what i learned in 2017 - november - december

I want to clarify, because I might have expressed the wrong feelings about the college I am currently attending.

I have had a lot of opportunities at Simpson College, especially in November. 

For one, I intern for the PR/Marketing office and I was able to attend special events, create online content, and even run the official social media accounts for awhile.

I also signed up for an incredible opportunity to meet the Indiana Pacers General Manager, Chad Buchanan, a Simpson College alum.

Other opportunities arose, such as meeting and networking with professionals in the arts world.

I met Jeff Fleming, executive director of the Des Moines Art Center.

He talked about finding your way through life and how to “make it”.

“No one know what they’re doing,” he said about professionals in all fields.

Take the risk and make mistakes because that’s how you improve, and you might even end up better off because of those mistakes.

As finals rolled around again in December, I scheduled two photoshoots with models in Des Moines for the weekend.

I found these two models through a local Facebook group.

We decided to meet up in Des Moines and do a mini photo session.

For the first shoot, I was feeling very nervous and incompetent. And the shoot didn’t turn out how I pictured it would in my head.

The second shoot was much more of a success.


Nothing really changed from the day before at the first shoot to the second shoot except my attitude and confidence.

I had a much better vision for what I wanted to do and had more confidence in achieving it.

At the very least, I figured I had nothing to lose.

And in fact, I gained some things:

1.         I made two new contacts with people I didn’t know.

2.         I realized just how much confidence, or the lack thereof, can affect you.

3.         I now know I am capable of meeting a stranger and making conversation and that I am not actually as unbearably awkward as I think I am.



Dear Reader,

Take risks.

Do what scares you.

Don’t let your fears hold you back. Your fears are what will push you forward.

For awhile now, I have been saying I want to go skydiving. My mom has been freaking out about it and other family members have flat out told me not to do it.

But it is something I am very serious about doing, and soon.

It all stemmed from this video of Will Smith talking about fear.

As we start a new year, I  hope you will consider taking risks and doing the things that scare you most.

Here's to 2018!


Daryl Batt

Fearfully Fueled for 2018


That's a wrap on 2017! Thank you for reading about what i learned in 2017! On to 2018!

what i learned in 2017 - september - october

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs



I thought that volleyball was what my “great work” was going to be.

I still remember the first time I stepped onto a volleyball court for an organized team practice.

It was in seventh grade. School had just gotten out and I ran to the locker room to change. I was SO nervous and shy, but also excited.


I wasn’t very good.

I had never really played sports, so I wasn’t exactly a part of the “in crowd” and I didn’t really have a lot of friends who were also playing. (Years later, some of my best friends would come from volleyball teams.)

After that first practice, even though I sucked, I knew I belonged on the court.

Fast forward ten years: it’s September 2017 and I am playing college volleyball. But that spark… that excitement and passion isn’t there anymore.

I could feel myself starting to really lose interest early this season but it was hard to admit.

I have loved volleyball for so long, that it sort of became a habit and a part of who I am.

The abbreviated version is this: I thought volleyball was my passion until I realized I was waking up in the morning not only not excited for it, but wishing I wasn’t even playing.

For most of my childhood and all of my adult life, volleyball was my way to make friends, to workout, to travel, and to have something fun to do with the people I care about.

I still love watching the game, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the thing that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning anymore.

During this past season, there were times I would call home crying, trying to get someone to convince me that I wanted to play and that I still loved it.

And sometimes that worked!... for awhile anyways.

I would get this spurt of motivation and excitement to be better and to make volleyball my focus.

But like the Steve Jobs said, my heart wasn’t in it and I knew it.

I was making excuses to convince myself to keep playing! I was settling for something I already knew how to do. There is a lot less risk in continuing something you are already doing to pursue something you haven’t ever done.

Volleyball season ended the last week of October and I was beyond relieved.

Not because of the coaches or my teammates or the time commitment playing collegiately required, but because I was no longer stuck doing something I wasn’t passionate for.

I want to thank everyone on the team for being such an incredible group to end my volleyball career with. I truly have had fun with this team and am so grateful for the friends that have come from it.



Dear Reader,

I want to share two videos that have really impacted me and that I think about often when it comes to dreams, passion, and love.

1. Steve Jobs gives the commencement speech at Stanford University about "How to Live Before You Die"

2. Jessica Stanley give the commencement speech at Forks High School. 😅

I hope that you always follow your dreams and pursue your true passions.

It’s okay not to know what you want to do right now.

It’s okay to love something and then change your mind!


Change your mind again and again!

Find what not only makes you want to get out of bed, but what makes you want to not go to sleep.

Daryl Batt

In the Pursuit of Dreams

Thanks for coming back for What I Learned in 2017- September/October! Check back tomorrow for my last post in this series! Catch up on January-August by scrolling down!

what i learned in 2017 - may

One of my favorite childhood memories with my grandma is looking through her photo album from her trip to London. 

I can still picture the little pink and green flower book sitting under the living room table.

I must have flipped through that thing a hundred times. The pictures almost didn't seem real. London is like a whole other world.

Ever since then, I had dreamed of one day going to London myself.

That day finally came through an opportunity at Simpson College (see, this school has its perks).


Simpson has a third semester in the academic year. It's called "May Term" and is only three weeks long instead of the traditional 3 1/2 month semester and only focuses on one course.

At Simpson, this short semester also allows students to study abroad without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars.

I was able to study abroad to London for a Media, Culture, and Sport course.

Typical Cliche London Tourist Pic in a Stinky Telephone Booth

The trip was incredible and I could write I whole book about it.

I learned so much about traveling with others in a small and large group.

I traveled the countryside and ended up lost in a field with sheep.

I toured Wembley and Twikenham stadiums.


And so much more.

I think everyone should experience travel. 

Don't pull the whole, "Traveling is too expensive!" line on me, because I've used it and it is just an excuse.

Seriously. Do some research and make it work! Check out this link to start.

You don't have to travel across the world to still have incredible travel experiences. There is so much you can do right here in the United States. Check out this link for places to visit in the US.

I also learned that taking pictures of people in another country is harder than it seems and that sometimes you will get chased down Camden shops by a little Vietnamese woman demanding you give her your camera so she can delete your pictures.

Yeah that happened.

I got some pretty neat photos though, that you can check out below and on my IG account



Dear Reader,

When photographing people, especially in another country, I highly recommend following these three tips:

Tip #1: When photographing other people, ask before taking the picture if you can, or if you want them candidly, ask after the picture, but it's probably best to ask...

Tip #2: NEVER give your camera to a stranger! Especially a mad one. Thank god, I was sensible enough to tell the lady chasing me that she could not have my camera, but that she could watch me delete the picture. I apologized for taking the picture and then booked it out of there. 

Tip #3: Get a lens wider than 50mm. Just trust me on this one. I bought this lens right before the trip (mistake #1) and struggled with it the whole trip because it cut out SO MUCH STUFF! (I also have a crop sensor, so it was like shooting with an 85mm.)

Traveling is not only fun and exciting, but you learn about the world and the different people in it.

I grew up hearing, "The United States is the country of freedom." "It is the melting pot of the world."

Considering recent elections and the unbelievable sexism and racism that is STILL HAPPENING today... maybe the U.S. isn't so progressive and welcoming. 

Okay, okay that is a different subject for a different post. 

Where I meant to go with that is that London really is a melting pot and you can learn so much about the whole world in one city. 

If you don't know where to start your travels, I highly recommend London!


Daryl Batt

Wannabe Londoner, Travel Junkie

Thanks for reading about May! Check back today at 4:00pm(MST) for June, July, and August. If you missed January-April, scroll down to catch up!