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The OS!M Pursuit of the Yippy-Skippy Moment

Finish20line20smallerWell, the Drake University project management class is done (except for the mountain of grading).  The final session with my students was on Saturday when they presented their findings and recommendations to the three United Way affiliated agencies.  The agency directors were extremely grateful.  Marylou gave me one of her wonderful hugs, and I honestly thought Ed was going to jump out of his seat at one point and give my students a "hallelujah, preach it!" shout.  (By the way, the book selling donation campaign is well underway, if you would like to help them out.)

After the presentations were completed, my students and I had a chance to reflect on the prior six weeks.  Because I had changed basically everything about the class, the entire semester represented an OS!M to me (if you want to know what that acronym means, you'll have to ask Steve Farber).  Suffice it to say, there have been enough events that have happened in the last six weeks to keep me on pins and needles.  Some of the joy of discovery happens, though, when things don't go as planned.  I truly believe the end result was worth all the effort.  The student dialogue at the end assured me that at least a majority of them got quite a bit out of the course, even if they are still perturbed about my "evil" 75-question multiple choice final.  How dare I make them think in a master's level course.  The nerve of some people!

That evening, I went with my wife to watch the Valley High School drama department perform "The Laramie Project."  Those students had recommended the play to their drama instructor after seeing another school perform it at a contest last year.  They, their drama director, and many administrative staff endured scornful emails and phone calls from the community, unfair blasting from the media, and even uninformed protestors at the performances.  Yet they plowed forward.  And they performed.  And they excelled.  When high schoolers can make me forget that I'm watching high schoolers, that's good drama.  The performance was virtually flawless, and they are to be commended... not only for their talent and skill on stage, but for their courage and strong values off of the stage.

Finish_lineMy friend Terri refers to milestones as "Yippy Skippy Moments" in your project.  I kind of like that description.  When you've stuck your neck out there on the chopping block to make something better for somebody else, that takes a lot out of you.  My students are probably exhausted tonight after all they did for those United Way agencies.  Those Valley High School drama students have to be completely wiped out after the adrenaline high of performing such an emotionally challenging play.  And I'm a little exhausted as well.  Carpe Factum will do that to you.  But the "Yippy Skippy" moments always keep us coming back for more.


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Beth Peck

Thanks for an awesome class and lots of real world experience! One of my Aha Moments included recognizing just how little I knew about project management! LOL!

Timothy Johnson

Thank you, Beth! You and the other students made the class (software challenges notwithstanding) a very enjoyable experience for me as well. And some of my most valuable lessons have been where I learned how much I didn't know. Hope to see you in a future class.

Holly Clifton


Thanks for a rewarding (and exhausting) condensed semester! Even though I am in the PM field, I learned so much from you and your expertise. The project served us well this semester - I would highly recommend it the next time around.

The exam, even though it was tough, it made me think. And you are right, that is what graduate school is about - thinking at a new level. I hope your spring Politics class goes well. Enjoy the holiday season with your family!

Timothy Johnson

The pleasure was mine, Holly. You and your fellow students made this a great class to teach, and I learned as much from all of you as you learned from me. Best wishes for the rest of your MBA classes and stay in touch (that invitation goes for all former students).

Dan Case


Enjoyed the class, and the great experience working on the Wildwood Hills Ranch project. Having the opportunity to apply the concepts on a real project certainly brought relevancy to what we discussed in class.

I have to admit, though, I'm still reeling from that test!

BTW, thanks for exposing us to the world of 'blogging'. For some of us to haven't taken the time to explore this communications medium, it was a great chance to see the usefulness of it.

Timothy Johnson

Dan - glad I could broaden your horizons during this class. I think this will go down as a semester that we'll all remember. Yes, definitely keep on the blogosphere! There were so many great, articulate minds in your class that can add so much to the greater conversation. I hope that I start receiving blog links and comments from more students.

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