Matthew House, senior communication major at Southwestern, designs his own college experience. Since childhood, he taught himself video production and graphic design skills. Now, he continues to study and prepare for life after graduation.
“To learn the creative side you have to do things yourself,” said House. “Classes are good for teaching theory, but you learn most of your actual skills doing stuff on your own.”
In his free time, House designs 3-D graphics and graphic design, creates digital paintings, directs short films and more. He’s also the yearbook graphic designer and recently designed a Southwestern shirt.
Wewoka Woods Adventist Center, a summer camp in Oklahoma, has been House’s home since he was 10 years old. As a homeschooler with an entire summer camp to explore, he had lots of room for creativity.
One day, House came across a nationwide video competition about healthy living. With a video recorder and no editing software, House put together a video. This was the first short film he ever made.
“The video had a totally awesome cardboard robot,” said House. “There were no computers, so it was all done on a video recorder. That was the only time I ever made anything that way. It was really annoying. The video ended up winning, and I never saw it again after that.”
As a Southwestern student, House still finds time to make videos with his friends. Here is a video he made during Spring, 2012.
“Making videos on my own really helped me,” says House. “Even though they’re just goofy videos that I’ve done for fun, I’ve gotten job offers from them, just because people don’t do that very much. It’s really paid off in the end.”
House also spends a lot of time hanging out with friends and family. On just one side of his family he has 50 first cousins. Quite a few of them attend Southwestern.
One time, he and a group of friends were walking near Pechero Hall. Bored, they decided to dance “gangnam style” beside the Southwestern sign and confuse passing cars.
“We didn’t think anyone saw us that we knew,” said House, “but when we came back Dean Iverson started making fun of us. So I guess we got busted. For a while he made fun of us and did the dance every time he saw us.”
House finds a benefit of Southwestern is its small size. One reason is that teachers can be more personal.
“I admire Trent Truman,” said House. “He teaches graphic design classes. Even though he’s not a full-time teacher, he takes his classes really seriously and tries to help his students. I also think Glen Robinson is a cool teacher. They’re both really understanding people. If you have a problem that’s a real problem, they’ll listen to you.”
Another reason House says that small is good, is that it opens up more opportunities. The communication department has professional quality equipment available for student use. He discovered that with a small classroom, there’s more equipment to go around.
House’s advice to freshmen is to be responsible for their own college experience. “Make sure you know what classes you need to graduate. Also, if there’s something you want to learn, don’t wait around for someone to teach you, ask for help or look it up online. Find a way to learn what you need to know.”