Thursday, August 4, 2011

CPC: Weeks Five and Six (Plus)

I promised a doozy of a recap, and I always deliver on my promises. (It's really not my fault though. So many cool things were squeezed into the last few weeks!)

---Saw HP7.5 with a gaggle of CPCers. Though I missed certain scenes, I think the creative team did a great job distilling the essential magic of the book. I may have bawled like a baby, but I can partly blame it on the snifflers/wailers around me. I couldn't have picked better people to say goodbye to Harry with me. It does feel like a part of my childhood has ended.

---The "magazine" workshop was much less stressful than the book workshop for me, but my team and I still did plenty of work. We created a website this time around, a community/resource site for parents of teenagers. We called it "GROUNDED: A Parent's Guide to the Rocky Teenage Years." I served as the Information Architect, which meant I got to create the wireframes for the website's design. (Basically, telling the designer where to put what to give our users the best browsing experience.) I had a ton of fun with the girls in my group, and we all were invested in our concept. A silly yet serious good time.

---We had some more excellent speakers come share their lives' work with us. Choire Sicha (previously of Gawker, currently of The Awl and my super-fav forever The Hairpin) is a funny fella. Chris Kimball of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated magazine is just as dapper and bow-tied in real life. Christopher Cerf (known for his musical contributions to Sesame Street and for co-creating the children's literacy show Between the Lions) was such a sweetheart. I still can't believe I shook the hand of the man who wrote "Put Down the Duckie." (I am personally tickled by his "Furry Happy Monsters," but you should check out his impressive list of accomplishments for yourself.) One of my favorite people to chat with was Jennifer Romolini. She's the editor-in-chief of Shine, a comprehensive community site that celebrates woman-centric topics, and she knows her stuff. Such a cool lady.

---I was one of the lucky few that got to attend the CPC field trip to Scholastic. For those of us who love children's books, visiting the building was like stepping into a sacred temple, and meeting Arthur A. Levine (better known as the US publisher of HP) was like meeting the guru.

---The last night of classes, about a third of the program went out on a massive karaoke night. The room wasn't that big, but the fun was. I had a bit of a moment when everyone sang the Frank Sinatra version of "New York, New York."

---At the final banquet, the food was delicious, but the company was even better. The wine also flowed freely, so our table got a little sappy speaking about our dreams for the future. (I was sitting with the next Martha Stewart, obviously.) My favorite part of the meal was when anyone who wanted to could stand up and make toasts. (Yes, I gave a toast. Yes, I got a little teary afterward.) I am so, so impressed by my 100 incredibly funny, warm, and talented fellow graduates.

---In our downtime, a group of post-program dorm stragglers ventured to Brooklyn for pizza. We braved an hour-and-a-half-long line for Grimaldi's, but it was all kinds of worth it.

---The career fair and the alumni reception (generously hosted by Christopher Cerf in his gorgeous home) wrapped up the last week. The same sentiments go for both events: I met such nice people from a multitude of different publishing outfits and generally had a grand old time schmoozing.

I can't believe it's over, but something new is about to begin. More details soon...

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