April 28, 2009

how I got here.

I was barely 18 years old, taking the 2 hour drive north to the place I've decided to attend college. I would spend the day touring the campus, taking a math placement exam, and registering for classes. After a long day on campus, my parents and I headed back south. My mom jabbered with excitement. While I took my math test, they wandered around the job fair. "I found a program that I really think you'd enjoy and be good at," she told me. "Oh?" was about all I could muster in response. I was somewhere between needing my parents and venturing off on my own. I wasn't terribly bratty, but I was also trying to find my own footing before I left that coming fall. I couldn't wait for high school to end. I was past all the drama, ready to start something new. My mom rambled on about this field of graphic design, how it would really allow me to use my creativity, how it sounded like such a fun career. I didn't really know what she was talking about. Graphic design? I don't know what that is. I wanted to make the decisions for myself. I wanted to be the one who knew what was best for myself.
I blew it off, unsure of what I wanted to do in my life, but wanting to do it on my own. I entered college as a business major. After my first year of classes, I learned that business was ok. I didn't love it, I hated accounting, but I was there. I continued on my path, not really considering any other options. In a way, I was just kind of there. I did my homework, I studied hard, but I can't say I really enjoyed it.
My spring semester, sophomore year put a lightning bolt to my college career, to my life. I was enrolled in Intro to Art, a required lib. ed. class. I guess the class sounded easy enough, but I was neither dreading nor very excited about it. Our first assignment was to create 4 tesselations. (A tessellation is a tiling of the plane by a collection of plane figures that fills the plane with no overlaps and no gaps. - Wikipedia) I set to work, with minimal effort (I mean, it was Intro to Art) in front of the tv, talking with my roommates. I didn't think much about the project. I cut out a few shapes and made my 4 tessalations. The next day I went to class, not expecting much.
The prof walked around, talking through each person's work. He stopped at me, nodded his head, smiled. "What's your major?" he casually asked me. I responded that I was a marketing major. "Hmm." he replied, "you might want to consider changing, or double majoring. You have an eye for design."
I sat for the remainder of the class, dumbfounded. I couldn't wrap my mind around what this professor had just told me. I what? How could a project that I didn't think about, that I barely tried on, lead him to believe I was cut out for a career in it. I spent the entire rest of the day considering this. I looked up the Graphic Design curriculum online. I talked with my roomates, etc about it. I slowly began to realize that if I had talent enough to show-through with little effort, then maybe I have something that could be nurtured into an actual career. Maybe a week or two later, I set the ball rolling to change my major.
One comment from a professor who actually cared set my life into a completely new direction.
My mom waited a while before saying "I told you so." I guess she could see my talents long before I was ready to.

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