Posts Tagged ‘ professional life ’


Yeah, I finally watched Into the Wild, and though I haven’t read the book and I think I might want to.  On second thought, maybe I won’t.  This is a great coming of age story about a kid who is fed up with society, or was it his parents?  Wasn’t he complaining about love too?  Okay it’s a movie about a bit of a cry baby who ran away from everything he knew in hopes of reaching some nirvana like realization.  My apologies should this reach any of the McCandless or any other friends and family of Christopher McCandless.  Truth is I see a lot of myself in Chris, but in fear of letting this post turn into a review I will stop here and get on with it.

In the movie, (I can’t speak on the actual memoir as I have not read it) he obviously displays a distaste for money and all things materialistic. I suppose its fits my demographic as a broke post-grad, but I can see how he felt that way.  It is sometimes peaceful to think of a time when we didn’t have savings accounts and stocks to watch while the nation reaches some insurmountable fiscal cliff looming over our existence as a reminder of how irresponsible we are with money.  Almost is if the cliff is taunting us saying “if your country cant manage its money what hopes do you have of ever doing so.”  Think of a time when the folds of your mattress was your bank bank account and anyone could tell you that the going price for a milk cow was just two chickens and five bales of hay, at least, as long as if you throw in your daughters hand in marriage to seal the deal.

The truth of the discussion where we say that people in simpler times had less to worry about, is that we are in fact being spoiled little pricks.  Sure they didn’t have quite as many appointments to keep track of as us but they were busy worrying about real problems like: getting enough wood to not freeze next winter, being robbed by bandits, or dying from this plague or that.  Besides, since money has been around since 2000BC is pretty much a good thing, you know things like, the wheel, and the alphabet and pet dogs.

Originally, money was a form of receipt, representing a store of food the community might share. This could be anything really; sea shells, bones, or pieces of jewelry.  The problem with this is that your currency loses all value outside of your sphere of influence.  It would be like trying to buy groceries with that holographic Charizard you saved from your Pokemon cards.  To a collector it is worth something but not to anyone outside the collector sphere.  Eventually people started digging up shiny rocks and trading them instead of those other fads like ivory beads, or Pokemon cards.

This led to coinage, where gold, silver, and copper were melted down and stamped for assurance of value.  There lies two problems with this.  First is that counter-fitting was easy as mixing gold with any old substance   Take some gold, mix it with bronze, lift the stamp, and make your own coin and -profit.  Second is that it relied on the three metals keeping the relative same price.   These days, precious metals change like Colorado weather, take a look

In response, paper money was introduced and soon you have fait money, which is what most modern countries deal with today.  Fait money is currency given value by the government who issues it.  Which is why paper money from WWII was stamped “HAWAII” so that if Japan took the islands from us we could void all the currency in Hawaii.  Think of it as insurance in case the Emperor tried to buy our supplies from us with our own money.

You have to think of Money like the tool that it is.  One to keep track of worth and to unify people by giving them something everyone want to trade with, not just Pokemon cards.  True it can be hard to scrounge up at times.  Yet like the apple seed, if you invest in it and give it the right attention you can profit from it as well.

Continuing Education

Ever come across something so totally inspiring you lose your frame of reference?  Say for example this one time I found myself in a cave of wonders and was so impressed with the riches inside that I nearly forgot to touch them would mean certain death…or was that Aladdin?

Okay so another time I came across this student reel for 3D animation and I had one of those moments.  I forgot what time it was, forgot about my phone for a an hour or so, even forgot about the water I had boiling for dinner and by the time I came back to the kitchen it had nearly boiled off and I gave up on dinner to research this new interest of mine.

The video itself was fun sure but what captured me was the credits.  Seeing how all that work was constructed and then seeing that a group of students did that in a year I was very impressed.  Now lets get something straight, I just paid handsomely to finish a 4 year degree and It’s not like I’m looking for some new school offer my money to.   In fact, anyone who knows me will tell you that I’ve never even thought about going back to school after getting my degree, but now I’m curious.  One thing led to another and I found myself on the 3D animation degree application page at at this so called Design Media School of New Zealand.

The requirements are as follows: a mere $30,000 for tuition, a flight to New Zealand,  and a portfolio and I’m on my way. Yadda yadda yadda, trivial costs…oh damn…I need to be able to draw.  This is when my frame of reference came back with one of those ugly sticks to beat some sense into me about the head and neck area.  It was at that point that I limped away from the computer and tried again to make some dinner but to little success.

The next day I found myself researching other schools, buying a sketch pad and looking up drawing tips on sites like this one

Turns out, even if you don’t go to the other side of the globe these graphic arts schools are big money, and the short programs assume you have had previous experience.  So after thinking things through I find that I am no more ready for art school than America is for four dollar gas prices.

You will notice that no where in my train of thought did I mention the possibility of getting a job with this education.  As a matter of fact, I for one do not think that should be among the first thing to be considered, rather one should do what makes the most happiness.

Yet,  I still learned something valuable in this ordeal.  I learned that I’m not ready to stop learning.  College isn’t for most folks, we have the whole rest of our lives left and the only garentee is that we will forget more of the things we already know.

So begins my journey. Art school may not be for me, but somewhere there is a place for me and I am determined to find it. So with that I dedicate this blog to finding the job, education, or whatever it is that makes me stronger, in hopes that what I find is also useful to you, the reader.

-Mark Ehler