Friday, August 18, 2006

All Grown Up

Over the past couple of weeks I have been trying to put together the curriculum for a Graphic Design class I will be teaching to 6th graders this year. I have spent an inordinate amount of time combing magazines for good advertisements, which I then arranged into packets for the eight "companies" that will soon be formed by my students.

Doing this took me right back to high school, where graphic design (then called electronic imaging) was one of my favorite classes, and I had some of my favorite ads plastered to my wall amidst dozens of pictures of my friends and me. One of my friends, Betsy, had every milk-mustache ad on the back of her bedroom door. We talked about ads, laughed at them, scoffed at them...all the while completely unaware that they were directed right at us.

I have tried to recapture this teenage mindset as I have chosen ads for my students. What ad would be cool or funny to a sixth grader? The more I look, the further removed I feel from that time. I realize I can't even remember when I stopped tearing out the ads I thought were good. And somewhere along the way, I even stopped looking at them.

So now that I'm looking over every one I come across, I've found that I'm in a whole new target audience. I make a phone call.

"Mom, do you realize how many magazines have coupons for free things?"

"Well, I'm sure you have to buy something first," she says.

"You don't! I am going to get a free fruit smoothie from Dunkin Donuts today, and later on I'm going to call for my free pair of lycra purchase necessary!"

Years ago, my question to myself would have been Where is the best place to hang this on my wall? Now my question is How many free things have I missed in magazines that have already been put on the curb for recycling?

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