Sunday, July 17, 2011

Milestone or Achievement

The other night Ammon and I went for a drive. We ended up stopping by to see one of his school aides, Kathy Kelsey and her husband Ken.  Kathy and Ammon both seemed to be very happy to see each other. The Kelsey's live in Benjamin and know Stephen and Julie and their family very well.  They have a daughter that has Spina Bifida as well so Kathy understands Ammons needs very well.

Ammon asked us yesterday if milestone and achievement were the same thing. We discussed it for a while. No matter whether they are different or not, he just achieved a milestone in his life. He is now feeding himself through his g-tube.  I taught him how to carefully pour the milk and he did it without a single spill the first time.  It was shocking to see how carefully but quickly he could do it. I found myself wondering why we've been waiting for so long to try this. I decided to put his milk in a small measuring cup rather than the large picther Jim and I use so that Ammon could handle it better.  He is so proud of himself!  He has fed himself every single time but once which was early this morning while he was still pretty much asleep.
This afternoon he even figured out how to get the g-tube unhooked which is no small task.  He clips it shut and does the whole thing.  What a milestone in his life!
What an achievement.  This is a pretty awesome event in his life and ours.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

BYU Center for Animation

Ammon was invited to go to the BYU Center for Animation. On Wednesday nights they all get together and discuss the progress that was made during the week. They pull up the projects they are working on and discuss how to improve it or decide if they are ready to move on to the next step. It was a very fascinating experience. We had no idea it was so labor intensive. It takes a major movie studio about 5 years to complete a full-length animated movie and that's with hundreds of people working on it.  It takes BYU a year and a half to complete their short stories. They only have 75 students in the major and yet they successfully compete against schools that have over 2,000 students as majors. Last year Pixar had 91 openings for internships and 10,000 applications. Nine of the internships went to BYU students. Some of the schools charge $50,000.00 a year in tuition. It is truly a miracle what this little, fairly new department at BYU has accomplished.
All four of their movies have won either Student Emmy or Student Academy Awards. They have been shown at Sundance and the Cannes Film Festival. BYU is raising eyebrows in the movie industry.
In fact, one of the movies they are currently working on has excited Dreamworks so much they have offered to mentor the students via live conference calls during their weekly reports. The director, Brent Adams, says he is worried that they will try to get the students to do what Dreamworks wants and not what the students want. This is all about student work with a little mentoring.

Crabtree Building where the department is housed.

Ammon watching Emily as she works on lighting for their next movie.
More students working on various stages of the project in the lab.
The pictures below are the ones we saw with their next movie called "Butchered Meat" about a starving, skinny guy that could get $25.00 if he could stay in the ring for three rounds against this big, fat boxer. It has a surprising ending that works so well with the moral fiber at BYU. It's an absolutely amazing little story.
Ammon waiting for the movie and discussion to begin.
Pictures and illustrations of various projects are all over the walls.
This is the very kind man that invited us to come visit. His name is Brent Adams. He was an architectural designer in SLC when he began commuting to BYU to teach a few classes. He got so caught up in the bug of design and teaching that he left that job and began teaching full time at BYU.  (Sorry the picture is so dark. The camera died just as this shot was taken.)