In February of 2010, I was sitting in a coffee shop on Anacapa St. in downtown Santa Barbara, trying to put words to why I deserved to be a grad student. Not just a grad student…an educational technology grad student.
The application deadline was mere days away, which added haste to my task. This is the way I prefer to work, anyways.
Barely a year-and-a-half into my first technology-related job, I needed to say something that would put me in the “good pile” of applicants. What do admissions people want to hear? What sets me apart from the rest? Well, I decided to write about ah-ha moments. You’ve had them, whether you know it or not.
Flash forward to November 20, 2011. I’m half-way into the second year of my masters program, but am thousands of miles from my school, and equally distant from doing any real work. It’s 2am. My brother and I are sitting on a couch at my parent’s house in California, sharing the latest and greatest viral YouTube videos on my tablet. He’s struggling to type keywords into the search box. After a few minutes, we find his video and tap the play button.
The video viewer is small and I’m having a hard time making out the words at the bottom of the screen. “Here,” I say. I lay both my index finger and thumb on the screen and spread them, enlarging the video and type to a viewable size.
“Oh shoot!” (smiles & laughter) “That’s so cool…hahaha.”
Yep, he had an ah-ha moment. I don’t care what tool, or function of a tool (for that matter), you are talking about. I love these moments when a human being realizes that something was built for them. Built for them; it’s nice to hear, even nicer to feel.
We make tools for people. Tools to create, tools to communicate. The age we’re living in, these tools surprise you… That’s why I love what we do. Because we make these tools, and we’re constantly surprised with what people do with them.
D5 Conference: All Things Digital, 2007
Well, as you can imagine, I was able to make a strong case for my admission and was accepted. The best part about it is that I was sincere, 100% honest. I meant it then, and I mean it now. And I still have ah-ha moments myself.
So what ah-ha moment comes to mind for you?