Summer 2004 - The final summer with zztype
Summer 2004's internship is the last summer I would call Blaine my supervisor. My colleague that summer was Keoni Ochman, one of my classmates. The crucial project for that summer was the Bulletin System. It was a project I brought to this summer's work.
The Daily Bulletin and Weekly Calendar were two documents that were produced Daily and bi-monthly, respectively. I believe at around 10 AM the document was emailed to DDC for production. Then, in the afternoon campus mail, delivered to the offices for distribution. The envelopes were then placed back in the campus mail box for morning pickup only to be refilled for afternoon delivery. And the Weekly Calendar had its own envelope but this process only occurred once every two weeks.
Well, I wanted to change that for obvious reasons. There has to be a better way. So that summer was dedicated to replicating that exact bulletin online. Here were the stipulations in my mind:
- This project wasn't going to fly if it required changing the content of the bulletin. Just getting the content online was going to be enough of a leap.
- The original bulletin had to be generatable (a printable version).
- It had to be a swap. We couldn't have the offices doing both. Doubling work was not an option.
- Decentralize as much of the content as possible. For example, we could extract the lunch from the Food Services Web site place it in the bulletin. Food Service staff didn't need to let the Student Activities office know what was for lunch. They just enter it into their system and it affects everything connected to it.
- The bulletin had to be emailed to everyone, including the students, the night before.
I got it working. Blaine played that advisory role to make sure it was sellable. But sell to whom?
For the answer to that question, we have to rewind back to junior year to introduce a key person. Junior year was when I met Kumu Jimmy Chun. Throughout the year I had spent time in his classroom (never had him as a teacher), and we would talk about Hawaiian History and Kamehameha. In the summer, when he was teaching summer school, I would visit before I went down to the office for work. I told him I was working on this Bulletin System. And he wondered who I was going to present it to? Of course, I didn't really have an answer. So he said come on, it is time for you to meet someone.
Looking in retrospect, if contact was not made with the right administrator, this project would be dead. Kumu Chun took me to that administrator.
And entering from stage right, drumroll and great applause, was Mrs. Amy Kimura, the Assistant Principal. The rest of this story, my story, the story of KS Connect, does not exist without her.
It was in July 2004 when I met Mrs. Kimura. And if I recall that first conversation, she had already met me. I had just never met her. Somehow I think Mr. Fred Kramer and the counselors had something to do with that. Thinking about it now, it looks like it was only a matter of time before she and I crossed paths.
I explained to her what I was doing. She first said that she needed it presented to her for her ok. Then, if it was ok, she said I would present it to administration on the day the administration returned. It would be the first item on their agenda. After my presentation, they were going to have the rest of their opening meeting, discussing, of course, what I presented in addition to a host of other issues. She also said I had to prepare a handout that contained all of the information presented. It was a date! The presentation took place either end of July or early August.
I wish I had a copy of the original handout to post. I knew what was at stake. Blaine reviewed the handout. Sent it to Mrs. Kimura for her review and copying. And we were ready to roll. Midkiff Listening/Viewing was where this took place. Everyone from administration was there. The people who had pictures in the student/parent handbook would be there. I would be presenting to them. It really wasn't that big of a deal, but then, it was the coolest thing. Presenting to the "decision-makers" (whether you liked them or not).
Thank goodness that presentation was not recorded. It was terrible. I remember Blaine telling me to SLOW DOWN (the mantra of my life going forward). For someone who was on the speech team sophomore year, this should have been easy. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was because there was actually something at stake, my first real presentation, and I blew it. If I graded myself, it would be an F. I just saw the looks of some of the administrators and they really couldn't follow me. There was a bright moment though: I remember Mr. Ramos, principal at the time, asking me if he could change the lunch, making a joke with Gordie from head of Food Services (like I said, everyone was there). Regardless, I got through it, and admin went back to have the rest of their day.
Ended up hearing from Mrs. Kimura that admin approved it. It was decided that they would move to the new system until such time that the Student Activities office would be ready to move to it. I remember thinking to myself, "And when would that be? Never?" Regardless, Blaine said it was a success. Mrs. Kimura did say I would have to present again, this time to department heads. Say wha? You want me to present again after I had just died the first time.
Come to find out, I did MUCH better the second time around. I went slower, and I could tell the department heads were following. The decision was already made so now that I'm thinking about this again I'm wondering why Mrs. Kimura decided to have me present to them. Obviously, administratively, it was to keep the department heads in the loop. But more importantly, I think it was important for me to get back out there and do the same presentation over again. It certainly would not be last presentation. I needed to master presenting ideas and my work because it would be crucial for what was about to happen next...
Anyway, to wrap up the story on the Bulletin System, it rolled out February 14, 2005 (I remember the date because it was Valentine's day.) The February 11, 2005 bulletin was the last bulletin to be on paper. Never again would that distribution system exist. From February 14, 2005, all bulletins were sent through email.