What’s yours? Check out this one from one of our very own Public Awarness Representatives:
I got involved in NJASLA for a number of reasons, but one that drives me to advance the role and visibility of our profession involves an old friend, college roommate and landscape architecture student. My dear friend always sprang to my defense whenever I was maligned by dilettante teachers, truculent coworkers and even his wife. He did this selflessly, seeking nothing from me in return. He was a quiet, happy person with a natural bent toward environmental stewardship and thoughtful design, but no flair for graphic presentations. That is an “issue”, in school and elsewhere in our profession. “Visualization” is often a vital tool for attracting work and respect. His passion for the profession was not enough to overcome this problem and there were no computer applications to assist him “Back in the Day”.
Unfortunately, that failing and our roller coaster economy ruined his LA career and the profession lost a potential great mind. He retreated to another honorable profession, becoming a firefighter, rising to an Assistant Fire Chief in an urban city. Whenever we visited, the conversation quickly turned to my recent work and we would go on for hours into the night, much to his wife’s chagrin.
It was about six months since my last contact with him, when I was shocked by his obituary in the news. He had quickly succumbed to a cancer at the age of 45, leaving wife and two young children. On site visits, walks through the woods, and at the drafting table his words often come to me, bringing inspiration and compassion into my work and life.
So, in many ways, my support of the profession in its widest scope, and especially emerging professionals, has been a tribute to my memory of a great friend’s unrealized potential and my realization that, while I am good at my profession, I am extremely fortunate to be able to practice and make a living from it.
Public Awareness Representative
New Jersey Chapter