The Path Not Taken

Louis Danziger

For the past week I’ve been cranky, very, very cranky. There was a guy at the locker below mine at the gym who was getting dressed slowly and staring at the wall while I waited to get into my locker. I restrained myself from slamming him against the wall. Driving home yesterday, a minivan with the stickers of the family cut me off twice before deciding to turn right from a left hand lane. I wanted to follow them and drag the driver from the car. And I seem to be getting the message that no good deed goes unpunished repeatedly. Clearly less coffee is in order. I am then reminded that some of my heroes are the most patient and compassionate people I know.

Most Mondays at Art Center, I see Lou Danziger working with a student in the Faculty Dining room. He is doing the same thing with patience and invaluable help that he did with me when I was in school. Back then, I thought, “That makes sense, I’ll try that.” Now I realize how fortunate I was to work with Lou. It seems that there are two courses that you can follow as a designer. You can become increasingly bitter and angry and deride younger designers, or you can give back, mentor others, and champion younger designers. Lou clearly chose to be a mentor. I’m at that fork in the road where I need to make that choice. Perhaps I will choose to be a good mentor to designers, but a serious a-hole to people on the street.