jump to navigation

July 14, 2009

Posted by davidzavertnik in Uncategorized.
add a comment

GTD (Getting Things Done) for a College Senior March 6, 2009

Posted by davidzavertnik in work.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Most of us at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication Advertising Program (a mouthful, so I’ll now be referring to us as Ad Kids and our school as the UO SOJC) are beyond busy, particularly those of us leaving school this June for the harsh “real” world and the worst job market in years. Whether it be ad team, campaigns, portfolio, designing for the media, communication law (you follow me?) or any other of the classes we take, we’re all balancing a larger schedule than we have ever had. What we’re all learning is that the most important thing we can focus on is getting things done. If you haven’t read David Allen’s book, or watched his google presentation, you should. But having strong organizational skills isn’t going to cut it if you want to succeed as a leader in the program, although it helps- a lot. It’s going to take motivation, efficiency skills (GTD helps with this one) and a little addiction to being productive.

The first, motivation, is hard to come by. I couldn’t tell you what it takes to get it, but failing  last term (in my personal opinion, not literally) certainly got me within motivation’s proximity. In fact, Wieden + Kennedy’s installation piece offers a similar piece of advice for succeeding. The second skill, being efficient, also leads back to the first, as staying busy leaves little time to be unmotivated. Another piece, and perhaps the most valuable skill I’ve recently learned to becoming efficient is managing your sleeping patterns. I’ve been addicted to warm sheets and and memory foam mattress pads for my entire life and controlling my sleeping behavior has been nearly impossible. I would consistently ignore alarm clocks, rationalize sleeping in, and skip meetings and classes for an extra twenty minutes of sleep. Recently though, with the help and influence of my good friend Hilary Jones (one of the best planners the UO SOJC has) and some educational podcasts from How Stuff Works, I’ve found the nugget: Sleep Less, Think More. I’ve been getting between four and six and half hours of sleep each night for the past few weeks and have never been more productive. And without any negative side-effects. Sure, sleeping less could be unhealthy, but along with a solid exercise routine and a healthy diet and you’ll get a new appreciation for nearly everything in your life. And THAT is motivation and a half. Now this motivation and new found efficiency leads to the last skill, if you’d care to call it that, a safe addiction to being productive. Once you’re more motivated and efficient the natural progression is becoming more productive. And when you start to be productive you can’t really stop. It feels great accomplishing more in a day than most of your peers do in a week.

The last bit of creating the best situation possible, and where I plan to improve Spring Term, is balancing things you have to do with things you want to do. And with that I’ll be moving into my final term at the University of Oregon with a plan to create thoughtful content on both spectrums of the scale. Things I want to do Spring Term: Make podcasts like Stuff You Should Know, Learn to program websites, Start learning Portuguese, Learn screenprinting, Make a portfolio, Get a job/internship, Run 3x a week and participate in local races, Explore Eugene, Volunteer at a school and/or animal shelter, Write stories, Make Videos, Fill an IdeaBook with great content, Learn Photography, Regularly update this blog, and Read often.

Realist March 5, 2009

Posted by davidzavertnik in work.
1 comment so far

I was browsing my computer trying to find out how I could have managed filling my 180 GB of hard-drive already and I came across this gem from my days as a fifth grade poet:

by david zavertnik

I was up to bat,
sweating, waiting for the pitch,
two strikes, three balls.
Watched the ball,
out of the pitchers hand.
Wait for it, wait for it
ball fly, fly, fly!
Run, run, run
crowd cheered,
made it too third,

This might be the most disappointing poem I’ve ever written. Here I am, a scared little kid up to bat and I actually hit the ball, which must have been a huge victory for me. But then, after the ball fly,fly, flies in the air and seems to be uncaught, and I run, run, run around the bases I only end up at third? Fifth grade David Zavertnik was apparently not a very big dreamer, or perhaps, and the reason I’ll claim from now on, I was a realist. And let’s be honest, I never hit a home run in my eight or nine years of baseball.

Storytelling Genius February 16, 2009

Posted by davidzavertnik in Uncategorized.

The recent craze around the University of Oregon SOJC is the youtube video Kittens Inspired by Kittens for very obvious reasons, it’s fucking adorable. But what hasn’t recieved praise, as I believe it should, is the youtuber’s (blakekelly0) other videos, specifically those regarding Max and his interpretive book project. Below I’ll post a few of the videos regarding this book, but first! What a creative way of creating stories and thinking creatively. Storytelling is the key to success in any creative industry these days, it’s all about creating connections and engaging with others. So what better way to work on your story telling abilities than create an improvised story? I applaud the teacher who assigned this creative device and will in the coming week work to create my own personal interpretive book project, so come back soon.

