Friday, July 30, 2010

a preface of sorts

Back in April, around the time I wrote this post, Matt was looking into school alternatives on how to pursue 3D animation. He has been going part time to the community college the past year while we've figured out our next move, but we've never felt totally positive about the choice to pursue a 4 year degree. Yes, it works for a lot of people, but if you knew Matt, you'd know school was not his best friend. He does not learn the way I learn, and try as he might, he doesn't do well in a college classroom setting. Well, that's not totally true. He excels at all his art/animation classes, it's the other stuff that he can't really get into enough just for the grade.

Right now he works full time as a {very talented, might i add} graphic designer, and he did not go to school for it. He jumped in head first and worked his little tush off until he got to a place he'd like to be. Learning by doing. And it's worked brilliantly thus far, so we've been trying to see how to get him to his next goal, an animator, by this same philosophy.

So, he's been looking into schools, online programs, 18 month courses, anything that we could possibly consider for his next step. When suddenly a program in Seattle fit the bill. It's a 6 month full time program where you learn while working on a 3D animation video game. He talked to the teachers, he got packets, and we have been studying and praying and fasting and temple going and just plain asking the Lord if this is the right step for a few months now. This is not something we wanted to take lightly, and we really wanted confirmation that this was a wise next step.

You see, we've never spent more than 3 nights apart since we've been married. Yes, pre-marriage we did 2 years apart while he was serving a mission in Spain, but married and being apart is different. Anyone who has ever experienced this probably understands. And I can't go with him. If he goes to Seattle, it's to focus for 6 full months entirely on animation. He needs to be in it. Like Garden State in it if anyone knows what I'm talking about. Oh, and I also can't go with him because we have a house and a mortgage and a dog and my full time job that all need attention. I will happily take on the role of the sole breadwinner because one day I want to have a baby, and I'd like to stay home as much as possible with that cute baby, and Matt will just as happily take that role back when the time comes.

So we've been making pro/con lists ala Rory Gilmore and thinking of every possible question. Would it be worth it? From every lesson I've ever taught/been taught about Sacrifice means you give up something now for something better later. Is this a lesson on sacrifice that we're ready to learn? Can we manage on one income? Can we take out a substantial loan to pay for the program? Is it a good enough program? Will you get depressed if you live in a rainy city? Will I like Guido enough to take care of him all the time? Will my toes ever warm up without your toes in bed? Should I take on a second job? Can you still do freelance? What about internships or jobs after the program?

The questions just went on and on. And we felt good, but not peaceful.

So we decided to send Matt up to Seattle to check it out in person before we made a decision.

And that's where I'll leave you. Matt had quite the day in Seattle, and since he is down in southern Utah this weekend with his boys (the 16-17 year old boys of our ward) at what they are calling Zion Ninja Camp, he hasn't finished writing it yet.

But I'll tell you one thing, we got our answer.


  1. Carla, this is exCIting.

    I get "in it".

  2. Wow. I'm excited and scared for you. I get this on a lot of different levels. When I had to go home for those 7 weeks without Stuart I was pretty sure I was going to die or heartbreak. I thought I wouldn't sleep the whole time since I'd been sleeping with him for 6 years and I love that. It is survivable though... and I slept great those 7 weeks! haha!

    Also, I'm like Matt. I don't have the attention span for being tied down to a classroom. I'm a self taught graphic designer too but now I'm 7 months into an online degree - only a year to go!

    Whatever you feel is right, is right. Not easy but right. You'll both survive and be better for it.

    I lived in Seattle when I first came over here and loved it, it's not as rainy as everyone says. You'll need to go up there to visit, you'll love it too - if that is the choice you've made.

  3. oh wow. that sounds really exciting but also really hard.

    i don't think i could do it. i wish you the best!

  4. I am in a bit of a transition period in life and thinking of making a career change and one I'm very interested in is graphic design. I'm not sure if going to school for it is the correct direction I need to take or if being self taught might be the "easier" way to go. Thing is, I'm not even sure where to start, I just know I have an interest. Could you have Matt contact me with some insights on how he got started, what things he really focused on, programs he would recommend, and really any other advice he might have?

    emailtheroost {at} gmail {dot} com