An evening of Myth and Poetry
February 1, 2017 in Trinidad, CO
©2016 Annette Meserve
Didn't See That Coming
And now from the department of ‘You Just Never Know,’ comes a tale of unlikely employment.
True that my first stab at college was as a commercial art major. I wanted to be on the cutting edge, designing book covers, illustrating record albums. I wanted to do the cool art and make the big bucks. That was back in the days before computer graphics programs, when cut-and-paste meant just that, using x-acto knives and rubber cement until we were dizzy and cross-eyed.
Many years have come and gone and with them a staggering variety of occupations, near occupations, and the educating of two children. but now I find myself both without kids and without direction. Well, not without direction exactly. You see, there is this story…
But stories are a slow-burning proposition when it comes to buying groceries today so there was a question of making a living.
Wait, back-up, I have to tell you about my husband.
Somehow, I was blessed with a man who has supported us through all of my crazy ideas, faithfully going to work, making sure we were fed and warm while I explored possibilities as an artist, as a massage therapist, as a science teacher, and as the chief executive officer of a start-up non-profit… oh yeah, and mostly as a homeschool mom.
As the kids went off to university, it seemed to me like the wonder-husband had done his part, had spent enough time slaving over hot stoves in hot kitchens. I felt it was my turn.
But what could I do for real?
A serendipitous dinner with an old friend delivered a surprising answer to that question though, at the time, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Dr. Frieda Parker, before she was a PhD, was my partner in crime during the non-profit, science-education phase. Now faculty at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley Colorado, she specializes in exploring out-of-the-box solutions to the problems plaguing our educational system. In her job she works with many different projects one of which is the Education Innovation Institute.
In this capacity, she’s part of a team headed up by Dr. Kristin Klopfenstein which has been developing a program for presentation to school administrations. Their plan is to help districts evaluate which of their programs is working so that resources can be used more effectively. A key part of their intended delivery system is instructional videos.
And here’s where I come in.
They needed someone to actually create and produce said videos. None of us really knew what it entailed but, since I did have an arts background, and a little experience with web design I figured,
“Hey, I’m pretty smart. I’m sure I can figure it out.”
What I didn’t realize at the time was that ‘smart’ people go to school for this stuff. It’s the utterly mad who decide to just get the programs and start pushing buttons until they get it to do what they want.
However, a couple of years later and many animated videos under our belts, we’ve got a good start on it. But what really surprises me is that I now can talk in a room with other computer animators without sounding like an idiot and am actually growing out of the programs I’ve been working with. With great knowledge comes an increased need for better toys.
And better toys I will have because there are other projects on the horizon.
I've begun the preliminaries on two different projects that will utilize the things I’ve learned about filming interviews, video cameras, lights, sound recording and such, and will give me a chance to step away from key frames and from consideration of the xyz axes for a little while.
The real crack-up is that, until the last couple of years, I’ve been more comfortable with a pencil in my hand, a book for reference, a classroom plan in mind. I’ve spent most of my adult life firmly in the camp of the luddites, only touching the digital world when absolutely necessary.
Now, between my writing and video work, I spend most of my time in front of three computer screens producing works for an academic and professional world I never would have guessed I’d be involved with.
And I’m actually gaining the expertise that makes me belong there. It’s not record album covers, but I do get to dabble in book design from time to time and my current job description is ‘Video Producer/Computer Animator. Who would have thought!
February 1, Trinidad