Being a college teacher is loads of fun; it is, without a doubt, the single most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Ever since I was a teenager I dreamed of being a college professor someday. I would never have dreamed in a million years that teaching graphic design would be the ultimate result of that ambition… probably because I grew up in a household that tried to quash my artistic creativity at any chance it got.
And that’s not, of course, to say that graphic design is strictly about art. To be sure, artistic creativity is a large part of it, but it takes a great deal of mental discipline and patience to create solid graphic design. A successful graphic designer must be able to take hard critique, and in a lot of cases insults. You’d be surprised how terrifically stupid some clients can be; hell, if you want a taste, go visit Clients from Hell sometime .
Anyway, in today’s world, graphic design is including web design more and more; if you don’t have a website, you’re on the losing slope. When I went through my classes, HTML, CSS, and all the other scripting languages and practices weren’t as strongly preached, but now that I’m the instructor I push web design on my students at any and every opportunity I get.
Today I’m coaching a couple of beginner students as they construct their own personal websites out of raw HTML in the lab; last week we covered the fundamentals of HTML and I’m glad to say that they both understood that scripting languages are essentially WYSIWYG, or ‘what you see is what you get.’ Thankfully, I have great facilities here and a fantastic staff to work with; even though I’m the newest instructor, with the least amount of experience under my belt, the more senior instructors are always quick to point out ways I can increase my own understanding of graphic design and to point out ways I can impart the required knowledge more successfully to any given audience.
I’m thankful of the chances I’ve been given and I wish that more people would think of teaching as a viable career. Thanks to my time in the military a few years back, I fostered the opinion that everything is a ‘school’ environment; everything is a chance to always be learning something new.
What you do with that knowledge is, of course, your own concern, but I hope that you would pass it on to others.