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Thursday, October 20, 2011

What do I want to be when my kids grow up?

When I was 18, I wanted to be a journalist. I went to school, earned my degree in journalism, and worked as a copy/layout editor for a large daily. I then shifted a few steps over into technical writing/editing. Nothing is more fun than arguing grammar rules with a PhD. in physics. When my kids came along, I jumped into freelance tech writing and then newsletter editing. My big career breakthrough was choosing to home school my children. I loved gathering my own curriculum and putting it to use. I've graduated one with my second child finishing high school in the spring.

As my son has neared his graduation, we've been working on career goals. Both of us. Neither one of us knows what we want to be when he grows up.

Where to now?

Credit 

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

When I was a kid, I wanted to write a book. I have written a book, but it was a technical how-to for a piece of software that is now obsolete by several versions. I wanted to be a librarian just to have access to all the wonderful stories and knowledge out there. The Internet now fulfills that role. I wanted to learn how to draw better so I didn't have to sketch all my princesses with their hands behind their backs. Hands are hard.

Home school has been a wonderful outlet for me to explore the world with my kids. I've decided to keep exploring, even though the only student will be me. I'm enrolling myself in Home School Art School.

The Internet is chock-full of fabulous free courses. I really don't want to go back to school, especially with two kids about to be in college. I'm going to mine the Internet with my wanna-be librarian skills. I'm going to get a Me Degree in Graphic Design. I have mapped a free block of time at least twice a week.

So here's the semester plan:

Class 1: Drawing using Drawspace
Drawspace is the brainchild of self-educated artist Brenda Hoddinott. Brenda taught herself how to draw and spent the next 25 years working as a forensic artist and art teacher. She also has authored several how-to-draw books. Registration and all self-directed coursework are free.

Class 2: Design Basics using Graphic Design Basics at About.com
This self-taught course teaches the absolute basics of  design in two parts. Part One describes the basic elements of graphic design such as lines, shapes, and colors. Part Two details the principals of design such as balance, contrast, repetition, etc. Most lessons have exercises but not all. I'll find the exercises as I need them.

My daughter is an art school student, so I'm loosely following what she has had to do. I just don't have to take freshman English again unless I want to.