I often make New Year’s resolutions that (like everyone else) I do not keep, but I vowed that this year would be different….my resolution was not to exercise more (although I need to), or to read more books (I need to do that too). My New Year’s resolution was to be more tech savvy. This is very hard for me. Yes, I have an iPhone, I text, I email, I Instagram, I even use my iPad and I can download photos to my computer and other devices – but that is about the extent of it. My very good friend, Janet, is my Social Media Yoda, and has graciously given me tutorials on blogging and Twitter. It’s just that I happen to have a love/hate relationship with technology.
I went to Ryerson University, in Toronto, and got my degree in Interior Design – it seems like a thousand years ago! I have been lucky enough to be a working Interior Designer for almost 25 years. When I was in school, we learned everything that one needed to know about drafting. It was a skill, and I was very good at it. I loved the precision, the attention to detail, the crispness of the lines. For many years, I made my living doing working drawings so that large corporate spaces could be built. Drafting was an oddly creative outlet for me. It was perfect for my type “A” personality – neat, organized, and accurate. Great spaces and the furniture to fill those spaces would be built because of drawings that I had produced.
Then along came AutoCAD. Computer Aided Design. It was something that we had heard of during the four years at The School of Interior Design, but we had never seen it. It wasn’t even very prevalent in the design industry in the few years following my graduation. Then, I worked for companies that took our drawings and gave them to a draftsperson, and they generated the drawings for us. Then, I started my own company, specializing in Residential design, and didn’t have much use for AutoCAD. It was seen as something necessary if you were doing multi-layers in a particular project, usually commercial work. And seen as something that draftspeople or technicians were experts at. I thought AutoCAD was more of a technical skill, not a design skill that I would ever require. I actually even asked a Design colleague several years ago, if she ever used CAD, and she also told me that she never needed it. On the rare occasion that she did need a drawing, she paid someone to do it for her……so I didn’t think anything of it.
Fast forward to last year…..it seemed like every time that I turned around AutoCAD was becoming more mainstream, and it was Designers who were using it, and being required to use it, too. So, I made a decision – I would go back to school. I would become proficient in AutoCAD. So, I signed up for a certification course at George Brown College, and I am going to school now every Saturday to get my AutoCAD Certificate!
Let me tell you, it is hard! Hard to go back to school, hard to work on a PC when all I have ever known is a Mac, hard to remember everything! But I am enjoying it. I did well on my first assignment….15/15 Yay!
My first AutoCAD assignment!
It is not easy, but my teacher is very patient, and my classmates are very sweet. They have shown me how to turn off and on my computer, and how to save stuff (I’m sure it is not called stuff) onto my memory stick. Honestly, if you ever want to feel like a complete fossil, go and try something that your kids do all the time! Sometimes I feel old, although I am not even close to being the oldest in the class. Other times, I am so proud of myself for reaching outside my comfort zone. I feel clueless and brilliant at the same time! Especially when the teacher gives you a handout saying that AutoCAD is “tedious and time consuming”, and that one mistake can ruin EVERYTHING. How reassuring…
So why am I doing this?? It feels great to accomplish something difficult, something that you never in a million years ever thought that you could do. My brain is really working, and I actually feel empowered. When I have completed my certification, my new skills will be able to further benefit my clients, my contractors, and my trades.
And, it actually does feel great to stick to a New Year’s resolution.