of how we do business as usual here at Vista Innovation and Design Academy. However, we all knew that whatever Verizon filmed had the potential of reaching a national audience. Hence, the tie.
Our students may have been slightly better composed than myself. In the days leading up to the Verizon visit they nonchalantly agreed to be interviewed by the film crew and dutifully returned their media consent form on the day it was due. No big deal, they were going to share all of the amazing things they were doing with their iPads. “No preparation, no big speeches. Just be honest and be yourselves,” we told them. Advice easier given than followed. I read over the questions that were going to be asked and imagined the responses I would eloquently return. “Four score and seven years ago we dreamed of universal access to technology…”
The Verizon team arrived ten+ strong composed of an eclectic group ranging from corporate styles to hipster arty types. And though it was our job to be the welcoming party, it was they who whose laid back attitudes put me at ease. They wandered from class to class with large lights that looked as if they could be used in a tanning salon. Their videographer obsessed over the most minute details in a very impressive manner. Their sound man hooked up a mic to my fortuitously placed tie. While their photographer shot stills of me that made me extremely self-conscious of every movement. “Eye level here. Turn head. Angle knees there. Button your sweater!” I was asked questions in a conversational manner while a small group of students looked on wide eyed and in silent awe.
They were next. One of the students, Mikayla, asked me after my interview, “Were you nervous,” to which I honestly responded to her dismay, “Yes!” However, I also encouraged her to forget the cameras, lights, and Jersey accent. “Just be honest and imagine you’re having a normal conversation.” Again, easier said than done.
They day finally ended much like many other Digital Promise major milestones, with a big sigh and a thank goodness that’s over. It was fun. It was an experience.
Now we get to catch our breath and get ready for whatever comes next. Life has been one great adventure ever since we took on this Digital Promise initiative.