The College Experience: Pecha Kucha

by - 8:50 PM

As summer vacation ended, panic started. My college is big on team building and trust in sophomore year. One of the things we had to do to 'strenghten and stimulate the group's cohesion' is a pecha kucha presentation.
Apparently 'pecha kucha' is Japanese for small talk. The presentation had to have 15 slides filled with pictures and I had 20 seconds per slide to tell something about it. The catch: I had to tell my life story in those 15 slides. Enter panicking Envy: I don't like talking about myself. Sure, I like to tweet pointless information about my opinion on mangoes to stangers, but actual talking to actual people? No thank you.

I spent weeks figuring out what I was going to tell and how I was going to tell it. It sounds easy to fill 15 slides with pictures of your life, but I got stuck after 8 slides.
A whole lot of complaining and brainstorming with friends later, I managed to fill the slides. I used a few to tell how I see myself, I told about my passion and my blog, my friends and my goals in life. When the big day finally came, I was still freaking nervous, but I was so proud of my presentation that I'm going to share it with all of you here today.

Envy's Pecha Kucha
"I wanted to start my pecha kucha with this picture, because I think this is how most of you see me. I'm calm, I'm quiet, reserved... I don't have to be the centre of attention, that's not me. This is who I am to others"

At this point I was awkwardly looking at the picture on the screen. What more was there to tell? I was pretty sure that this was how everyone saw me. Now they'd get to see how I see myself. I wasn't sure if I was ready for my classmates' reactions to the next picture.

"But this picture shows how I am on the inside. This is how I feel about myself: insecure, not good enough. I was bullied in elementary school, which is why I push people away from me. I'm not easy to get to know, I haven't let you come close to me yet. Because of that, it might seem like I don't have many friends."

It wasn't fun to tell this to a group of people who already thought of me as a bit of a pessimistic weirdo, but I was glad to finally say these things out loud. It was also the last negative part of my pecha kucha and I was so excited for the next slide.

"In truth, I have a lot of friends. They live all over the world. Some of them moved to the other side of the world, others have been my friends since forever and I met some of my best friends online."

If you look carefully, you'll see a bunch of random people, my 'real life friends', but also some familiar faces. This slide featured Kanra from The Lunar Descent, Kathie K from A Sea Change, Bryleigh from A Little Yarn Blossom, Dian from The Happy Candle and Jerneja from Sparkly Kid. My classmates finally got to see the people I'm always chatting with and their reaction to my online life was one of pleasant surprise. The next slide surprised them even more.

"Because, believe it of not, I'm part of the best blogger chat group ever. We chat over Twitter about random things, set up blog projects and right now we're trying to make a comic, of which you can see the cover right here. Space Police Radio is the name of our group, by the way."

All credits for the image go to this awesome guy.
My classmates were very surpised to hear this and to be honest, I avoided all eye contact while telling more about this image. I didn't want to let anyone spoil the fun I have with the people from Space Police Radio. Without them my life would be terribly boring.

"I met these people through blogs. You see, I've been blogging for a few years now. Recently I had to change the name of my blog, but I'm very happy with how it all turned out. This is what my blog looks like right now. I called it 'Lost in Translation', because I speak four languages, I'm trying to learn a fifth and with all those languages in my head I'm sometimes literally lost in translation."

For the first time ever, my classmates were able to understand a little bit more about my blog. It was not longer that mythical thing I was always taking pictures for. They now understood.

"I love blogging, because I love to write. I don't just write blog posts, I also try to write novels and other stories. I don't have much time for it because of all the work I have to do for college, but I hope to get back into it soon. This pen was a gift from a good friend of mine, who believed I could make my dream of becoming a writer come true."

I almost choked up at this part. The pen in the picture was given to me by a guy who meant the world to me - until he told me to die in a plane crash. This picture now reminds me of both the best and worst of our friendship.

"Writing isn't the only thing I love, I also love to read. When I'm feeling blue, I read a book. I can loose myself in stories and when that happens my problems don't seem so bad anymore. These are my Game of Thrones books which I absolutely love. I also love the tv series, but the I can lose myself in the books for days at a time."

"When I have to describe my biggest qualities, I don't know what to say. I'm sure that drawing hands isn't one of them though. If I start to think about it, I don't know what to say. If I call myself intelligent or creative, I feel like I'm being extremely arrogant."

"But to be honest, I think my intelligence is my best quality. I'm always curious, I always want to know everything and learn new things. It's important to me that I don't lose that curiosity, because it makes me who I am.

"I also like to think I'm creative. I don't just write, I also draw. I used to draw a lot, but that's another hobby I don't have much time for anymore. I made this four or five years ago. I enjoy making little random sketches like these."

Some people giggled, others were just impressed. I would have giggled at this slide though. How often does someone draw a person in a shark suit? 

"And when it comes to friendship, I think I'm a good friend. My friends mean everything to me, and when one of them falls, sometimes literally, I'll be the first to pick them up. After I've laughed at them for a while..."

My class broke into a laugh when I told this part. It felt so good. By now I was more or less improvising, because I'd forgotten most of the things I'd written down while preparing.

"When I look back on freshman year, I think I found out what I want to do, but also what I don't want to do. What I don't want to do is teach kids from the south of Rotterdam, like I did at my first internship school. I also think of finding my place in this group of people, which hasn't always been easy for me, and to be honest, I still haven't really found that place. And yes, of course I think of graduation."

"My goals for sophomore year is doing an internship at my old high school. This is the old building, it's currently being demolished. I loved this school when I was a student, and now that I'm back as an intern in a new building, I still love the school. It feels like coming home."

"But that's not my goal in life. I don't think graduating college and becoming a teacher is my main goal. Something else is way more important to me: travelling the world. I want to see as much as possible. I've already seen a lot, but it's not enough. I want to see all the amazing places where my blog buddies come from and I don't just want to see those places, I want to experience them, be part of a culture for a short while. That's my main goal in life, experience as much of the world as possible.

My pecha kucha presentation was over and it felt great. My classmates applauded me, which we always do after each and every presentation, and I noticed they looked at me differently. Then the best part came: I received the feedback papers. They were all so positive, I still read them when I'm feeling bad. Each and every one of my classmates had taken time to write something positive about me - except for one, who only drew a weird looking heart, which is kind of funny too.

My favorite feedback ever in one picture :)
Right now I can't imagine being nervous for my pecha kucha, or not wanting to tell people about myself. I'm glad I did this, I'm glad college gave me the chance to do this. It brought me closer to some of my friends and made me open up to some others. It was all worth it.

Stay Awesome!

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6 Fellow Ramblers

  1. Replies
    1. Congrats on earning yourself another entry!

  2. This is amazing! I had this stupid grin on my face the whole time, actually. I'm guessing your pecha kucha was the most interesting of them all!

    1. Thanks :)
      We had a lot of people talking about depression too and my teacher said those were the most interesting ones (I dare to disagree though), but mine certainly was the most surprising one :)

  3. This post was so nice! I was smiling the whole time I was reading it :D
    It's good to know your presentation went so well!

    -Kathie K
    A Sea Change

    1. Aww I'm so glad to hear it made you smile! :)


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