My belated introduction to the CDM class…

As is the case for most of my life, I have arrived a bit late to the Composing Digital Media party.   I have been going through a bit of a family crisis for the last few days, and because of that I didn’t really have the time or motivation to make a drawn out post about myself and my interests.  To the rest of the class, I apologize.  I figure that it is better to introduce myself later than never, so even if I do not get any credit for this post, I would still like you all to know me a bit better, and I look forward to getting to know all of you throughout the course.  That being said, I apologize in advance if this is a bit dreary.  I’m kind of in a bad mood.

So, where to start?  My journey to college has been a long a mostly boring affair to most on you on the outside, but to me it has been something of a spiritual journey to understanding and accepting myself for both my strengths and limitations.  I come from family that makes me feel as if I am a Chinese finger trap being pulled on violently from both sides.  On one side, I come from a very “traditional” Pittsburgh family: sons and daughters of millworkers who value hard work, hard playing, and being true to oneself more so than financial gains.  They ground me in a world that is becoming increasingly material, a world where the newest iPad or Hummer seem to be the only things that really matter nowadays.  The other finger pulling me to my limits is that of the new world aristocracy, a group of lawyers, engineers, and accountants who tell me that the only way to happiness in life is to go to school and get a similar job so that I may join their ranks and work myself to the bone so that I can make as much money as I possible before retiring and watching my offspring do the same.  This uneasy relationship has made me something of a nervous, indecisive wreck for the better part of my life, always struggling to reconcile what I know to be the path of what I want to do with the path of what I think will yield the most amount of money and, presumably, lead to a life free of hardship for both me and my future family.

At first, I decided to choose the path that seemed most natural to me.  For the first 3 or so years after high school, I dedicated myself to the art of playing drums, drawing comics, and writing poetry.  It worked for a while.  As a child, I had always envisioned myself growing up to be a famous musician, and I have immersed myself in the art of  playing the drums for the better part of the last 15 years or so.  While I have had varying degrees of success musically, it became more and more clear as I became older that becoming a profitable rock musician was not something that was easily attainable, even if you put in all the hard work that you could.  Sometimes luck plays just as big of a role, and in my case, luck just didn’t seem to be on my side.

So, after being mostly unsuccessful at attaining my dream of having people pay me copious amounts of money to do what I love for a living, I came to the hard realization that I must go back to college.  Being a person as scatterbrained as myself, I wanted to go for everything from music to business to art to journalism to air traffic controlling (?!?).  I eventually settled on Media and Communications because it sounded like something that might someday get me a job doing something other than waiting tables (which I have been plugging away at for the last 6 odd years).  It has been equal parts amazing and frustrating, but with each class I complete, that light at the end of the tunnel gets a little bit brighter, and the sense of accomplishment that I get from achieving my scholastic goals is just as good as any that I have had playing drums with my bands.

And because that all seems incredibly dreary (sorry, I’m quite exhausted from the aforementioned family crisis), here are a few pictures of the things that I hold dearest to me.  They keep me sane in a world that constantly threatens to rip me apart, much like that Chinese finger trap in the hands a person with very little patience and stupid-crazy finger strength.  I’m not a miserable person, I promise 🙂

My lovely girlfriend and I as the Wet Bandit this recent Halloween

My lovely girlfriend and I as the Wet Bandit this recent Halloween

Me in my element, playing drums with one of my bands

Me in my element, playing drums with one of my bands

My favorite non-human creatures on the planet, my pitbulls Dexy and Remy

My favorite non-human creatures on the planet, my pitbulls Dexy and Remy

...and finally, me with a gigantic Lego model of my hero, Chewbacca

…and finally, me with a gigantic Lego model of my hero, Chewbacca

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