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June 5th, 2013 by Rebecca Raphaelson

About as Smooth as Chunky Peanut Butter or, how to deal with ridiculous things you really shouldn’t have to.

Listen, if you think your LEEP Project is going to go smoothly, it’s not. Something will happen with your funding, your mentor will be busy, people won’t get back to you about your project and you will never be able to predict when your check comes. If you’re me, all this will happen in one week and your project will start off about as smooth as chunky peanut butter (which you’re allergic to.) Also, you’ll need to finish prep for your best friend’s wedding, you’ll have tests in your summer class, your phone will stop working and everyone at your day job will go nuts. So, future employers, if you’re wondering how I do with multi-tasking in prolonged stressful situations, the answer is VERY WELL, thank you.

These past few days have been interesting for me because I’ve had to find the right balance between fighting and making a big scene about things, and letting them fly. It has been a lesson in choosing both my battles and my words. I think you get to a point in every project when you can choose to yell,scream, go over people’s heads and tell on them to their bosses, or you can just figure it out. The thing is, every 2 year old in the world can throw a fit, what people want to know is that you can pivot and make things work.

I decided I had to at least try, so I went and I stated my case about why I thought what was happening was unfair and I submitted materials to back it up. The decision ended up being, yes it’s unfair, but it needs to be uniformly unfair for everyone. Thus, the exact moment when I had to decide to throw a fit or not. I took the following steps instead-

  1. I spent a few days saying all the mean things I was thinking. (If you are going to do this, do it inside your head or complain to your parents. Don’t post it anywhere and don’t make it public outside of your home. It just makes you look bad, and will become a headache for someone who didn’t cause your problem and was probably on your side in the first place.)
  2. I made a list of all the things I thought were essential to my project and headed over to the LEEP Center.
  3. Then, I just asked for suggestions.

That’s it. Turns out Amy Whitney had a great way to make a cheap website with, and LEEP has alumni connections to Skyscope Creative. We’re now in the process of  negotiating an informational video on the project. I would be thrilled if it worked out, the videos on their site are really high quality and really fun to watch. They have an authentic quality to them.  It would definitely bring a huge element of professionalism to my project that would really help make it easy to spread to other schools. So, I guess the moral of the story is that if you come to a problem and you stand up for what you believe in, are  nice and use the resources that are there for you, you’ll be all set.

Also, today I figured out that we may be able to create a partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project, AND how to create a Veteran’s Support Team instead of just having a rep. I’ll post about these soon.

Go do something awesome!

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