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I’ve lived in the Great State of Michigan since the day I was born all of those years ago. My residence itinerary reads pretty much like this: City, Rural, City, Rural. In general, I’ve decided that, for my tastes, living in the country and shopping in a city is a nice combination.

When I was a kid, I always liked to draw. (If only still I had all of those folded over notebook pages filled with crayon renditions of comic book characters.)

In high school, I took Art classes every year, and I did a comic page for the weekly school newspaper. I’m not sure how many “influences” I was ripping off, but I’m pretty sure that Howard the Duck and Vaughn Bode’s Cheech Wizard were part of the mix.

As much as I wanted to pursue an art career at the time, it didn’t seem very practical to my parents — which was an important factor since they were footing the bill. At the time, it seemed acceptable to go a different direction, since the art career path wasn’t the only one in which I was interested.

So, off to college, where my major was Pre-Law. Then Psychology. Then Pre-Med. Then I graduated with a double major in Biology and Psychology, with a minor in Political Science. However, no med school was interested in someone who hopped around majors so much, and who hadn’t ever worked in a hospital setting. I was unwilling, as others were, to go on to graduate programs in Physiology to prove myself. I’m funny that way — you don’t want me, I don’t want you.

I kind of sort of “fell into” a teaching experience (and had been an assistant in lab classes) so teaching seemed like an enjoyable route. This was the mid-eighties, when there were frequent worries about teacher shortages. Subsequently, I completed training for a Secondary Level Teaching Certificate

I found a position at a small private college preparatory school, where I taught American Government, American History, Biology, Economics, Sociology, Current Events, Mass Communications, and Comparative Religions. (No, I didn’t teach them all during the same year.)

I must not have been a complete embarrassment to the place, in that eventually I became the Principal, a position that I held for about eight years.

I had inherited the property where I grew up (here in Central Lower Michigan) and went to high school. My plan was to retire here someday, but it was just too irresistible to wait. However, it’s a hundred miles away from the school where I worked. I actually made the daily commute for over a year — when gas was somewhat less expensive than it currently is — and I was beginning to feel that it was time to do some things in my life that I had always wanted to do, i.e., pursue a visual arts career. (There are only so many times one can tell students to follow their dreams before it seeps in that one should try it oneself.)

So I raided my 401(k), paid the IRS penalties, and went back to school. Fortunately, there’s a community college near me that offers a great Graphic Design program.

This all might be a big mistake, but it’s not the biggest one I ever made! And, when the final day comes, at least I won’t have to regret that I never gave it a shot.

A Wee Bit Too Much About Me
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Charles H. Bryan