February 17, 2011

Trying to listen

Every single person I’ve talked with has said they can see me in Portland, even people who are from Dallas. Everyone is confused that we’re even considering the big D. I’ve tried to explain that underneath every logical, emotional, and mental process, there’s this quiet, persistent nudge towards Dallas. Most people just look confused when I try to talk about that and then keep asking logical questions that make me question the nudge. Because it doesn’t make sense to move far away from our friends and family and to turn our backs on mountains, it’s been easy to dismiss. In the end, it’s meant trying to find logical, emotional, and mental reasons to tell people why Dallas and not Portland, but it comes out muddled cause I don’t really mean it. We both WANT Portland, but we both have that persistent itch that won’t let us head in that direction.

Last night Jrex rightly called me out on it, “Hon, I love you, but I’m getting a little tired of you telling people that we can’t move to Portland because it would mean a depressed husband.” That’s been one of my ‘logical’ reasons. I think there’s some truth to the fact that we know he gets Seasonal Affective Disorder and Portland would be challenging because of that, but that’s not a real reason to not move there.

We’re waiting to see what the offer from Portland looks like. It’s supposed to come today or tomorrow, so the decision should get made this weekend. I’ve even asked the Lord for a specific sign if he’s opening the door to us moving north (since I need something tangible so I KNOW it’s Him if I ‘get’ to move to Dallas).

Anyway, today I was praying a bit and decided to listen more closely to the nudge. For Jrex’s career it makes sense to go south, but what about for me? If I’m giving up my family and friends, what’s there for me? I asked the Lord what he has for me in Dallas. Right away I got an idea for a class I could teach at a college. I’d have the students contact local non-profit groups (church, synagogue, mosque, community center, neighborhood historical society, etc). As a class we’d have real clients from those groups and we’d go through the entire design process with them. In the end, the client would have a full identity set, publicity materials, a web site and perhaps an event all created by students. They get all that for free while the students get a valuable real-world educational opportunity. Dallas is rife with schools from Community Colleges to Southern Methodist University.

Of course, Portland is also packed with schools, too, so the idea could work there... Sigh. See why it’s hard to listen to such a quiet, persistent thought? I can so easily override it when it’s not what I want to hear.

Big move decision aside, I’ve been thinking about the teaching thing for a long time. I don’t really know how I should go about it. Do I just contact administrators and deans to tell them my idea? Do I start at Community Colleges? Do I go back to school first? Does anyone out there know?


Anonymous said...

Does anyone out there know? Sure, I do. Been there. Done that.

First, if you're going, might as well go with the best. In Portland, I think that would be Reed or University of Oregon - Portland. But, you really want to go with the best Graphic Arts Department. Any Portland Design Firm can tell you the best local departments.

Same holds for Dallas.

On the net, find out who chairs the department. Make an appointment. Make your pitch. I think you have an excellent course design. It should already be done everywhere. I suspect that you'll find it's done almost nowhere. Academic types have a resistance to mixing with both the non-profit and profit economies.

Have I ever seen a course like yours? Sure. I've done them. You're offering design work. In my classes with the University of Cincinnati Graduate Planning Department, we offered proposal development and funding to the non-profits. Same course -- different product.

Also, then our classes became planning staff meetings. At each class, three students would present their proposals for critique by the other students and me. But, we were all equals. Many times, I had nothing unique to offer, but it didn't matter.

You have a great idea. Use the Nike offense -- Just do it.

otr mama said...

I am thinking really hard about you today. xoxo

Mariellen said...

I'm thinking that my experience has been, that sometimes God & the Universe does not say in advance...that we have to commit ourselves blindly, that is to say not knowing the answer and without he sought after sign, and only then do the mists start to clear ... asnd they clear one step at a time..so one can take only that one step, and then must leap again in faith, one step at a time. For those who like structure like you say you do, it can be a very furstrating and worrying process. I speak from experience!My advice would be to think back on those times when you've had to do this - step forward without a clear sign for guidance, - and try to recall how it came out OK, hold onto that feeling, and bring it into your now.

Inkling said...

Just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you today and thinking of you......wherever you end up.

Mizasiwa said...

Im sorry but the 'disorder' you mentioned is that real? and what is it exactly if you dont mind me asking?

OTRgirl said...

Seasonal Affective Disorder aka SAD is a term for people who are extra affected by darkness and grayness in winter. By February in Rochester James could barely wake up or get out of bed.