Day 13 of the 500-words daily writing challenge
I’m exploring creative ways to communicate and educate. Why? Because our world has changed. Culture has changed. The way we talk to each other has changed. The way we teach others has changed.
And amazingly, it’s going to change even more within the next 5-10 years.
Just look back at the past decade
Look what the smartphone has done!
A supercomputer in the hands of almost everyone.
Look at Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon. If you were born in the 1970s like me, you’ve witnessed an evolution in society because of technology.
My dad’s gift: a technological appreciation—and direction
My dad had an old Texas Instruments calculator. He used to talk about how big computers used to be, filling entire rooms. He then pointed to the calculator to show how much computing power that little calculator had (and it was much bigger than my iPhone).
Later we got solar powered calculators that were packed with business statistics formulas. My dad was always amazed at the changes that took place in his life. He was born in the 1940s, so he had seen radical shifts in technology, politics, churches, and culture.
He setup his own recording studio in the 1980s, complete with soundproofing and reel-to-reel tapes.
Later, he was excited when he was able to print his own sales materials. Desktop publishing was revolutionary.
Then came digital editing of images, audio, and video. By that time, he mostly relied on me to create his ideas.
I’ve been immersed in technology since I was a kid. Thanks to my dad, I was set on a path to understand both technology and creative communication.
Onward from my dad’s gift
At some point, I started going a different way. I didn’t veer too far from the core teachings of my dad, but I did follow the path of technology farther than he did.
Through experiences at small town radio stations, I started to learn about the world of broadcasting. Later at Alabama Public Radio, my understanding of communication technologies began to grow exponentially.
I was going to college at the same time, studying communication from all angles: film, digital video, public speaking, television, documentary production, and telling stories with media.
An unexpected detour
I knew I wanted to pursue a seminary degree. That was not the unexpected part. What I didn’t realize when my wife and I moved to Texas was the drought of communication and media opportunities. I felt as if I was leaving behind everything I thought I was.
It took a few years, but I started to appreciate what I was learning in the field of Christian education. My concentration was in teaching, and I discovered principles of learning and teaching, and this broadened my horizons in unexpected ways.
Looking back, I realize that this, too, was one of my dad’s gifts to me. He had a certain philosophy of teaching that he gave me, one that I still treasure. I believe I have also gone farther in that direction than he did, but I still appreciate this additional path he set me on.
There and back again
Although we have remained in Texas, my path has led me back to communication and media.
I started doing media freelancing several years ago.
This includes voiceovers, audio editing, podcast consulting, and producing podcasts.
I don’t believe I would be here doing this and having this specific kind of influence had it not been for the gifts my dad gave me long before I understood what it was all about.
I only hope I can be as much of an influence on my own children as my dad was on me.