Assignment #3


Playing in the Snow

Since we weren't supposed to interview someone super close to us, I hobbled over to my neighbors' apartment to interview three of the guys that live there. I'm never at my apartment, so I don't know them super duperly well, but I traded their time for a promise of pizza.

These are my neighbors...

image (16).jpeg

And these are the days of their lives...

Interview #1: You're a Spy
Chris (pictured on the left) took a stroll down memory lane. *whirrrling sound of Tardis*
You've been thrown back to the fifth grade and you're Chris for a moment.
You are a spy. Your mission is to sneak into the forts of your enemies and steal their most valued treasure and the currency of this time, the snow ball. This is a middle school wide mission and you must work together with your team to maintain your fort and your gold (snowballs). The snowballs are prized because the teachers don't allow them; they're dangerous! Especially when temperatures rise and drop again creating an icy snow ball. So the forts are built by hand using the pile of snow made by the snow plow clearing the parking lot. You move the snow into a wall-like shape leaving a hole on one side that becomes the interior of the fort. As you scoop and scoop, you notice the wall isn't very pretty. You think to yourself, "if only their was a mold that would hold the snow up until I can pack it tight". Like all communities, arguments break out about who's slacking on their job and treaties are made and broken across snow forts. The weakest forts (2nd graders) are robbed of everything and the best forts have stashes of icy balls of doom.

Scene Change *Click*
Now you're at your friend Jack's house in the country. You're standing at the top of a big hill on which his house rests. The snow is calling out your name so you grab a sled! But instead of climbing aboard and riding it down the hill, you shove it, head first, into the snow. Deep as it can go. Then you maneuver the sled carefully so as to shift the snow from the ground onto your sled. You slide the sled and snow down to the bottom of the hill and repeat the process until you have created a huge pile of snow. Satisfied, you and Jack begin the creation of a wondrous fort. Complete with tunnels. Problems arise when you dig the tunnels and you realize that sometimes the tunnel just caves in and the structure crumbles in places. You try to make the fort thick enough, but sometimes it doesn't work.

Interview #2: You're a Risk Taker
Now, you're Alex (pictured in the center) and you recently injured your right foot although that doesn't matter as you're transported back to your high school days.
You are a risk taker. And you can't get enough of the sound of a muffler.
You check with Dad to make sure your buddies, who are already on their way, are welcome and run out to the garage.
You find a thick rope and two crappy plastic sleds and think, why not.
You tie one end of the rope to the sled and the other to a four wheeler carefully making several knots (you like to be cautious).
Weaving between trees, you and your buddies drive the same path around the yard until you've worn down to the grass. Your parents think to themselves, "oh yea, he'll have fun fixing that in the summer".
You stop, the sled does not. Boom. Sled hits four wheeler. This happens a lot.
You change it up and drive up onto the driveway where it's a bit slicker. Poor Dan is the guinea pig for the change in turf. It's fine until the hitch of the truck gets in the way.
You stick to the normal route after that. After hours of this, the engine overheats, you run out of gas, your hands are frozen along with the rest of your body, and the crappy sleds have broken where the rope attaches.

Interview #3: You're a Clever Thief
You're Eric. You and your fellow rugby players are conniving high school rugby players. It's one or two a.m. and you're bored. So what do you do?
Drive around in your pick up truck. of course.
Find the biggest snowman in town. sure.
Steal it. ok.
And deposit it on the front stoop of some other poor soul's house. yup.
Hilarious, but not easy.
Snowmen aren't made to move. Especially ones that have frozen over and are ginormous. The ice keeps melting and gets slippery as you try to move this snowman.
Pure muscle doesn't work so you impress your high school physics teacher by using the magic of 'leveraging weight'. You use your lucky wooden plank to tilt the cold fellow towards the truck. One rugby guy is in the bed while the other three are at the bottom of the snowmen. All those rugby practices finally paid off and the snowman is in the truck safe and sound. Success!.. after much effort.

Unfortunately, there's no snow. But I have lived in Minnesota for all of my 20 years so I'm pretty familiar with sights of people playing in the snow. To jog my memory, I watched a number of youtube videos.

Screenshot 2013-11-11 00.42.46.png
I watched this canadian man drive his truck in and out of the ditch several times, temporarily getting stuck on the way out repeatedly.

Screenshot 2013-11-11 00.52.38.png
These girls spent their Christmas Eve playing in the snow of Colorado. They went sledding, threw snowballs/ chunks, made snow angels, and ate snow. They were walking around clunkily due to their snow gear and fell off their sleds to the side several times.

Again, no snow. But I have several personal experiences of playing in the snow.
This is me as a child in one of those inflatable snow tubes. (I'm the saddish looking child on the left) I asked my Mom why she had me use this one and she said 'for safety!' I thought this was interesting since she said I would still fall off when going over bumps.

I thought about what Barry said about looking for Design opportunities and reflected again on my past experiences.

Spray Paint. My family has used spray paint to decorate our snowmen in the past. This isn't a picture of our snowman so don't judge me on the quality (although he has quite the stache).

1. Chris is a fifth grader snowball spy looking for a way to increase the number of snowballs he can carry during a mission. Chris is a fort building enthusiast looking for a way to build a structure strong enough to withstand tunnels. Chris is a snow fort enthusiast looking for a way to transport snow efficiently downhill.

2. Alex is a thrill seeker and is looking for a way to easily speed sled for hours with nothing slowing him down. He is a four wheeler/sled trendsetter and is looking for a way to do this without ruining the lawn or breaking sleds.

3. Eric is a snowman lifter and is looking for a way to lift pounds of icy snow with ease. He is a con artist and is looking for a way to move a snowman without suspicion.


Hi Ruschy,
Playing in the snow is really a fun topic to investigate. Right off the bat, I just thought that had you interviewed at least 1 girl and an elderly person against 3 young boys, you could have gotten some new themes for playing in snow?

The writing style of your blog is impressive as you narrate the three characters and especially the cartoons spiced it up. It is understandable that it is not practical to observe and experience snow games at this moment, however researching through articles on some interesting snow games played for fun and problems associated would have been very helpful.

Your problem statement identifies the needs but doesn't describe well why the persons need that particular thing. Reframing the problem statement could help you with the brainstorming session that you will be conducting.

-- Shiv


Solid idea convincing your neighbours to help you with your research. It takes a little guts to get the help of people you don't know well. I lived in the same house off of como for 2 years and literally knew 0 people around me, so kudos to you.

the interviews themselves were interesting as individualized experiences that we were still able to relate to...well mostly, I have never stolen a snowman before. The honesty in the interviews does make for a more accurate assessment. A possible flaw I see in the information gathered was one identified earlier, and that was the fact that you interviewed 3 young men. the problems they have and their experiences were very similar. perhaps a little diversity would strengthen your research.

I did like that you found pictures and video to aid your presentation, I did not think to add cartoons and wish i would have. Additionally the use of stories made reading the information far more interesting than just listing findings.

Your problem statements could use a little tweaking, but I think we could all use help in that area. It really was more difficult than i had imagine to do.

The best thing about your post was the fact you used gave each individual person you interviewed a different persona, giving the reader the opportunity to put themselves in their shoes. Although that was a very creative thing to do, it would have been nice to see an interview from someone outside of their demographic, such as an older person, children, female, etc. You used an image of yourself for the experience part of the assignment but could you have talked more in detail about your experience as a child playing in the snow? It was also nice that you came up with more than one problem or need statement for each individual.

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This page contains a single entry by rusch107 published on November 9, 2013 8:34 PM.

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