SO! For your viewing pleasure: Max’s Interpretive Book Project as told by:

Marty (perhaps, max’s schoolmate):

Teddy (marty’s brother and avid tennis player):

Chris, who I hope is the dad (and I want to be as cool as him):

Sheilah, mother (also very cool):


Blake (maddie’s mom, another cool mom! and the youtuber if the name is right):

The Loss Of Innocence January 7, 2009

Posted by davidzavertnik in observations.

I spoke with a few friends today about growing up, losing “innocence,” and gaining maturity. It all sparked from a conversation that occurred in my Portfolio development class with Deb Morrison. We went around the room and shared holiday experiences and then formed a prompt for an assignment due next week that followed a theme from the shared experiences. We decided upon the theme of “the loss of innocence” after Kelly Rupp brought up how he had to endure watching his girlfriend’s eight year-old brother find out that Santa wasn’t real thanks to George Lopez. We talked about it and shared when we found out, how it made us feel, and any possible trends in kids who believe today versus decades ago. We were then given the assignment to bring a visual representation (words should be kept to a minimum) of “The Loss of Innocence.”

I thought for a while about it in class and tried to brainstorm events in my life that contributed to my loss of innocence, something I’m attributing to my increase in maturity. Of course many cliches came to mind and were immediately discarded. I had a hard time with it, and it actually made me think back to this winter break when I noticed the differences between family dynamics at home and how I’ve matured. My family noticed a change, and for the longest time asked what changed, why I seemed different, whether or not I was okay, and so on. I couldn’t put my finger on what was different but I actually attributed part of it to the fact that I had lost the happy-go-lucky innocent attitude that I carried with me for most of my life up to recently.

So there it was, something had changed, and there was a transition or event(s) that caused it. I thought about everything it could be, from something as simple as getting older, to school and struggling with my future, to the internet and the way it’s revolutionized the way we interact with others (facebook, tsk tsk) and numerous other reasons. But at the end of the thought process (and after being incredibly distracted by other things) I couldn’t come to a worthy and all-encompassing conclusion. Then I met up with some friends and explained the assignment and posed the question to them. As the brilliant minds they are they came to some thoughtful conclusions and we had a nice long discussion about it all. We came to the obvious conclusion that it was not a single event, but many that compounded on each other.

Scott was first to respond and suggested that one major cause is in the instance that you learn your parents are only human and are not always right. We are made to believe for most of our youth that our parents are all-knowing and will never steer us wrong. For some of us the realization of our parents mortality comes at an earlier age, but it definitely has a great effect on us.

Mary then suggested that this change can also be attributed to the self-realization that, despite having incredible and nearly unlimited potential, we will inevitably be limited by things we can’t control. She directed most examples towards being limited by financial abilities. For example, it’s an incredibly humbling and discouraging thing to know you can’t attend the University of your choice because you can’t afford it.

We then discussed a topic deserving of it’s own blog post (sometime in the near future). We’ve come to the understanding that we lost much of our “innocence” and maybe even more accurate, our ignorance, from our college educations. We can’t say that it’s the same for all students, but as two Journalism majors and one Political Science graduate (congratulations on an early graduation Mary) because of our educations we have changed our perspective on the media and all aspects of life. It’s impossible to read a book, watch a television show or movie, listen to a speech, or hear an individuals opinion without critically analyzing the content. Especially as an Advertising major, I’m incredibly critical of my industry and the work produced. I can’t watch a television commercial, hear a radio spot, or read a print advertisement without having something to say. And that, we decided, may be one of the most powerful causes of our loss of innocence. We will never look at the world the same, and to be honest, I’m thoroughly annoyed.

C-Mutha Fuckin-SPAN November 23, 2008

Posted by davidzavertnik in observations.
Tags: , ,

I’ve been eating sleeping and breathing C-SPAN lately and I’ve mostly got nothing. See, I have the intention of doing a campaign for them for my Portfolio class at the SOJC, but during this extensive research period I’m pretty lost.

I love C-SPAN and what it represents, it is pure straight coverage of all things political. It is a viewing window to our government “without editing, commentary or analysis and with a balanced presentation of points of view.” Not only can I watch Congress, I can watch Parliament and any number of global political proceedings.

