As he unfolded a six-foot ladder from a small black bag Sunday night, Rob Hackenson Jr. told students gathered in the Chadron State College Student Center Ballroom that significant decisions made during college can affect the remainder of their lives.
The mind magician and hypnotist used a combination of high energy, audience participation, videos and role playing to drive home the importance of building a strong foundation for future career and personal success by making wise choices while at CSC.
Hackenson explained that knowledge can come through academics, life experiences and outside influences. He invited the audience to learn how perception can cause real reactions by asking students to watch a spinning black and white cardboard spiral for the count of 10 and then look at his face. Audible reactions from the crowd confirmed that the optical illusion had worked and students were seeing what appeared to be Hackenson's distorted and shrinking head.
He asked those in attendance to offer some consequences of unwise choices in college and then excuses that they or their friends employ even when they know better.
“Snap. That’s how long it takes to make a decision that can change the rest of your life,” he said as he snapped his fingers and stepped between two students on stage role playing. He shared an experience from which he escaped with his life. He had been sober, but got in the car with a driver who had been drinking and only rode the width of the Ballroom in their small car when they were sideswiped by a large pickup.
“Look at your goals and think of consequences. Take a step back. Get out of bad situations while you can. Stay in control. If you forget what you did last night, somebody else has probably already posted a video of it online,” Hackenson said.
—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator