Teacher’s Pet

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for my art teacher Mrs. Schloerke. Going into my sophomore year of high school I had no clue what a graphic designer was, thanks to her guidance I was able to explore that avenue of art. I knew I wanted a creative field as a career path, but I wasn’t quite savvy enough to be any kind of ‘official’ artist. My drawings, although good for me, would never pay the bills.

A series of watercolored canvases I made for my friend for her 3rd grade class room.

A series of watercolored canvases I made for my friend for her 3rd grade class room.

My teacher started talking to me about graphic design. That year I went and job shadowed at a local design firm and fell in love. The following year I took our graphic design class and yearbook. Senior year I contracted a graphic design 2 class and was editor of the yearbook. I graduated and was accepted into the design school at the local university. After a brief panic attack during freshmen year I was accepted into the graphic design program. The rest, as they say is history.

Ever since she mentioned the existence of the job everything just fell into place. If she hadn’t have told me about it, I have no idea what I’d be doing today. Maybe following in her steps and teaching. That was an avenue I considered for many years. Luckily, since I’m terrible at spelling and should not be around the youths of America with it, she lead me here instead.


Don’t quote me

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

If you went to my high school in the last two decades odds are you know this quote “Be where you are suppose to be, when you are suppose to be there, doing what you are suppose to be doing“.

I will forever be linked by proxy to this quote because my father (the high school principal) used it every year in his opening speech. He told us that if we followed that simple directive we’d have no need to see him, ever. He went on to add that if we followed it in life we’d also save ourselves a lot of trouble, and if you think about it, it’s true.

Your wife sends you out to get milk because the baby will need some when he wakes. Now if you just go to the store right then and get the milk you’ll be prepared when the kid wakes up fifteen minutes early. However if you don’t do it, then you’ll have to deal with both the angry cries of a child and the death glare from your wife. I’m guessing that both are undesirable.

Or an in-school example. I was in class talking. Talking so much that with two minutes left in class my teacher still sent me to the office. If I would have just sat in class and took notes (which is what I should have done, silently) I wouldn’t have then had to sit in the office and chat with an upset father. I know that one is undesirable.

So if there is one quote that I consistently bear in mind it’s that one.

And at the stroke of midnight…[Daily Prompt]

I was somewhere I never would have imagined. I rang in the new year with quite a random group of people. I had planned to do something with my friend and her husband. However what we were going to do was up for debate. Would we hangout at my place or go to Des Moines and partake in one of the bigger parties?

We ended up going over to a guy’s house we had known in high school. Also in attendance were a couple buddies of mine from high school and college and the first guys wife. We rang in the New Year playing board and card games (even got my friend’s husband to play a couple games of cribbage). After the games were done we somehow got onto youtube and started watching lots of random stuff. That meant that at the stroke of midnight we were watching ‘Twilight: A Bad Lip Reading’. I’m not sure what that means for my new year, but I’m excited to find out! As we passed around the bottle of Moscato I couldn’t imagine planning a better way to bring in the New Year for myself, sometimes randomness works out, that’s certainly my MO.

Thanks DP for asking!

Nightmares exist outside of logic…[Daily Prompt]

“Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.” – Stephen King

Walking in a Burton-esque house my usual lack of grace makes me trip over thin air. Looking down I realize it’s difficult to distinguish the black and white tiles they are so covered in grime, much less search for something I would have stumbled over. There is an insistent hissing coming from behind me that only intensifies if my progress forwards slows. The noise, although threatening, isn’t aggressive. More of a corralling force rather than one about to pounce. The being only stops once I reach the end of the hallway and must choose the door to my left, right or center. To my left I hear the droning of my two high school math teachers, fearing proofs I quickly dismiss that door and focus instead on the other two. To my right is an immaculate door. Perfectly polished and clean. The detailing in the door would make a Louis XIV collector drool. However something about it seems off. Why would such a door be in a dingy old wreck that is this house? The unsettling force that overtakes me just looking at the door dismisses it from contention as well.

The creature behind me grows impatient and the hissing escalates to a menacing wheeze, I apparently have no other choice but to go forwards. Making my choice I grasp the handle, rush through and slam the door before the creature can follow. As it shuts I move to lock the door but hear it do so…from the other side. That’s when I feel it. The dank cold or a basement long-since forgotten. As much as I don’t want to, I can’t help but turn to the room. I’m filled with hope when my eyes zoom to a light source in the form of a light pole shining through a broken window. I can escape! Then I realize the truth. In between myself and freedom are hundreds of spiders (in thick webs). Worse, there are mounds of rags and debris that are quivering. Fearing rats I approach a pile and nudge it with my foot. Out pops a raccoon that instantly starts growling. Instinctively I raise my hands and start to back away. This seems to send out a beacon to other piles, for more raccoons start to emerge, stalking their prey. Not looking I back into a web and although my reflexes move to jump away the webbing is too strong. Frantically looking back and forth for some solution razor sharp pincers fill my vision. A spider as large as my hand comes down in mid air to float in front of my face. Foreboding fills me as my fate is sealed more and more with each passing moment. Beady eyes creep closer from the ground and the vibration of the web alerts me to visitors coming down from above. I close my eyes and scream as the first of many sharp teeth seek a new home in my flesh.

I’d like to say this one was fun, although that doesn’t seem like an appropriate sentiment. I’ve always been afraid of spiders, but the raccoon thing is newer. It was introduced as an adult and that makes it worse (I guess). No kidding a few weeks ago I had a nightmare where I was driving and these two baby raccoons jumped on my car. The weird thing was every time they dug into the car with their little claws I felt in on my skin. I still get the willies thinking about that unsettling dream. Meeko, you gave me a false sense of raccoons.


This seems a more appropriate rendition.

Letters to myself: Part 1 – 10 years ago

I am a terrible blogger. I neglect to look at other blogs (except those that are part of the League really), even the ones I subscribe to. That would be why I have yet to participate in any of the writing prompts put out by The Daily Post. However the other day I was actually looking at my reader and saw this prompt “Write a letter to your 14 year old self. Tomorrow write one to yourself in 20 years.” I’ve decided to tweak it just a bit. So a letter to myself 10 years ago and a letter/bucket list for myself in 20 years tomorrow (or sometime this week). Here goes nothing.

Dear Juvenile Jamie (sometimes I actually refer to myself as this),

First off congratulations on completing your first high school play! The Stuck Pot was a lot of laughs and if memory serves you had way too much fun sneezing water onto David Cox. How’s cooking going? The nutrition half of the class is now over, so I imagine you’ve upgraded to cooking vegetables by now.

I know geometry is a bit killer, and (spoiler alert) you’ll be grounded for the weekend due to your poor standing rather soon but it’s probably for the best. You’ll miss the snowball fight where Weber accidentally throws ice balls. Jamie will get hit in the eye, which is not good, so yeah, for the best. Also you’ll totally understand geometry…next year. (Kind of like how algebra is clicking for you now, a year late). On the actual good news front dad doesn’t make us take math senior year. I wont spoil anymore of it than I have, but you are going to love our schedule senior year.

Continue to take as many classes with Mrs. Schloerke as you can, they’ll lead you down the right path for a career. I should probably warn you about all the mistakes you will make/are making but we need to make them. I’m a firm believer in mistakes, or rather the learning experiences we go through contribute to who we become. Although we may not be rich and famous now I can tell you we’re happy, which is better. So make mistakes, be a bit of a fool, just don’t forget to try to learn something from absolutely everything.

What does the future hold for you? Well you’ll ‘end up’ not far from home (at least right now), although where you live would be unimaginable to who you are now. Those pesky school rivalries. You’ll rise to great heights (literally) and fall a lot. Seriously, watch out in PE at the end of this year. You’re going to have a beautiful fall that will land you in a cast. (Sorry, we are still clumsy) Don’t believe me? Just you wait.

Lets see, what else? Wow, you’re not driving yet, weird. Don’t worry, we’ll never really have to drive a manual. However the theory andthe action will finally click in your head. Just be patient. Also I know you don’t have a cell phone, but 10 years later you still don’t really use it a whole lot. Especially not compared to hipsters with their smart phones. Weird to think how you have no clue what a hipster is and wow George W. Bush is still in office (it’s election day here for me). As is our way this has turned into a ramble rather quickly. So I shall say farewell for now. Good luck at districts (don’t freak, just breath and you’ll be fine). It’ll be close but you and the team will squeak through, nerves are seriously evil. You’ll overcome them as a group though and be little rock stars (in your own heads at least).

Your future self