I have been directly involved in the communications industry and education for the last, well, awhile. Prior to that I was in the retail clothing business, Kippys, for eight years. That is where I learned about running a business, and specifically, about marketing.
Actually, I knew enough to be dangerous!
Consequently, in 1980 I attended Art Center College of Design and later received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Communication Design, emphasis on graphic design and packaging. Art Center isn't for everyone, but I received an incredible education and would recommend the program to anyone who is AROC (anal-retentive-obsessive-compulsive) or simply possessed.
Upon graduation I moved to New York City where I continued my baptism into design by freelancing for the now defunct CBS Toys along with several other clients including Colorforms.
In 1987, I entered the computer age, utilizing the Macintosh computer, a Mac Plus with a whopping 2 megs of RAM and a 40 meg hardrive, to aid my graphic design work. I concurrently began teaching desktop publishing at Coronado High School.
From 1987 to now, I have been learning what it is to be a teacher. Wow, I didn't appreciate the difficulty of the journey until I started teaching. As with most things in life, I knew enough to be dangerous. For that matter, I'm still dangerous. Still asking questions, still listening, still doing what I think is best for students, still questioning the system, still taking classes, still pushing to do the right thing. As I get older I've heard too many people justify their actions because it's the right thing. I will avoid making any specific references. We are all guilty of seeing things according to personal perspectives without really looking at the big picture or, for that matter, someone else's perspective. So, I'll adjust my statement to read, still pushing toward helping make the world a slightly better place or, probably more true, pushing to make my life better. I'm still dangerous, but, as the AIG insurance ad campaign states, "The only risk is to not take a risk." I think it's about passion.
Our passion to challenge ourselves to do our best.
In 1993, still looking to challenge myself, I entered the Education Technology master's program at San Diego State University. The emphasis of this program is on improving the learning and performance of tasks by individuals and groups. The program teaches assessment, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of training strategies and techniques to maximize desired results. My interest was, and is, in using technology, including computer-aided design, multimedia, telecommunications, the Internet, and the next killer ap to improve my communication skills. Actually, the using technology thing has gotten old. Yes, I have lots of toys, but I appreciate low tech solutions to life, like sitting in the backyard drawing in my sketchbook while watching the birds drink from the fountain. I can safely say, I solve more problems sketching and watching nature than chasing my tail in the game of keeping up with the newest killer ap.
Age does change one's perspective.
I earned my masters in May, 1999...six years, but well worth the time and effort.
In September, 1999, I started a new job at the San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) as the Art and Technology Integration Teacher. I wrote the job description and it entailed teaching one art class, team-teaching with Melissa McKinstry in a modified/expanded version of WriteDesign, working with teachers individually to assist in integrating art and technology into their curriculum, assisting teachers in technology-based professional development, working with the SDJA marketing department on a multi-level campaign, creating the school logo, creating and maintaining the school's web presence, and probably a few other tasks.
In the midst of adjusting to my new job at SDJA, I continued my teacher education and in March 2000, after 13 years of teaching, I earned my CLAD (Crosscultural, Language, Academic Development) teaching credential. Ironically, as a person who never liked school and quit my junior year of college, I'm still continuing my education. Perhaps...
I am a lifelong learner.
After team teaching humanities and a few other classes, year four at SDJA put me back teaching art and promised to be even more exciting. It was.
Year five placed me in the art studio full time.
Year eight, 2007, opened the door to teaching AP Studio Art. We hit "the tipping point" with our arts program. A critical mass of interested and talented arts students. Fun.
Two weeks before school starting in the fall of 2007, Dr Davis, SDJA principal and close friend, said we were to have an art department. I told him to be careful. By the first week of school we had met several times; created a name, the Maimonides Arts Collective (MAC); a logo; and planned an integrated art show, Connections, for December 2007. The day after the show, Dr Davis informed me that he would find the funding to sponsor an arts after-school program. I did warn him.
When you make the most of what you have rather than worry about what you don't have, life offers some incredible opportunities.
What can I say, it's how my parents raised us.
It's in my genes.
My mother, at 95, is still changing lives which she has always done.
My father, who died 23 January 2003, had always been involved with cutting edge technology. See Tribute to Lew for a view at the man, his partner, and his legacy.
I have tried to follow, albeit at my own cadence, in their rather large footsteps.
I love design, communications, education, and the tools that make these passions possible.
Oh yeah, I like to ride bicycles too, at least I did until I came to realize I don't bounce well. Now I ride my bike on a track stand in my studio looking at the trees and canyon without worrying about the asphalt. I know it sounds whimpy, but it took me 50 years to fall in love and I value my love with Melissa more than my love of the road. We should all be whimps.