I remember writing Last Weekend of Freedom back in January after I received an email from my Multimedia professor. He let us know we should appreciate our last weekend of freedom before school started.
He was right. Since I started this blog after transferring to UNC, I’ve never gone so long without writing. And if it weren’t for a new social storytelling website called Intersect – I wouldn’t have published anything since that fated January day.
Everyone tells you life picks up speed as you get older, but they don’t mention how fast it becomes. If I laid my head down this very moment I might blink, and believe Spring semester hasn’t even begun. I’ve never worked so hard in my life, nor sacrificed so much for my education as I did this spring.
All of my classes were journalism classes. I suppose I was feeling warrior-esque when I registered for classes because I truly overbooked myself.
My Intermediate Multimedia class was the hardest. From the first day to the last, I had mini-panic attacks as I watched my professor pace the room and begin talking about what we were going to learn or had learned. I dreamed about Flash, I wrote out ActionScript in doodles across my notebooks and I used other class times to find the time to complete my projects.
At the beginning of the semester I thought I’d be lucky to escape with a “C,” but by the end of the semester I was pushing hard for that “A.”
The final course in the Multimedia sequence gives students the option to take an advanced programming course or take a narratives course. Narratives is primarily a film course that focuses on telling stories through film and photography. They are both very difficult and time-consuming classes. Originally, I’d leaned heavily towards the narratives, but by the end of the spring semester I was ready to continue pushing myself.
I knew I wouldn’t be content filming – I wanted to take on programming.
There is a lot of satisfaction in working with computers – in learning how to design, how to create programs and find ways to lure users into interaction.
The hundreds of mini steps to any finished project was full of steps in the wrong direction, but for me, the challenge is the addiction. I’ve never been so challenged before, and I have never won so many victories. Sure they are small, mini-er than mini, but I can’t describe how good it feels to write code that throws your program into action – making your idea a reality.
Growing up my mother always told me I should become a graphic artist. I’d laugh at her, half-giggle really, and say there was no way you could get me to sit still for that long. But then I changed my sequence in the journalism school from Reporting to Multimedia, and I fell in love.
Part of its ease was the purchase of a new Apple Pro. I’d never had the patience with Windows operating systems – they drove and drive me crazy. But the Mac OS just seems to understand what I want – we speak the same language. Then came Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign and Flash. I despise Photoshop. I know, I know it’s a mortal sin for some designers, but I prefer Illustrator.
The last two semesters of school have completely changed me, or at least changed the way I thought about myself and my life direction. I pushed myself further than I had thought possible, I accomplished tasks I didn’t think I would, I worked harder than I thought I could and I regained my inner creative child – the one who owns pastels, acrylics, oils, colored pencils and myriads of other artsy stuff.
I thought I had lost her years ago, when I packed all those things away in boxes.
All of my suffering led me to some very big decisions about my life and the direction I am heading. It also sent me barreling into the Interactive Multimedia department at the News & Observer begging for an internship. They gave it to me and I don’t think it was because I was the best – I think it was because I was the hungriest.
I have a dedicated website portfolio now (that’s soon to be updated, again), and have begun the process of moving my entire online activity to its space. Which brings me to my question for you – what should I do with my WordPress blog?
If you have any advice on whether I should keep my website and blog separate, or blend the two – I’d love to hear it. Designers, programmers, developers, journalists….anyone, what do you think?