Tonight the kids and I attended RefreshColumbia, a web developer/designer group here in the famously hot capital city. This month’s meeting featured illustratodesignimatorist Charles Akins, AkinsTudio.com. The artwork and designs in the website portfolios were right up Trace’s alley. As parents, we try to be proactive in encouraging our kids to pursue their dreams, try things they like, find out more about prospective career paths. He enjoyed the presentation of verious Mad Magazine layouts and local print media, and I hope he takes a little of Akins’ energy and enthusiasm to maybe focus a little more clearly on this aspect of his art.
The meeting was in Swearingen Engineering, south of campus down Main Street. Construction of the facility was finished around the end of my own college career. I had one class there my senior year, if I remember correctly. The memory is fuzzy after two decades. As we walked around the first floor, both kids were looking into classes, labs, reading rooms. Cammi was a little more vocal – “wow… that’s cool… whoa, look at that”. They were both taking it in, and I was the proud geeky dad taking the along-for-the-ride tour with them.
When I was their age, middle school into high school, I remember being in awe on the USC campus. Especially in my sophomore and junior years, then some my senior year of high school, we had opportunities to use some of the facilities at USC for research. The Caroliniana Library had lot of interesting books and maps and artifacts. We learned how to navigate some of the underground floors/stacks at the Thomas Cooper Library. And we wandered back and forth across the Horseshoe just pretending we were college students.
And more than anything, I remember those times now for the interest and oomph it gave me to be a college student for real. So much of the time, our kids complain about homework and tests and going to school rather than sleeping in. But those trips to campus were kindling for a later desire to work hard, get a couple of scholarships, be accepted into the Honors College and graduate to a career, a family, a love for growing and learning… All of that, at least in some small part, was fed with fuel from a few of us geeky high school kids wandering and wondering through a big time college campus. And I hope some of that rubs off and sparks it again in the next generation.