My name is Colby James and I am a Senior at Danville School. In my Career Pathways course (Compass), I’ve been assigned to research a topic/career of my own choice. I’ve always had strong interests in music, along with the constant hip hop music I have blasting through my headphones, making Music Production an obvious choice of topic. I have researched the ins and outs of the Music Production industry, created a defining slideshow, and have completed several presentations pertaining to my project.
We have been assigned to 3 products, along with a poster, final presentation, and this blog post. The first 2 products have been powerpoint presentations, which I have already presented to my class. The next will also be a powerpoint, giving my total review of this career. In my last product, I will have decided whether or not Producing is realistic, and if this is the job for me. Throughout the products, I have also been comparing a music producer to a film producer, trying to see all of the similarities and differences between the two fields. With my findings, I have been able to establish that I would not like to produce movies, but being a director would be fun. While with music, I would love to produce, but making the beats themselves doesn’t appeal to me as much as performing and editing.
My current post-High school plans are to go into the vocational fields, with that either being construction or contracting and carpentry. This is a very different route than going to college for music, but is the ultimate goal. I very much enjoy building things, which is why I might enjoy making songs. I do believe that no matter what job I end up in, I will forever make music and play instruments; even if I’m the only fan of my work. This project however has opened my eyes to the complexity of a song, pertaining to all of the individual parts that make the sound. I will forever have a new perspective of this art, and have a new appreciation for it. I plan to present the fully completed project to my class before the end of this semester.
When I signed up for classes during the summer, I found Compass on the list of classes. I mainly joined because I didn’t see any other fun-looking options for the period, however as we progress through the class I’m beginning to really enjoy taking it. You get to choose any topic you want and learn all about it, even if it can be a lot of work. Ultimately, I chose to research about the career I plan to pursue, mechanical engineering. The reasoning behind this decision was so I would be able to learn everything I need to know, and get more familiar in the field before diving into college blind.
The class is also broken up into “products” which are basically just time zones for which you have to accomplish areas of your overarching goal. For example, my first product focused on researching the field. I learned as much as I could, from the high school requirements all the way to the point of having something you created sit in front of you. For this product I wrote 2 essays, as I’m using this class as an English credit, which means I have to use English skills in each of my products. The first was about the basics, like college requirements, licensing etc., however, the second essay was much more enjoyable, at least to me. I spent hours researching about the very start of an item all the way to the end. From the stages of a paper draft to a physical item. I think that the reason I enjoyed this so much is because it’s something that I can actually see myself doing in just a few years.
In Compass I have been creating a website on surfing and the history of the sport and the different types of competitions there are. I chose surfing because while living in the small surf town San Clemente everybody surfed and I started surfing when I was 8. Surfer Magazine called San Clemente the most talented surf town in America and I’ve surfed with professional surfers like Jett Shiling and Nikki van Dijk, so that was a cool experience living in San Clemente.
When people first started surfing they would just use a really big slab like piece of wood. Nowadays they use super lightweight materials, either fiberglass or epoxy over a foam to make surfboards, and there are all different types of fin variations people are experimenting with.
One special event in surfing is Wave of the Winter which is a free surfing event that runs from November to March and entrees get graded by four judges who choose the winner at the end. Andy Irons Who is nicknamed the People’s Champ won three consecutive world titles and was so close to winning a fourth until Kelly Slater beat him in the final event of the year, Andy’s younger brother Bruce Irons is also a professional surfer. The Irons brothers were so unique in their style of surfing that they didn’t care if they had the biggest sponsors or the newest equipment they just went out and got the biggest barrels and the biggest airs, they didn't worry if they were the flashiest just wanted the biggest waves and biggest tricks.
Next in my website I want to look more into surfboard making, and also famous surfers and how their career was so successful like Kelly Slater, Kolohe Andino, and Andy and Bruce Irons.