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August 30, 2011

Ups & downs

Al's life in a chartBeing a visual person, it seemed reasonable to I show my students my background rather than just talk about it. Here's what I drew on the whiteboard in today's Media Design class.

Since to the average student my pre-college life is way back in the dinosaur era, there's no need to be more specific. But I did want to share with them my Aha! moment in college when I realized that a career in Chemistry was not what I cared about.

I charted my career moves for the most part, and graphed them against my emotional state, happy to miserable. I hate to go all Follow Your Bliss on you, but I really believe that if you're not happy with whatever you're doing it's time to figure out what does make you happy.

One of the things I hope that students took away from this is the ups & downs of life. I'm a pretty happy person most days, but I have my share of bad days, too. My grad school experience at Kent State was mostly happy—I loved learning more about design—but I had a few really desolate drives back from school after a critique had shown how weak some of my ideas were. It all comes with the territory, and I think it's important that students understand that even very successful people have days when they doubt themselves and their path.

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