How excellent is that?

Key elements of C-SPAN…

  • They “convey the business of government rather than distract from it.”
  • They “elected and appointed officials and others who influence public policy a direct conduit to the audience.”
  • It is “the antithesis of commercial television.”

If everyone watched C-SPAN, great things could happen.

The problem is, no one is watching. And why is no one watching? Because government proceedings are terribly boring. It is so full of formalities and bullshitting that watching an hour segment of the House gives you little to no information about the issues. I watched about forty five minutes about a hearing on the Budget Crisis and was so distracted by the praises of gratitude, official titles, and the constant power struggle, that I honestly don’t even know what they were talking about.

I think C-SPAN has great potential (in theory) and it can help us in our quest to become educated, engaged and overall better citizens. A window into Congress is huge. It’s not in every country that you’re granted such a privilege. But with such muddled content (none of which is C-SPAN’s fault, it’s just the messenger) how do you get people to engage?

I don’t know, and that is where I’m stuck.

One Day November 21, 2008

Posted by davidzavertnik in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

I will be very successful, I will run an agency in New York, and I will own this:

me too November 14, 2008

Posted by davidzavertnik in Uncategorized.


I’ve been contemplating what I want to do with my life after college quite a bit lately. I don’t want to be an advertiser, or a journalist. I don’t want an office job or 70 hour work weeks. I want to do things I like. I want to be an idea man. I want to change things. I want to make people think.

How Our City Wastes Resources July 26, 2008

Posted by davidzavertnik in work.
1 comment so far

For the past three weeks I’ve been working for the city of Hillsboro Parks and Recreation department doing landscape and park clean-up duties. It’s what I will be doing for the rest of my summer. I’m a part of a crew that consists of the crew leader Jimmy and my fellow crew member Jose. Jimmy is probably late thirties early forties and has a family. He half-heartedly helps Jose and I with the work, but mostly prefers making exaggerated sighs and leaving work for “tomorrow or something.” Jimmy is a nice guy, but socially a little awkward and frequently distracted. Jose is likely in his mid-forties, has a family and works very hard. He always brings extremely well balanced meals and snacks and knows exactly what to do and how to do it. He often rushes through duties without compromising quality and is very friendly. I am highly uneducated when it comes to maintaining city property. I don’t know how to operate much of the machinery, the proper way of caring for plants, turf, etc. or the way things are done in general. I ask questions frequently and bring a lunch that mostly consists of pre-packaged carbohydrates.

Because our particular crew is responsible for non-park city owned property we care for an extensive number of sites, as opposed to most crews who are responsible for a couple of parks.

Our sites- what we do:

Brookwood Library- park patrol, turf and bed maintenance.

Civic Center -park patrol, watering

Parking Lot B (civic center) -park patrol

Parking Lot C (civic center) – park patrol, watering, complaining about the lack of power to the automatic sprinkler system.

Church Parking Lot (new site) – park patrol

Old Wells Fargo – park patrol [site with the highest volume of trash no matter what]

Brookwood Fire Department – turf maintenance

Ronler Acres Fire Department – park patrol, turf and bed maintenance.

Hillsboro Police Deparment, West Precinct – park patrol

Park Patrol: the act of canvasing the entire property searching for inappropriately discarded trash and weeds. Jose and I generally do this, sometimes filling half of a five gallon bucket, while Jimmy grabs a weed here and there and searches for something.

Turf Maintenance: basic mowing, edging and blowing

Bed Maintenance: pruning, removing, planting and blowing

Because of the large number of sites, efficiency is key. Here’s how we’re efficient, this is how you are supposed to do things on a mow-day:

8:00 – leave from the parks and rec facility on 53rd street, drive to Brookwood Library and do park patrol

8:15 – drive to Ronler Acres Fire Department and drive around the site, say it’s okay enough

8:20 – drive to Parking Lot B and do park patrol

8:40 – drive to Civic Center and do park patrol

9:00 – drive to parking lot C and turn on sprinklers and pretend to do park patrol

9:10 – drive to church parking lot, complain about the inability to blow due to the high volume of city employee cars and do park patrol

9:20 – drive back to the parks and rec facility, attach the landscape trailer. Drive to Brookwood Library and begin turf maintenance.

10:00 – begin 15 minute break

10:17 – look hesitantly at eachother, ask Jimmy if break is over. Jimmy replies with, “what do you think Jose?…Yeah, it probably is.” Go back to turf maintenance.

