It was the summer of 1986. The previous three years had been a whirlwind of ups, downs, triumphs, failures, rewards and many challenges. My life was now back on track after a life-changing spinal cord injury during a high school hockey game and I was ready to move on to the next chapter... college. I parked the flashy sports coupe, got a haircut and enrolled at Moorhead State University as a freshman Mass Communications major.
Although most of my youth was consumed with athletics, I was always a creative kid. I grew up enjoying music and found the art of creating a central part of me. Whether it was drawing pictures, painting, writing, playing the drums, learning electric guitar or singing, I loved creating things. When it came time to decide a life's path, an area of study, I knew it had to be Mass Communications.
I spent three years learning advertising, public relations, mass media and creative writing. I enjoyed all of it. Then I enrolled in Desktop Publishing, a senior elective course, and it changed my life. Professor Mark Strand was passionate about graphic design and recognized my potential. He introduced me to this new digital technology that was an amazing tool for typesetting, page layout and illustration: the Macintosh SE desktop computer with a nine-inch, monochromatic screen, floppy drive, 1MB of RAM…. and a mouse. It was a pivotal moment. I soon found out I could operate that mouse well with my limited-dexterity. My creative world door opened and I happily rolled through.