At the time, I didn’t quite put it together and just chose the name for my fictitious subdivision CAD drawing because Geddy Lee is awesome, but then I realized that hell, one of Rush’s best songs is literally the thing I had just drawn.

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Anyway, this is probably one of the more enjoyable things I’m doing right now. Actually, I’ve always been fascinated by drafting and technical drawings. To me it was like magic. As a kid I remember reading through my brother’s auto mechanics textbook and being more interested in how the hell someone drew an engine and transmission to scale than how to take it apart and fix it. My only experience with drawing–as someone encouraged to be an “artistic” person–had been just drawing artsy things, and I was really terrible at that. I think in the fifth grade, a teacher had felt the need to tell my parents that I had zero artistic ability. At the time I don’t think I consciously thought much of it. Even then, I knew that assessing someone’s abilities at such an age was a dumb idea. Nobody would have guessed that I would pick up a guitar at 17 and work hard enough at it to be able to shred, play classical guitar, teach myself jazz theory, and all sorts of things usually reserved for people deemed to be meant for it at an early age.

That’s not to say I didn’t pick up any weird subconscious hangups from the experience, though. I think that must be why technical drawings seem like such a godly feat to me. The programming in my head, without me knowing, was that it was something that will always be way beyond my understanding. Magic.

Never mind that I had always liked to draw and continued to draw really shitty things for my own amusement and nothing more. Fast-forward to high school, when little technical schools try to recruit students near graduation. I spoke with someone from DeVry, and when they mentioned drafting, it piqued my interest . . . to the point where the sales rep took my name and continued to call my freakin’ house a few times, trying to get me into the school. I found excuses to blow it off.

Thirteen years later, I’m drawing subdivisions and naming them after Geddy Lee. The above drawing hasn’t been marked yet, but I think it’s not bad for a first subdivision, having had little time to really digest the material due to having to deal with a calculus exam at the same time.

 

So although sometimes I think I envy kids who had more push in any given direction, I also know the downside of making absolute statements to a kid about what you think their abilities are. Those opinions are completely worthless.

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