Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

Day of the Devs

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Day of the Devs - Double Fine convention - in San Francisco, California

It was a video game enthusiast’s paradise. Screens and consoles decked every wall of (nearly) every room of the two story Old Mint building in San Francisco, all displaying demos of games to be released within the next year. There was a crowd gathered around each display, each person eager to get a chance at playing the game. I was attending with a few other friends from Cogswell, whose brains I could audibly hear exploding as they took in scenery and games around them.

The turnout of indie game developers was amazing. Day of the Devs was hosted by Double Fine, so they had a room full of their own soon-to-be-released games such as Costume Quest 2 and even a remastered version of Grim Fandango, but the rest of the building was filled with small studio games like Night In The Woods and Knight Squad (my personal favorites), Classroom Aquatic, Push Me Pull You, Spy Party, Ikarus, and Please Don’t, Spacedog. A few of the games were played with an Oculus Rift headset. There was even a swag shop full of t-shirts and books related to the games. Outside in the courtyard was a bar and a stage where live DJ’s played music, and games were actively played on a large screen by their developers.

It was enough to make any self-declared nerd hyperventilate. Being as there were a thousand in attendance, the excitement in the air was palpable. Within the first ten minutes, I was thrown a controller and fighting in an arena with five or six other well-seasoned game players. My first thought was along the line of panic, as I was sure I was going to get my butt kicked by people who definitely played more often than I did, but by the first game I was hooked and throwing other players to their deaths.

In the game Classroom Aquatic, one player wore Oculus Rift headgear and was plunged into an underwater school for dolphins. The character they played was a student diver who hadn’t studied for a test. As a result, the player is forced to cheat off of the neighboring students in the room. The trick was to avoid being caught by the teacher. The game effectively gave the player knots in their stomach, and was especially nerve-wracking when players were caught and scolded by the teacher.

Day of the Devs was amazing for one huge reason; EVERYONE there was in love with games, whether they were fans or developers. As a result, there was a feeling of common purpose and enthusiasm. We were all there for the same thing, and it was exciting to be in a place where people from inside the industry and out of it mixed together in a gaming paradise.

During the course of the evening, we got to talk to Double Fine creators, several other indie game makers, and even managed some networking with other people in the game industry! It was absolutely a beneficial experience, and it made the prospect of graduation and getting to work in the industry more tangible. I’m looking forward to next year with Day of the Devs!

Year Up with Cogswell Entrepreneurship

Monday, April 9th, 2012

On Friday March 23rd the Entrepreneurship Program was asked to visit Year Up, an organization dedicated to closing the “Opportunity Divide” by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. The students that are enrolled into the program participate in classes that prepare them for jobs in IT, managerial, and technology-based positions.  YearUp asked entrepreneurship instructor Bret Sweet to speak on his career past, present, and future and provide perspective to the current YearUp classes. YearUp has been around since 2000, originating in Boston acquiring 22 students their first  year. By 2002 the first internships organized by the program start to form and the first graduating class walked out into the world in 2004. From then on, expansion led to sites appearing in Rhode Island, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco.

The YearUp SF campus was located in a brick building on Spear Street in San Francisco; the lobby hosted a very bright blue wall with a very kind greeting staff. Bret was no stranger to Year Up since he had gone to business school with the host of the speaking event. Praise awaited him around every corner and he had received a round of applause with his entrance into the event room. As per the usual charisma that Mr. Sweet gives at all of his talks, it was no surprise that students were left almost speechless. You could see the different emotions and lessons that Bret was presenting to the young adults in their faces with his stories of hardships, early ventures into entrepreneurship, and even family troubles. To say it was an inspiring motivational talk would be an understatement. Almost immediately after the talk, the room filled with questions for Bret about if he had advice for creating a successful business, what milestones they should aim for, and questions for his student ambassador about Cogswell. Needless to say it was quite the experience for everyone.

After his talk, Bret stayed behind to experience what YearUp calls their Feedback Session where all the students and teachers take a moment to reflect on the positive events and the areas for improvement that week so they can all improve personally and professionally. This  involved every person in the room and required input from each person in order to be effective.  In YearUp’s eyes, total immersion gives the best result.  Before Bret’s departure, the students begged for his contact information so they could ask him for advice at any time and Bret being the kind man he is gave everyone a way to reach him easily.

The Entrepreneurship Department here at Cogswell would like to thank Year Up for having us at their campus and hope that they come visit us sometime in the near future!

Bret Sweet for Cogswell Entrepreneurship

Animal Drawing class goes to San Francisco Zoo

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Cogswell offers an Animal Drawing and Motion class taught by Jeff Jackson and David Perry.  In the class we go over how to draw the animals using the GCAT (Gesture, Construction, Anatomy, and Technique) method.  So far we have learned gesture (capturing the pose of the animal and the rhythm of that pose).  Then we use construction (to solidify the volume and check proportions of our drawing).  We just got our first lecture on anatomy where we understand how the muscles are working under the form.  Technique goes into the style that you draw with and how you carbonize the form or exaggerate it.  Technique also deals with detail like the fur.  For homework we find photographs and video reference and draw form those, but photos and videos can only get you so far. (more…)

Cogswell Celebrates Commencement With a Look Back

Friday, May 14th, 2010

1915As Cogswell looks forward to its Commencement Ceremony on May 15, 2010, we take a look back at Cogswell’s long history of graduating exceptional students. The following article appeared in the June 13, 1915 edition of the San Francisco Examiner. At the time Cogswell was a co-educational high school.

“Graduation exercises at the Cogswell Polytechnical College occurred on Thursday, June 3. The address of the occasion was delivered by Rev. Chas. F. Bazata, who spoke on the theme of development of character and preparation for service to the community.

Through the generosity of the late Robert Ewing, a former member of the Board of Trustees of the school, gold medals, three in number, were awarded under a provision of the bequest of Mr. Ewing. These are to be known as the Robert Ewing Medals, and are to be awarded annually.

The medal awards are to be decided on a basis of improvement during the course, rather than upon superior ability. One is to be competed for by both girls and boys in the general course, one is to be competed for by girls in the domestic science training branches, and one is to be competed for by boys in the mechanic arts’ line.

The medals were awarded by Mr. Jas. W. Kerr, a member of the Board of Trustees. Medals were received by: Gladys Edith Schulte, General Course; Olga Matilda Johnson, Girl’s Technology; William Henry Lunsmann, Boys’ Technology.

Diplomas were granted to the following students by Mr. R.V. Lucy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees: Henry J. Bachtold, Raymond F.N. Bachnemann, Ernest R. Bridgett, Henry Chicourrat, Hildegard E. Enders, Roderick C. Fischer, Henry J. Gerdan, Agnes C. Hansen, Charles S.G. Hiden, A. Harold Hooke, Elmer S. Jackson, Ivah Jacobsen, Olga M. Johnson, Frieda E. Loewe, Sik Chew Lui, William H. Lunsmann, William C. Morris, Urwin Merriman, Rebecca Orwitz, Thelma C. Raspadore, Gladys Richardson, Sidney Samuels, Gladys E. Schulte, Willard Thompson, Minna H. Toloski, Frank A. Trachsler, Frances L. Wagner, Adeline A. Wirtz, Sophia B. Trost.