The Luxury of Reflection: A Personal Journey of Learning and Transformation.
These were (almost in chronological order) physics research (on the job training), professional photography (self-taught), general systems and creative behavior research and practice (mentorships and self-taught), computer animation (mentorships and self-taught), teaching and educational administration (on the job and mentorships), and consulting (self-taught and experiential).
The easiest way to illustrate what followed is though a visual resume so you can see how these paths evolved. At the top are a selection of key positions and activities and the bottom illustrates relative involvement in each major discipline (plus cabinetry which I find a relaxing problem solving activity that keeps me “hands-on” and connected to the material rather than intellectual world).
My grammar school education in the late 1950s and early 60s - rigid, formal, specialized and which I enjoyed, taught me the fundamental principles of rote learning, sustained effort and good study habits and it provided an environment that resulted my early enthusiasm for physics and chemistry.
I left school at 18 and after a brief job in analytical chemistry (six months), I joined a small research team in a military university studying aspects of laser physics – then still in its infancy. There I learned elements of creative experimentation and problem-solving, engineering, electronics, close collaboration and the importance of a positive and supportive team environment. It was three years later, when I immigrated to Canada in 1965, that my life was to change radically and after another 18 months in physics research at a Canadian university, I transitioned through a passion for personal expression and the art of photography.
As you can see in the above visual resume, from the late 60’s I stopped a contiguous progression of specialties and that was a result of result of exposure to the ideas expressed in the theories of systems design, general systems, creativity and evolutionary modeling. After that I purposely overlapped my career interests so that when one matured I was already in the late formative stages of the next. Overlapping and interrelating aspects of learning and experience are cumulatively powerful because you can draw on multiple perspectives more easily when faced with new situations.
Did I say my path was unconventional? Even though I have worked and taught in formal institutions of higher education during the majority of my working life, I have no undergraduate degree and I have never studied with other students in a university class.