Trying to light a fire (or something)

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

-Steve Jobs


Somewhere, someone has read my words

I am a published blogger and editorial writer; in the most minor ways imaginable.

It still counts!

In my Social Work Policy class, our instructor encouraged us to frame our first few class assignments as blog posts. Any that turned out reasonably well were put on her professional website. I have a byline so I’m content.

The first piece is an introduction to what was to be a series regarding the necessity of childcare subsidies. The second piece is the follow up bringing the topic into the modern era. This is still a soapbox issue for me, not just as a mother but as a concerned citizen. I will save that rant for another day.

For a lighter turn of topic, an editorial I submitted to the Meredith Herald was published in Spring 2014.


The other things that make me useful to have around

I started my time at Meredith with a rudimentary skill set in Microsoft Excel. I knew my way around the user side of Outlook and had an intermediate understanding of Word. My largest accomplishment in the technological world was in working with the IT Department at my former employer and the software developer that had created our core operating system. My descriptive nature and need to know how things worked led to a fantastic working relationship with a set of professionals that do not ordinarily work well with front-end users. Ask me about it some day–I love to share war stories.

While collecting credits for my minor, I registered for a class in HTML. It was fascinating. And grossly time consuming. Did I mention I have a life outside of this student gig? I dropped the class but in half of a semester I did gain a great deal of understanding of the back-end of things in bare-basics web design.

I also took courses in Excel and Access and introductory use of Adobe Creative Suite. My Adobe skills are shown in my two art exhibits from a later class. Excel is not exciting, but it is beautifully functional if you know its potential. This worksheet is an interactive calculator for mortgage products.


Sadly, I was not published in Vogue

While this photo and article did appear in the December 2013 issue of Vogue, it is merely the source material for another design project.

In this task we were to use a celebrity image and manipulate it into an original magazine spread. We had the option to use words of an existing article since that was not the point of the assignment.

All design elements are my own as are the title and introduction. The text of the article is not mine; the author is cited within my introduction, the photo is cited in the left margin.

There is a center gutter that does not appear in PDF format though this was originally created with Adobe InDesign on two succeeding boards.


The artist in us all

Once upon a time, a frustrated former social work student wanted to change career paths and become a graphic designer. Then I realized that much like interior design, I love the medium, but I think I would rather spend my time appreciating the work of others than being on a mortgage-dependent timetable for creating my own visual masterworks.

The ability to take classes in graphic design while studying at Meredith was such a fabulous opportunity. When else in my life would I get to learn these things, get feedback from instructors that truly now their stuff (that are exceptionally gracious to the learning curve of the “non-art major”) and test the field to see if this may become a suitable plan ‘B’ for my career?

The goal of this project is basically to tinker around with a tee-shirt design for a fictional AIGA fundraiser. Both images contain the same message, delivered with different quirks.


She said a Social Worker should know how to do this

The Case Study is the meat and potatoes of Social Work communication. It is used to begin a therapeutic relationship, as a research narrative and is the basis for many forms of case management.

For this assignment, we were allowed to pick from an assortment of characters found in television series and recent movies–and use some aspect of their story to create a need for social work intervention. We were then to write a case study including ecomap, genogram and treatment plan for this fictional client. The instructor pre-approved each source for inspiration so that she would be familiar enough with the story line to make a fair judgement of our work.

Parenthood is one of my very favorite series and it has no shortage of social intervention worthy story lines. I used a portion of the story from the second to last season since the final season had not fully aired at the time the project was due.


Journalistic Lament

Traditional journalism is not my bag. I tried it in High School. Newspaper staff. I had no patience for it whatsoever. Cheeky adolescent attempting journalese did not fly with Mr. Hull.

How dare he not declare me wunderkind of the class!

I have since learned that skill in assemblage of words into one format does not equate skill in all. My collegiate coursework has required I revisit my apprehension of journalism. While some progress has been made to adapt to the ‘tone’ and ‘language’ appropriate for this medium, I still cannot report a true love of writing straight news–or even informal online facts with minimal editorial content.

If the need presents, I will definitely revisit and hopefully conquer this skill. For now, this is a news feature from a class website. The first version was cold; “institutional” was the word used by the instructor. I do not disagree.

The second version is the result of extensive revision with some additional text.

Keep in mind, the target audience was the campus community, not the world at large.


Do you want to know?

I recently posted my thoughts on questioning the authenticity of the information we receive via various media channels. Now it is time, my friends for you to share with me your thoughts. Please take a moment to respond to this quick poll and let me know if this is on your radar.

I’m curious. And more than a little bit nosy.