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fun Mac rant

In my right mind

So I’ve been thinking about Daniel Pink’s article, “Revenge of the Right Brain“, over the past couple of days, and it’s amazing how much my own feelings toward a future career mirror his piece.
One would have to consult my parents as to when I may have first exhibited artistic sensibilities, but as I grew up, I was very fond of writing, drawing, and music. I was always doodling, tracing, sketching. Making up stories, or just bits of stories. In seventh grade, I started playing the clarinet in band, was quickly moved to the bass clarinet by Mr. Dawson, our fantastic teacher-director, and continued all the way through high school. I did not attempt to gain a music scholarship to LSU; I had a partial academic scholarship, and the Air Force wanted to pay the rest of my way, so long as I was willing to be an electrical engineer.
By the end of my freshman year, my Air Force scholarship was gone. My grades tanked, and they yanked it. I was not a party animal, I did not go hog-wild upon becoming a college student. I simply goofed off.
Looking back, maybe there was a subconscious effort on my part to sabotage my academic and future professional careers. I was a right-brain person, suddenly thrust in to a left-brain world. No longer burdened with studies related to engineering, I remained in Air Force ROTC, and switched majors: criminal justice. When LSU’s Criminal Justice department was terminated as a separate division the following year, swallowed by the larger Sociology department, I was forced to change majors again. Not particularly interested in a sociology degree, I opted instead for political science, a decidedly more right-brained course of study. I minored in history. I excelled in English classes, testing out of Freshman English 101, or whatever it’s technically called.
The large part of my professional career since college, however, once again led me in to left-brain land. I have been involved with computer technology, troubleshooting, and support, for over a dozen years. When I was laid off in October of 2003, I was both devastated and optimistic. My son was only two months old, and I was looking forward to spending a lot of time with him, which has been great. Perhaps this was the opportunity to move in to a new field as well.
I have not kept completely out of the right-brain sphere these past twelve years, however. I began volunteering as a copy editor with ATPM in the summer of 1998, and began writing the occasional review or opinion piece shorly thereafter. Today, I’m the Managing Editor, and quite happy to work with the fine staff of our little publication, all of whom do what they do because we enjoy the Macintosh platform. I also believe a goodly number of the staffers are like myself, and enjoy having this right-brain outlet, compared with the left-brain professions they may be involved with.
This blog, like its predecessor, is nothing more than an outlet for those right-brain skills yearning for exercise.
Which brings us back to Pink’s article, in which he hypothesizes that the coming “age” will be devoted to more right-brain activities, as opposed to where we currently are now, and have been, where more left-brain occupations have reigned supreme. I’m all for it. I feel as though I have a couple of books in me, and I love the editing thing. Just ask some of my online friends and acquaintances how many times I’ve annoyed them over misspellings and other grammatical gaffes on their blogs. Likewise, they are quick to point out my own brain burps, in large part because they know I care about such things. (Though with Lawson, I suspect it’s just out of spite.)
There is a part of me which has enjoyed my past dozen years in the tech field, and I would heartily welcome another job in that arena. Yet another part of me yearns for something different, something more right-brained, and this is reflected in some of my Monster search agents. In the mean time, I’ll concentrate on editing, writing, digital photography, and most of all, being a dad.