Monthly Archives: December 2013

OVEREXPOSURE!

It’s an ornery word! Comes complete with various negative conations. With sun, it can burn and turn your skin red. With a photograph, it will bleach and take out color. With a rock star it can reduce popularity. I worry what it might do to a foundation seeking funding. Or to put it bluntly, am I overexposed!

On the other hand, overexposure can be beneficial. I have a friend who told the story of a car dealership in southeastern Pennsylvania who found overexposure to be a good thing. As the story goes, a Ford dealership in a small town was trying to get their name out to a wider customer base. Some advertising genius somewhere came up with an ad that had as their tag line, “I got a hunnert dollar better deal at Keller Ford!”. Not hundred dollar, it was carefully pronounced “hunnert” by the pseudo customers in the various ads. Apparently it was a pretty obnoxious ad and it played on radio and television several times a day, for many days in a row. After a short break, the whole campaign was repeated. This went on for a couple of years. It seemed like everyone within a hundred miles of the dealership was repeating the mantra of “I got a hunnert dollar better deal”, and then complaining about it. But everybody knew it! Overexposure! The friend, who was acquainted with a son of the owner, was told by the son that he and the rest of the family would apologize to anyone about the ad, but continued to use it. It was used because it was very effective and everyone knew about Keller Ford because of that ad! So for them overexposure worked.

Hopefully Amun Shea will not suffer from overexposure. I have been told a couple of times, not many, to hold back on our fundraising efforts. Unfortunately we are so close to our goal that I don’t think I can do that. Of the several million people who might be interested in our school, we are aware of only a few hundred that have been reached. Can’t call that overexposure. So help us attain the beginnings of overexposure. Tell all your friends about us. Call them. Email them. Facebook them. Perhaps even talk to them.

We can’t promise a “Hunnert dollar better deal”, but with your help we can promise a “Hundred student better education”!

 

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Seeking Harmony

I am in the midst of learning valuable lessons. As the lessons continue, I find it hard to say what the conclusions may be. I do now recognize that each person and event around me is one of my teachers. In all likelihood, the conclusion will continue to be just out of reach, just as the horizon is on a journey.

World-changing ideas seem to abound. So why then do things stay more or less the same? You would think that great ideas, formed to improve our wellbeing as humankind, would be snapped up like Black Friday Specials. Is status quo really that much more comfortable?

I have a passion. Much more than an idea, I have a working model with experience and results! It is a learning process that is currently changing the world around me. I thought that people would be falling over themselves to support it. It is rather self-evident, is it not, that things are not as they should be and if they had half the chance they should jump right in to fix it? Ok, that isn’t happening, so I´ve got to get more information out there to them.

So, while I thoroughly dislike the “asking” part of fundraising, I do understand it to be necessary. Otherwise the passion remains a dream, lovely but unrealized; great ideas circling back on themselves until I run out of steam. Traditional funding seems to be fading away or has made itself much harder to find. Social media is the new path to enlightenment and endowment, so I begin to facebook, publish, blog, tweet, scoop, pin, post, crowdfund, email and I´m not even sure what else, except that perfect keywords appear in my dreams only to dissipate right before awakening.

I find that I must lay aside my passion for a period, in order to realize it. I halt the focus on innovating the educational process to become a dull administrator struggling to cover a budget that has those unattractive operating costs and teacher´s salaries in it. The huge problem is finding the balance between getting the information out and becoming a nuisance to friend and stranger alike. “This is overkill, Ron, counterproductive, too many posts, too much, too often,” complains a good friend. Thirty minutes later, another writes, “Love those photos and the information. I´d really like to see more of that.” Ok, what to do?

This whole thing remains a learning process, which I now understand is its purpose, not only for the students enrolled in class but for all involved and particularly for me. The higher you dream, the more involved you must become in the nuts and bolts on the ground level. Harmony is not one-sided, but managing the extremes. A sincere thank you to all of you, my teachers.