I am a child of the sun. I am a child of summer.
I usually start feeling the "blues" or "funk" sets in around the last few days of August.
Always have, since as long as I remember.
I wondered if it because my birthday is on August 13th?
No, it was the fact that I knew summer was coming to an end bringing with it a start to a new school year, daylight hours would be shorter, the crisp air and leaves of fall would give way to bitter winter and summer and the beach would be nine moths away. But something changed, and in recent years the end of August has become a time of excitement and renewal.
Well back in September 1993 my career and life changed forever. I began a new chapter in my life when I was offered to join the teaching faculty at Seneca College and the School of Communication Arts in Toronto. Yes, September 2013 marks my twentieth year as a professor in the Creative Advertising Department. I need to be a little cliche by stating the standard "It feels like only yesterday"... but truth be told, it feels like only yesterday. Honest.
One of my greatest mentors was Ken Coleman. A gruff, strong willed and passionate individual. I owe him much. He taught me well. He gave me the "adguy" handle that so many know me by. Not just the details of becoming an art director but how to be passionate and insatiable for the creative drive and curiosity. He also taught me the need for "paying forward". Ken recommended me when he was seeking a new faculty member with an advertising background and the rest is history.
There's another cliche that floats around but fits this post very well; "If you LOVE what you do you'll never work a day in your life". Yup, it's true. This has never been a 'job' or 'work'... it has been a wonderful and enjoyable ride. My students allow me to learn everyday and share in the joy of a business I so love.
So now I start year twenty... with greater passion and curiosity. In a couple weeks I'll take another group of young "AdLanders" to New York. I will start to work with a group of senior students a semester away from their career dreams. I can only hope that I can give them the tools that will let them find the 'what', 'how' and 'why' it will take to live those dreams.
HAPPY NEW YEAR AHEAD... Shana Tova Umetukah.
A final footnote to summer. The summer of 1976 marked me putting the wraps on my freshman year of
college and this song became my "theme". Los Angeles based
funk/soul/latino/R&B band WAR released "Summer". Timeless rhythms.
WAR - Summer