BY JOSETTE MYERS
Last night, I went shopping in the pouring rain for a few things. When I got home, I was cold and wet, and crawled into my bed to watch a couple of online graphic design lessons. I got a free month of lessons with an offer and hey, why not.
I’m always taking little mini-classes to improve my mind in my quest for knowing All The Things. So I have this “graphic design diploma” I’m working on, and if one continues the sequence of the lessons, you can get an internationally-accredited certificate of some type. But for now, the little diploma gimmick is interesting and I am learning a lot. Mostly formalizing things that I am innately opinionated on with an educated explanation. This will help with the design things I am putting together at my day job — promotional materials and whatever else.
The guy that teaches the class has a cute Irish lilt (they are based in Dublin), and he’s mixing in a little humor and cautionary tales with his instruction to validate his points. At the end of the course, I’ll have that “dangerous thing” level of knowledge that I can carry over to my other work.
So I was huddled in bed watching Kevin hate on Comic Sans, the cats sprawled all over because they knew I wasn’t getting up. I did the revisions and the quiz, and I realized I’m learning graphic design from an Irish guy while I’m freezing to death under my down comforter — and I had one of those Kurt Vonnegut moments.
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is’.”― Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
I call them that because of the quote, and the quote reminds me of tendencies we have to take for granted the wonderfulness around us.
I can go to New York City and see the sights, or right in my own back yard with my own almost-quiet life. Autumn in my part of the country causes things to go dormant, plants go inward and so do I. The end of the year causes introspection in me.
The leaves falling, the clocks changing, and the end-of-year reports all mark the various ways that things are ending and beginning and slowing down and picking up.
A new year is coming, but first I notice this one ending and contemplate how nice it was. Even with the occasional problems, it wasn’t a bad little year.
I have these Vonnegut moments when I clean up my flower bed, cutting back the roses and remembering that this was a good year for them. I have a moment when I notice my end-of-year statistics at work, knowing what we accomplished in the community.
And I have a moment when I am taking a freebie online class from someone on another continent, while I’ve got a down comforter pulled up to my neck, my arms poking out to take a quiz.
Don’t use Comic Sans. Just don’t.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.
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