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Think About What You’re Doing

Creator: Mickie McGraw (author)
Date: 1966
Publication: Toomey J Gazette
Source: Gazette International Networking Institute

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In June of this year I graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art and am now looking forward to a job at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital. The opportunity to actually attend classes was exciting, yet a little frightening, since all of my junior and senior high school education had been accomplished via tutors. In fact, at the time, if I considered too long the immensity of what I proposed to do, slight apprehension verged on near panic -- the problems involved seemed innumerable and impossible! But they weren't and the total experience has been vastly rewarding both professionally and personally. My own thoughts on these past six years are just now gaining some form -- perhaps a few may be of interest to someone going in a similar direction.


By the end of high school I had decided to become an artist (if it is possible to "become" such an amorphic entity) and had also decided to attend the C.I.A. As stated here this seems terribly simple and uninvolved and yet I really believe these initial decisions are among the most important, since your confidence in them more or less dictates another's confidence in you and thus the ultimate success of your endeavor. Since my formal art education had been sadly lacking, I attended the Institute part time for one year to prepare a portfolio which would gain me full-time acceptance by the school and in turn full tuition aid from the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation from which organization I received much support and to whom I am most grateful. I did not carry anything resembling a full load this first year, so I was introduced gently to those problems which somehow eventually, and almost gently, disappeared!


Telescoped into quick succession: I gained acceptance by the school. . .my case passed the exeptions -sic- committee of the B.V.R. and I was awarded full tuition for a four year diploma program. . .I learned the Munsell Color System. . .I found transportation to and from school. . .I learned distal cues and Focillon's theory and Van Gogh's brush stroke. . .I successfully oriented myself to the school's lavatory facilities. . .I went from figure drawing to fashion drawing, from photography to typography. . .I received a motorized wheelchair which really increased my independence. . .I went on a "toadstool' to the school's Masked Ball and a Greyhound bus to a Pittsburgh art show. . .I majored in Graphic Design and won a fifth year scholarship through which I was able to participate in an exciting new student program providing art services to welfare organizations of Cleveland; I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Printmaking.


A friend at school had a personal formula for creating order out of chaos and he frequently used it at times of mass confusion and frustration. The more I think about it, the more I realize the wisdom of his words: Think about what you're doing -- and do it!