Skooldaze #5-gazillion, for those who claim they live here in The Landfill and still can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing.

Fall 2002. I went outside one Saturday morning to retrieve The Planet Ann Arbor Snooze. On the cover of the Community section was a big picture of a bunch of “old” people (kinda like me). Turned out they were enrollees in the Washtenaw Community College Internet Professional Program.

That caught my attention big time. I had been making websites for various small organizations for years. What that usually meant was dragging stuff onto quick and dirty little websites on my own web space over the tortured screams of various tyrannosaurs who insisted on digging their heels into the ground. Like, “Oh, we can just send that home in backpack mail.” Do y’all have any idea of how many papers survive backpack mail and make it into the hands of an actual parent? Like zilch, maybe? Or, how ’bout, “Let’s just spend 20-brazilian hours putting together a bulk mailing.” Uh, that was *my* 20-brazilian hours they were talking about. I thought not.

As adept as I was at throwing quick and dirty (did I mention ugly?) web pages out into cyberspace, I knew I could do a better job. My knowledge of web site design was equivalent to the proverbial tip of the iceberg. How to learn a realistic percentage of the rest? Hmmm. Lots of web designers are self-taught and I *used* to be pretty good at learning things on my own. Flute and Fortran and fiber arts stuff to name a few. But somehow, with two (then) teenagers, a house landfill, two cabins, three vee-hickles, octogenarians, a guinea pig, and the craziest job on the face of the planet, I COULD NOT FOCUS!!!

So. I am in my sixth semester at WCC and in a few weeks, I’ll have completed 15 classes for a total of 42 credits. I think that’s right and I have to *pass* the classes I’m in for it to happen. I completed the basic Web Technology Certificate last year. I am more or less one class away from both the Web Graphic Design and Web Application Developer Certificates. WCC is *not* a Mickey Mouse college and its INP program is comprehensive and *challenging*! These are the classes I’ve taken and this is what I know how to do.

What’s next, you want to know? (You know who you are.) Okay. I need to talk to the department head to figure out just exactly what classes I need to finish those two advanced certificates. It’s too long and murky to discuss here. Other classes I want to take that may or may not qualify as one of the classes I need:

  • Flash 2, advanced action scripting.
  • Illustrator, ’cause I can really just do basic things with that.
  • A programming class. C or whatever.
  • There are several other rather elusive advanced classes that I will want to take *if* they ever appear on the schedule. *Rumor* has it that it might happen this fall. If so, I’m in.
  • Art. Photography. Typography. Anthropology. Life-long learning stuff that relates to my field.

What is my next step? Find some small-scale gigs and start cutting down on the class schedule. Easier said than done. But I am NOT finished taking classes. I’ve discovered that I need the structure of projects and homework assignments in order to focus well enough to learn. And I enjoy classroom interaction. So I’m not done yet. And just wait until I start taking beading classes. I will. You watch.

One Response to “Skooldaze #5-gazillion, for those who claim they live here in The Landfill and still can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing.”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    *somehow* I think you are more qualified to actually TEACH beading classes…

    and Great Attitude about Life-Long Learning!! Don’t ever stop!!