Navigate / search

It’s Just the Beginning.

I’ve been working on a project at work this past week that’s been very time consuming. It’s a very exciting project but it’s very labor intensive. It’s also the very beginning of a pretty big undertaking. While it’s a lot of hard work, it’s actually a lot of fun as well. There are moments when I catch myself thinking “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.” I have big dreams for this endeavor. But right now, I’m at mile one of a marathon. I might even still be at the starting gate waiting for the gun to go off. Do they use guns at marathons? I’ve never actually run a marathon so I’m not really sure how it goes. Which brings me back to my project. I’m in new territory for this project. I like challenges. I like the excitement and the thrill of figuring something out for the first time. So this past week has been a great week at work, but at times I’ve caught myself second guessing my efforts, wondering if all this work will be good enough. I have this perfect plan in my head of how it will turn out and a voice inside of me tells me that there’s no way I can pull it off.

And then I remembered a quote that I heard from an author and blogger whom I admire greatly.

That’s when I realized it was going to be okay. I’m just at the beginning of my project. There are still some rough edges to be smoothed out. I’m in for some bumps and bruises along the way. But I’m not at my middle yet. I have to work to get my project to its middle. If I give up now, it will remain stranded at the starting line, with no real effort given behind it to improve it and modify it to its middle. When I remember this, the anxiety about the project lessons and the joy that comes from the work returns.

It’s only the beginning.

To the Music Teacher Who Taught Me HTML

When I was a sophomore in college I signed up for an Introduction to Web Development class. I did this because my roommate told me it was an easy A. I had very little interest in website stuff but I had a lot of interest in classes that gave easy A’s. I anxiously awaited the start of the new semester and a guaranteed boost to my GPA.

However, as luck would have it, when I entered the computer lab that first day of the spring semester I immediately knew something was wrong. I expected to see a young hip-looking teacher. Instead I was greeted by a 50-something sweaty man with a mustache straight from Super Mario Bros. My roommate was usually spot-on with her descriptions; either she had left out a few critical details or this was not her same teacher.

The optimist in me did not panic. This class could still be an easy A. As my new teacher introduced himself I began to relax even more. He was from the music department, pulled in last-minute to teach this class. While he was professionally trained in music, he enjoyed web development as a hobby. I began to tune out as he continued, assuming my A was still safe.

Two weeks later, I could barely breathe as my teacher handed me his critique of my first project. The very foreign letter “F” was staring back at me from the top of the page. I quickly hid it under the table before any of my classmates could see it. My face turned a bright shade of purple as I tried to keep from losing it completely. How could this have happened? How could I have possibly failed the project? I stole another glance at my paper, he cited several grammar mistakes and a few broken links.

I walked back to my dorm that night carefully calculating how I was going to bring my grade out of the toilet. I studied the syllabus and calculated exactly what I would need to get on every project to still get an A.  It doesn’t take a math major to know that it meant and A or B on all remaining projects and tests. My easy A class quickly became the hardest class of my semester.

I visited my professor every time he was in for office hours. I brought him my work and asked him to check it before the due date to make sure I was on the right track. I took notes and asked questions during class if I didn’t completely understand the assignment. The teacher had no people skills. He was rude, unkind and, I’m pretty sure, completely annoyed every time he saw me walk in his office.

The class consisted of other people who enrolled thinking they signed up for an easy A. By midterms, the class average was well below a C. When people complained about their grades and how unreasonable the teacher was, he singled me out as an example that passing the class was possible. I wasn’t well liked in the class.

At the end of the semester, as I sat down to take the final exam, I marveled at my progress. I confidently answered the questions knowing that I knew the correct answer to every single question. A week later, I received my final grade for the semester.  It was an A+.

Ten years later, I still remember the concepts taught in that class. I’m no programming genius but I can hold my own while reading basic html code. This past week I’ve worked on a new website for my job. I had to go into the html and fix things that weren’t working. I knew how to do this because of the work I did in his class.

I don’t remember my teacher’s name. I never went back to thank him for the A+ because, frankly, I didn’t like him. I would not want to take another class taught by him. He is the man responsible for teaching me html but he also taught me a few other things. He taught me that in the real world there are people that will not hold my hand and do not want me to succeed.  His indifference towards my success taught me to value the mentors in my life who believe in me and support me. His angry disposition taught me that I might not always like the people I am forced to deal with and I should consider myself extremely blessed to have a boss that I also consider a friend. Most importantly, when he failed my first project, he taught me that when I fall down I can stand back up and be a stronger person because of it.

Are you reading this on an iPad?

If you are reading this on a computer right now, I’m sorry. I know you don’t know any better and you are probably wondering what’s wrong with reading my blog on a computer? You probably think it looks just fine. Yeah, it does look fine.

Just a taste of what you non-iPad readers are missing.
Just a taste of what you non-iPad readers are missing.

But it looks AWESOME on an iPad. There are arrows telling you to ‘swipe here’ and drop down menus that give you categories of my posts. The main page has thumbnails of my latest 5 posts. It’s amazing. I could read my blog all day on this thing. Keep Reading…

Where is the Love for Papyrus?

Can I still be considered a graphic designer if I use Papyrus font?

Not that I do. I promise. I have not used Papyrus since about 2007. But it’s time to come clean.  I still like it.

Wait. Don’t write me off yet. I am fully on board with banning Comic Sans. Even though it seems 75% of Americans are hard wired to associate Comic Sans with “a fun event.”

It’s almost as if we were all exposed to some sort of subliminal messaging in the early 90′s that said “If you want people to think your event is cool use Comic Sans” or “All children love Comic Sans.” Or “Nothing says Happy 50th anniversary Grandma and Grandpa like Comic Sans.” Keep Reading…