March Madness and Gladness

In my opinion, the first weekend of the NCAA (college, for everyone outside of the US) Men's Basketball Tournament, is one of the most anticipated events in sports. Everybody makes (or wastes) time, filling out brackets in their office, trying to pick the big upsets, and trying to ultimately pick the best 4, then ultimately, the best 1 team out of a field of 65.

I fill out a bracket every year just for fun. (I'm not a gambling man). Believe it or not, this is the year that I actually filled out more than one bracket (as a Maryland alum, I feel obligated to pick the Terps to win the whole tournament in one bracket). I filled out 3 overall. But, I do have a "sheet of integrity" (see Mike and Mike in the Morning) that I look over as far as what my real picks are. Here's how my "sheet of integrity" for this tournament looks like...

I had to pick Kansas to win the whole thing... They look like such a strong and experienced team, with great leadership, and if they survive that treacherous region they're playing in, they will surely be tested and win the whole thing. As far as upsets are concerned, I picked a few in the first round, but I don't have any notable ones that are going deep. The lowest-seed I have going the furthest would have to be the Richmond Spiders (seeded #7) going to the sweet-16. But other than that, everything is pretty much "chalk" and I have 3 out of the 4 number 1 seeds going to the Final 4.

But believe it or not, the NCAA tournament doesn't only have to serve as a time to be non-productive around the office and waste a lot of your money gambling, but it can be looked at as something that's good for society...

A lot of people join NCAA tournament pools, whether be at work, school, some kind of internet community, or where ever. And by doing so, it brings a community together, and it gets people talking to each other and it gets them engaged. I'm all for engagement, and one way to bring a lot of people together is to get people together is to gather them all during a special event and throw some kind of gathering. The NCAA tournament can provide that kind of setting (although, with work and school, it may be a little tough to do that).

But, believe it or not, it also establishes camaraderie. People love to cheer and support their school or their team, and it will definitely get people to rally around each other when they have common interests. If your school didn't happen to make it to the "dance", you can cheer for other schools that you might have somewhat of a vested interest in and rally around them. Or, you can rally around the underdog (which is always fun to do). But conversely, this is also a time where you can rally against your rival schools/communities, and you can civilly talk smack with them.

So, with that being said, March Madness doesn't have to be a time to be unproductive and lose a lot of money (if you do that sort of thing). It can be great, as it really brings communities together, especially on campuses (even moreso if your team is in the "dance"). Speaking of which, most schools are on Spring Break this, so following and enjoying the big dance with some friends doesn't have to take away from being "productive".

In closing, I just want to say... "Fear the Turtle... GO TERPS!"

D4P... PD!!!


Out-of-the-Box Empowerment in Atlanta

In case you didn't notice, I haven't blogged for a while. Although, I probably should have blogged a little bit more (and I apologize that I didn't), I did have a few good reasons...

I had the opportunity to go to Atlanta in the middle of February to showcase my speaking talents at the APCA National Conference. It's a conference where college students and advisors go to book all sorts of acts that could range from entertainment (music and comedy), novelty, and campus speaking. Of course, I've had a chance to showcase a little bit of my speaking.

I had a chance to give a few presentations. I got to give a 45-minute ed-session presentation about out-of-the-box ideas on how to promote, engage, and empower campuses, which was well attended. Although, I felt I didn't give that great of a presentation (in my opinion anyway), it was well-attended and well received. A notable thing I did in my presentation, was that I presented it wearing a very bright, and very loud Dragon Ball Z Club shirt. And my main reason for doing that, was to make the point that it's important to stand out in whatever you're doing, especially when it comes to engaging your campus. (Check out the shirt on the picture below that I took with a student)...

In the final day of the conference, I had a chance to give a 10 minute showcase, which is a very short version of what I would do in a keynote talk or workshop. I had my showcase taped, and I broke it down to five sections to make a mini video series on YouTube called "The Showcase Series". I uploaded the video series last week, one video each day, and promoted it to my e-mail list. Check it out below.

If you have a chance, please watch the whole series, all 5 episodes. Like I said, it's only about 10 minutes long. It would definitely tell you what I am about, and you can see what sets me apart compared to many other speakers. If you have some thoughts, I'd definitely would love to hear them.

Of course, there are definitely a lot of ways I can still improve my presentation, but overall, I was happy, because my time in Atlanta provided me some great experience. I got to meet a lot of awesome and some of the most talented future leaders in this world, not to mention, I got to check out all sorts of talented acts of all kinds.

Entertainment acts which are always hard to compete against provided me and the other campus speakers a tremendous handicap to compete with (as many more entertainment acts got booked over any other act), but overall, it was still a great experience. And, so long as I can, I will continue to keep doing this if I have the opportunity and resources.

But, I posted all sorts of updates about this events during the past few weeks in my Facebook, such as photos and videos. So if you're on Facebook, and you're my friend on there, feel free to check it out.

I'm glad I have broken the blogging drought with such a productive post. But, I do plan on doing a few more blogs during the next week or two. I have all sorts of ideas for blog posts that I just came up with, as well as some that I've been meaning to implement in a while. With the NCAA Basketball Tournament coming up, I sure will have a few things to write about. I even have a new idea for a new YouTube channel that I'm thinking about. And... I actually have my "Bucket List" finally down on paper (after talking forever about it).

So, I'm telling you now, that there will be a few reasons to read this blog, so stay tuned. :-)

D4P... PD!!!