Friday, September 5, 2014

Hi, Editing Class.

My name is Greg Shaw.

I'm a non-traditional student (just turned 35) here at Weber State studying digital media with an emphasis on audio production.  Truth be told, I'm actually a returning student after an 11 year hiatus from university.  My first go at college ended rather horribly by being expelled for pretty much receiving the worst grades known to man.  Upon return I put an academic renewal into effect which cleared all of my failing grades, but I had to essentially start from ground zero again as I was only able to salvage nine usable credit hours from my previous attempt.  That being said, this time has been much better.  I've managed to maintain a reasonable GPA and should be a senior after this semester.  But it has definitely come with a price.  I quit my steady job, cashed in my 401k, drained my modest savings account, and have been taking student loans along the way.  Is it worth it?  Well, I have no other choice at this point but to believe that it is.

During the time I was away from college I worked as a youth counselor.  I started by working for private providers in behavioral facilities, and then later worked my way to the title of Counselor II for the State of Utah in secure facilities such as Decker Lake and Wasatch Youth Center.  These are basically treatment-oriented prison-type environments for long-term detained youth between the ages of 13 and 21.  It was pretty cool at first, but ultimately ended up wearing on me psychologically and physically to the point of absolutely hating every hour that I put in.  You see, in therapeutic environments a person sort of finds themselves in these states of introspection no matter what side of the fence you're on.  It just sneakily seeps into you.  One minute you're trying to help someone find a path of self and happiness in life, the next minute you may be struggling to take your own advice.  The upside is that I learned a lot about my own life, and my own self throughout that time. So when the time was right, I decided to take the proverbial plunge to see about following my own passion.

I am an audiophile, a rhythm junkie.  I've been a musician since I was nine.  Throughout every other endeavor in my life, it's always been there.  I've always played.  And now at this point, I don't think I'll ever be able to not play.  I began on the cello and played in school and various orchestras until I graduated high school.  During that time I also began playing bass guitar with anybody I could.  Something I've done ever since.  To this day, you can probably find me playing in some bar or somewhere on any given weekend.  And If I'm not playing, I'm running front of house sound downtown.  My first band was a Beatles cover band at the age of 14 with a guy who taught at the middle school I had gone to, and his sons. It was awesome.  After high school it didn't take me long to figure out that my musical preferences went way beyond what could be heard on the radio.  I fell in love with classic jazz, blues, R&B, soul music, and good hip-hop.  I listened to anything I could wrap my ears around.  To this day I still do, but those first years still feel monumental.  Beyond that, I started becoming really interested in the production of music.  Not only from a compositional standpoint but recording, editing and mixing techniques, live sound and front of house mixing.  Sounds.  Where they come from, where they go, where they fit.  The stereo field and frequencies.  Radio and broadcast is cool to me too, not necessarily the music played on mass corporate radio, but the function of.  I could ramble for a long time about it.  Yeah, I'm a total nerd that way.

So yeah, that's what I do and why I'm here.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on returning to school. I'm in the same boat as you, over 30 and filed for academic renewal. Went from academic probation to honors. Good luck with school dude.