Sooo I'm taking graphic design college classes for fun----

Hello everyone! I’ve finally decided to sign up to the new forum.

Anyways. Here’s a funny little thing that happened.

So my job doesn’t have me designing much anymore. I mostly take meetings and come up with general ideas and give the work to one of the graphic designers we have. I do some freelance work, but it’s mostly programming and web development.

Since I’m not good at relaxing and like to stay busy at all times, I decided to sign up for a college Graphic design course just for kicks (I got my graphic design degree back in 2008). It’s one of the capstone courses meant to prepare designers for the ~real world~ by challenging them to find clients and do work for them.

In fact, I find the class incredibly unstructured. One assignment was literally “contact the director of a local non-profit organization and design a brochure for them”. Then we were supposed to give the NPO a printable copy of the print-ready brochure, then submit the assignment to the professor after it’s all said and done. I get what they’re doing in pushing kids to step outside of their comfort zone. But at that point, you’re basically freelancing for a grade rather than money.

So. I didn’t tell the professor that I’ve been working as a designer for 10+ years now. The program was one that I started a long time ago, but took a different course (you choose between portfolio/job prep, an internship and on other).

Yesterday I got an email from him saying that every semester, the department picks the work of a few students and enters it into a competition where professionals come from all over the country and critiques it, and it looks great on accomplishment sections of resume’s and stuff. And there are representatives from companies there offering jobs and scholarships (I guess for masters?). A girl last year one a full scholarship to study at some fancy art school in California. He said that he submitted my work to the department board, and they unanimously voted to submit my work.

So I immediately felt guilty. If there’s a limited number of spots available, some poor college student got booted out because I was bored and took a class for fun. So I sent the professor an email explaining everything, and saying that I have no intention of furthering my education in graphic design, and most likely wouldn’t list any rewards on my resume.

Not bragging that my work stands out from college student’s or anything, It all just feels kind of silly. Like if an NBA player signed up for a college basketball course and started winning scholarships and rewards. I’m interested to see what he says.

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I had a similar experience, so I know the weird, uncomfortable embarrassment of it all.

A few years ago, after about ten years of working experience as a designer, I headed back to school to get my MFA. My workplace paid for it, or I never would have done it. Sadly, it was sort of ridiculous in that I had far more practical experience than most of my professors who had spent their entire careers in academia.

Anyway, I was working as the design director at a metro daily newspaper at the time. When planning out my graduate curriculum one semester, I noticed the university’s Journalism College has an undergraduate course called basic newspaper design, so I decided to take it for fun and to get an easy elective credit.

The professor teaching the class really didn’t know much about design, but he knew more than the beginning journalism students in the class. Like you, I just sort of coasted through the class doing these goofy assignments. I just sort of hid in the back of the class taking it all in and trying to stay quiet.

The critiques were awful because, even after dumbing down my work, it was just sort of obvious that I was operating on a slightly different playing field from everyone else.

One day, the professor cornered me as I was sneaking out at the end of class. He said, “I wondered about you right from day one, and I’ve finally figured out who you are. I was reading the newspaper yesterday, and there your name was.”

From then on, each class got even more awkward because every time the professor would say something he wasn’t quite sure about, out of the corner of his eye, he would just sort of quickly glance over at me. Or he’d say something to the class, then hesitate and ask me if it was correct. It became downright uncomfortable for both of us. I always went out of my way to defer to him and complement him, but it was just sort of awful.

Let us know how your professor responds. I’m interested to know. :smile:

I guess it’s good that your work is better than student work. And they picked it. Would be a little embarrassing otherwise.

I’m curious why you took regular graphic design course instead of something that was a little outside of your skills to expand your skill set?

I’m thinking things like photography, drawing, calligraphy, typography design would be nice skills or extra areas of research that you can do as a designer that would improve your creativity.

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