Semi-regular readers of this blog probably know that I am currently a student at Shepherd College, studying English with an eye toward becoming a teacher when I graduate. Obviously, I am motivated by something other than a desire to accumulate vast personal wealth. But what? Compassion for the less fortunate? Desire to educate, to mold the next generation of writers, poets, leaders?
Actually, no. Teaching was not my first career choice. Neither is English. Before I enrolled as an English student, I was in the business administration program, and taking visual arts and design courses with an eye toward a job in the lucrative field of advertising. Unfortunately, I flunked out after the first semester. My final project did not go over so well.
We were all assigned to create campaigns for existing non-profit charity organizations. I drew the National Multiple Sclerosis Research Society, which I thought was pretty cool. My maternal grandmother died of an MS-like disorder, so it was a subject very close to my heart. I wanted my poster for the NMSRS to grab the attention of people who saw it, to make them stop and look. I went with something simple and direct, and came up with this:
It was rejected by my instructor, who told me that using the image of Annette Funicello was in very poor taste, and also that I did not seem to have any knowledge about what Multiple Sclerosis was or how it was acquired. He was feeling generous, however, and allowed me to take another crack at it and submit a second poster for my final grade.
I took his advice and did some research into the causes of MS. It was interesting stuff. Armed with this newfound knowledge, I went back to the drawing board and produced my second proposal:
This too was rejected, and I was forced to resign from the program. A shame. I could have gotten pretty rich, had I been able to get into the ad business. And who knows? I might even have helped some people.