Saturday, 6 March 2010


In the movie Star Trek - The Motion Picture, Spock pays a visit to the alien ship that has the Enterprise trapped. He melds with the intelligence on board and is thrown back to the Enterprise. Upon his return he relates his experience. He indicates that V'Ger is empty, questioning it's very existence. V'Ger wants to know - Is this all I am? Is there any more? Spock sheds a tear for V'Ger, he relates to the intelligence, as he, at the beginning of the movie also questions his destiny.

So am I.

At middle age, (yes, I've finally given in to that concept), I'm questioning my destiny. What more can I offer this world? What more can I be? Am I destined to be a prepress operator in a small town printer? Is there any more? I decided I'm not prepared to answer yes to that. There must be more, and I intend now to find it.

I've always done freelance graphics on top of whatever job I've had. It's been an enjoyable sideline - being able to work on my own terms without a boss hanging over my shoulder and my ultimate goal was always to do that full time. The concept of working from home intrigues and scares me. I've never made the jump into that because of the uncertainty of it - we're not in any position to give up the steady paycheque yet. I hope to, but I'm not there yet. Working freelance has it's own problems, primarily self-discipline. It's just way too easy to get distracted. I have friends that work from home offices, and they manage it, and enjoy it, but can I do it? I don't and probably won't know.

But there's another destiny I'm shooting for - teaching. I've always enjoyed teaching, as an officer with a cadet corps I always taught the kids, and whatever problems were going on in life or with the corps itself, none of that mattered when you were in a room with the kids, enriching their minds. That was my playground. I had the chance there to entertain, interact, train, and get to know the kids. Seeing the 'ah ha' looks on their faces when they accomplished something was quite a feeling. Teaching in a corps is a little different from school - these kids wanted to be there, that changes the entire dynamic. It made the classes so much more fun. What also mattered was the subject matter. Teaching cadets came with lessons like fundamentals of rifle shooting, Orienteering, fieldcraft, and the like. Fun stuff.

It got even more fun when we went to the field for hands on training. On one exercise, we were accompanied by a driver from the Service Battalion who had no desire to work with kids over the weekend. To him, it was a paycheque. He looked at we officers as 'fake', and refused to acknowledge us. He thought he was above us all. I decided to use him. I put him in a tree, about 15 feet up, and gave him the instruction that he was not to help the cadets unless he felt his life was in danger. Getting him down would be the cadets' job. Then I told the cadets as they arrived at the tree in groups that a Mongolian Tree Sloth had got himself stuck and was too lazy and/or stupid to get down, their task was to rescue the sloth. A leadership tasking, one of many set up around the camp that day. The militia corporal looked at me with an eye of distrust and fear, but he soldiered on and followed orders.

Within an hour, he was getting into it. He was making sloth sounds (really, he made dumb sounds, nobody knows what a Mongolian Tree Sloth sounds like), and he was playing dumb - trying to eat bark, or take a nibble at a kid's arm. He was having a great time. All the while, the kids were trying to 'rescue' him, we kept a sharp eye out for any potential flaws or dangers, but all 8 groups that came to the 'rescue' encountered an ever-more entertaining beast. By the end of the day, the corporal had asked if he could volunteer with the cadets, and finally began addressing me as sir. It was my intention to use him, not teach him. But a good training plan has affects you never count on. To this day, the tree sloth scenario is still used by the corps, not bad considering I wrote the training plan after a half-dozen beers!

I want to teach again. I want to see the 'ah ha' look in people's eyes again. I want to make a difference to a new generation of media aficionados. Most of all, I would like an answer to the question - Is this all I am?

So in the past couple of days I have built an online resume - a website. I won't give the URL here, it's not the kind of thing you just let anyone see. I have also started to rekindle contacts I have at St. Clair College. I talked at length yesterday to one of my old professors whom I have had dealings with over the years, as he's the teacher contact for the Graphic Design Internship program, which I used to take part in. I let it be known to them that this is what I want. I want my foot in the door to the college. I want to be able to use all these years of experience doing all sorts of traditional media and pass that knowledge along to the next generation. Hell, I can't think of anything to do with newspapers or magazine that I haven't done! All that and a teacher too.

I've been loosing my passion for this work lately, for many different reasons. I need to get it back. I feel my talent is currently being wasted in a cubicle, and I'm hungry for more. I'm hungry for a change of pace, a new opportunity, a new beginning, a new reason to look up. I think this is it, I just hope the college agrees with me. So Monday I will shove my foot through the crack in the door and force it open. I will make more calls and feed more contacts.

Spock and I have something in common besides bad hair. We're both asking the same questions. In the movie he never found his answer, I hope in the next week or so to find mine.

Have a great weekend.

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