11:00 – Pack up the equipment and drive to Ronler Acres Fire Department. Begin turf maintenance.

11:54 – Acknowledge lunch is approaching, place gear near the truck, pretend to look for weeds for six minutes.

12:00 – Start 30 minute lunch.

12:33 – State that we deserve a long lunch break citing an especially warm afternoon.

12:35 – Look hesitantly at eachother. Ask Jose what he thinks. Go back to turf maintenance.

1:35 – Finish turf maintenance and contemplate what to do with the remaining hours of the day. Drive to Brookwood fire department, state the grass looks okay enough and drive to the Minter Bridge Yard Waste dump site.

2:15 – Drive to Civic Center and water the plants right behind the janitor who is performing the same task. Be sure to drown the plants until water seeps from under their planter boxes.

3:15 – Drive back to the parks and rec facility and clean the used equipment.

3:45 – Look around for things to do, asking everyone you pass if they need help. Look for friends and help them carry the two shovels they were most likely struggling with. Walk around looking busy.

4:17 – Stop helping whoever you currently are and go inside to fill out your timesheet.

4:20 – Wait along with the rest of your colleagues and watch the clock move its way to 4:30.

4:30- Leave work. Leaving before 4:30 is unacceptable and punishable. Race the other workers out of the parking lot.

6 Tips for Success:

1 – Work as hard as you have to, but nothing more. If you do work hard you make other people look bad and therefore upset them.

2 – Looking busy is key, as long as you look busy people can’t get upset with you.

3 – Don’t feel bad throwing away five pairs of perfectly reusable gloves in a day, everyone does it.

4 – Leave your car running when loading and unloading equipment, it increases the likelihood of you taking a trip the filling station. Driving as much as possible also increases the likelihood.

5 – Go for about 12 weeds per site, don’t overexert yourself.

6- Pick up the shiny trash that catches your eye, no one notices the dull stuff anyways.

Who knew, Apparently:

*over 100 cigarettes are smoked at every site every day.

*bushes are good receptacles for receipts.

*like 15 new weeds grow everyday per site or went unnoticed the day before.

*the general public believes candy bar and gum wrappers are bio-degradable.

*about 1 person has a good night filled with an entire bottle of hard alcohol every second day in Parking Lot B.

*Librarians believe you stop parking when your tires hit the curb and leaving three of parking space on the opposite side of their car is mandatory.

*Parents enjoy talking, children enjoy falling on their bikes unnoticed.

*Police officers do not understand the concept of trash cans.

*Cement and Asphalt require daily watering to flourish.

*The City spends several thousands of dollars for custom garbage can housing.

*Gasoline is in plentiful supply and a free resource.

The city wastes an extraordinary amount of resources. I participate. It’s disgusting.

Noted. July 11, 2008

Posted by davidzavertnik in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Dear A lot of people at Seneca Village,

The issue of a parking shortage is serious and we appreciate your keen observation of this fact. We have also noticed the difficulty of finding a conveniently placed parking space and understand your pain of walking the length of the parking lot to reach your home. Believe us, we would love nothing more than to find that perfect parking space right in front of our doorstep. Alas, others are fast to fill the spaces and those convenient locations are quickly grabbed right from underneath us, leaving us to endure the physically demanding task of walking further to our apartment.

We appreciate your ability to discern visitors from residents as well, for that is a skill we have yet to acquire. And we see you also have an uncanny ability to sense when a party is underway- we were unaware that visitors came for parties so frequently! It’s true, it’s extremely unfair for regulars to ever have to concede their amenities to regular’s guests. After all, those guests don’t pay for the free parking located adjacent to every covered parking structure. Plus, those greedy guests are always parking as far away from their destination as possible, ignoring the multitude of open spaces located conveniently in front of their host’s homes!

Because we are optimistic individuals and love to make lemonade when life hands us lemons we have found a positive note out of the chaos this parking pandemic has caused. Perhaps you could adopt this very optimism. You see, whereas before you may have had little or no motivation to participate in the activity of exercise, now you are being forced. Those few additional feet per park will add up and may even help you to lose the extra hundred pounds of body fat you’ve been so wanting to be rid of. Take that and removing six of the seven days you eat fast food and you could very well be on your way to removing yourself from the list of individuals who suffer from the American Obesity Epidemic.

Good luck and thank you for all your help,

A couple of Seneca dwellers.