Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Am I an instructional designer?

I am about to print some business cards (you know, the do-it-yourself kind), and I am trying to figure out what titles to give myself. “Student” just doesn’t sound worthy of a business card. Maybe “PhD student,” but I am not officially in the PhD program, so it that lying? And if I’m going to stretch the truth a bit then I’m on that slippery slope that leads to falsified Microsoft certifications and the like. If I’m going to do that then I may as well photoshop my name on someone else’s diploma and be done with it!

So I’m back to nothing for a title. But I taught French and Computer Science in the public schools for seven years! Doesn’t that count for anything? Still, if I just wanted “Teacher” under my name I would have stayed at Redlands High School. So what else can I put on my Office Depot brand, premium matte, ivory business cards? I got a master’s in instructional technology while I was a school teacher. Does that make me an instructional designer? I don’t think so. I need job experience. Maybe I can get a $6/hour job at USU doing instructional design work to feel worthy of the title. Nah, I’d rather have extra time to go fly fishing. Besides, the one job I’ve had at USU only lasted a day…

I got one of those $6/hr computer jobs at the start of Fall semester because I felt guilty about not working. (In the past I have almost always worked at least part-time as a student.) That night I was at the used CD store and couldn’t bring myself to buy anything because I knew buying a $6 used CD represented an hour’s worth of work. So I quit my job the next day. I haven’t felt guilty about spending money ever since.

OK, time to make a decision. Here are my top three idea for my business card:

Tom Caswell
Instruction Designer Wannabe

Tom Caswell
Nearly-matriculated PhD Student

Tom Caswell
Unemployed by choice

Forget it. I’ll make business cards later.

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