Wetskills-South Korea 2018 – Deadlines. Some people love them, some people hate them. Personally, I’m leaning more to the loving side, as the anticipation provides a sense of urgency that makes me work more efficiently.
Today was deadline day for the Wetskills program, as all participants were to submit the posters and papers before 18.00. To increase the pressure, some of us also had to rehearse our pitches in front of the Wetskills organizers. In my observatory role as blog writer for today, I was reminded of the popular Dutch television show ‘Idols’ when I saw all pitch presenters (including the substitutes) working on their posture, speech and hand gestures in the same ‘waiting’ room.
Remarkably, in the end not many of the teams needed all the time available to finish the deliverables. The overall atmosphere was actually quite relaxed. Apparently, a ’17.59 submittal time’ does not provide that same feeling as that 23.59 submission of your thesis. There was one team that did make use of all the time, but in the process also found time to wipe the whiteboard and clean up the room before the deadline. A matter of priorities, I guess.
So, all teams made the deadline: time to party, right? Well, this time, not so much actually, as the general feeling was more one of relief and relaxation, rather than euphoria. Yes, we did go for a beer as usual, and some of us for a couple more (as usual), but no partying past midnight and sleeping at the Korean 24/7 spa today.
Perhaps we needed some respite from the busy program of the past two weeks. Perhaps this is the anticipation of what is yet to come, the calm before the storm. After all, we are going to spend a full weekend in an ‘Olympic’ venue that is named after a beer brand and which is (internationally) known for its parties. Or perhaps everyone just wants to win the competition and will only celebrate when that gold medal is in their hands. For me, I think I felt a combination of these things, but I know one thing for sure: I am very much looking forward to the coming weekend.
Douwe de Voogt