I’m working this summer -in between school seasons- as a web designer, which is a job that forces you to sit all day and wiggle your hands around to make things. This posture isn’t ideal for me personally, I like to build things as well, I need a nice mix. This, actually, is one of the reasons why I could never do graphic arts for the rest of my life. I like it, sure, and I’ll continue to use those talents a lot, but I need more. I like the physics and engineering and building side too, which is why I’m going with industrial design.
It seems to me that there is this grand distinction in the world. You are either a brain or a brawn. A nerd or a jock. I’m not sure who decided this, but it seems like you have to be one or the other.
That, of course, is completely ridiculous.
But people continue to think it all the time. I think people assume Stephen Hawking must be brilliant simply because he can’t be a brawn. Like somehow the lack of one side must boost the other side or something. Or you look at Ahnold and think perhaps he must be unintelligent simply because his biceps are bigger than my torso.
As a funny anecdote: when I moved into my place in Calgary to attend SAIT my landlord, who is a kindly old Italian lady, was taken aback. Despite being a very academic environment it’s reputation to most seems to be a very blue collared trade school. I can understand her surprise, of course, I am nowhere near burly. I fit the designer stereotype quite neatly, actually. My legs are longer than my waist is around and my closet is nearly completely slim fit charcoal grey American Apparel shirts, which I tend to wear with vests. To respond I mentioned that I was taking mechanical design and sensing her confusion simplified with “taking computers” – “Ah!” she replies “because you’re delicate” the last word rolling off the tongue not with malice but with genuine observation as she gestures to my long, slim fingers and generally pale complexion. “Haha, yes, because I’m delicate” I reply, good natured. We all laugh.
But truly, although I am slight of frame, I’ve never shied away from manual labour. I may not be as strong as others or drive a monstrous truck (which seems to be the determining factor…?) but I truly do enjoy a good balance and will throw myself into whatever task needs doing. It’s a rewarding feeling to build something or finishing sodding a lawn or whatever. I think it’s healthy as a human to have some amount of that in your life. Good old fashioned work, I suppose you might say.
All that to say: designers, you spend too much time wiggling a piece of plastic around to make things. Make something real and enjoy being sore the next day. It’s good for you. You can be a brain and a brawn, and it will surprise people around you and women will flock to you. Added bonus.
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