The Path Not Taken

July 14, 2008


My academic career looks better in hindsight than it did in real-time. A bunch of fairly good high school grades got me into the University of Texas at Austin on probation. Landing in Austin with no sense of how to study or be disciplined landed me back in Houston with a 1.25 grade point average and some bruised pride (but some great stories). My folks, rightfully so, were a bit concerned about my future — or my options — and sent me to talk to a woman who did career assessment. Or? She gave tests to see what you are good at and what direction you should go.

My results were as follows:

Not a strong academic student. “Real” school not a good option.

Should pursue an artistic career path.

My real results several years later:

Graduated from a top Communications program.

Went on to graduate school and completed a Post-Baccalaureate and M.Ed in two years.

Interesting and varied career equaling anywhere from no money to a truckload of it.

But “art” was nowhere in there.

I truly hated that woman who did that assessment. I thought she was ridiculous, condescending and lacked any sort of interpersonal skill. But that ‘art’ thing has bugged me for years.

I studied art history in college and loved it, but would never attempt any sort of painting or sculpture myself because I had too much respect for the masters to every try to do that myself. It was almost like it would be insulting them to try to do what they did. I still won’t.

But I am creative. I can solve problems. Big ones. I can create a few as well. Good, messy ones. I can put the right people together. I can sell. And, in some artistic attempt, I’m a pretty good scrapbooker and occassionally I write something interesting or funny.

But I’m not a writer. I know this. There are many others around me, hell, even on that Blogroll to the left, who write rings around me. I’m way too inside my left-brain to ever truly be a good writer. And that’s totally okay with me.

But I keep thinking about this unused right-brain of mine. It’s kinda starting to tap my shoulder more often with words like, “Hey, remember me? I’m a lot of fun. Why don’t you dust me off and take me for a spin a little more often?” And I’m kinda starting to listen to it.

I found the program I’d do here in town. It’s specific to a very particular design interest I have. I could almost work it around Benjamin’s school schedule, too if you can believe that luck. But guess what the first class is? Yep. Drawing Fundamentals.

Here, Pam, sit here and doodle while he entire der blaue riter spins in its collective grave. Knock your socks off, honey.

But you know what? If it were financially and logistically possible, I just might. Ain’t that a kick in the pants.

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One Response to “The Path Not Taken”

  1. Kathryn Foulkes-Baker Says:

    Sounds like you’d regret it if you don’t give it a go.
    And whaddya mean you can’t write??
    I love your blog and I’m a waay nicer audience than any real critic, so there