Linda Kirkendall Busch attended Northwest Technical College from 1973 to 1975 and returned later to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming an artist. Linda shared her inspirational story with us.
I graduated from North Central High School in Pioneer, Ohio, in 1973. I attended Northwest Technical College from fall of 1973 to spring of 1975, graduating with a 2.7 GPA (I really didn’t apply myself at that age) and an associate degree in applied business, majoring in retail management. I started out in computer science, learning RPG computing, and Cobalt programming language. I didn’t make it to Fortran programming. We learned to program the main frame computer that took up a whole room by itself. We typed on computer cards and then sorted them. We ran them through the computer, only to have them get stuck if we typed in the wrong command. I just didn’t have the patience for this. I then changed majors for the second year. I had a retail job at the time and decided to use that as a major. I didn’t really make out too well with my course choices. I didn’t know what I wanted to do that was best for me. I ended up meeting my husband at Northwest Technical College instead.
In 2009, I had worked for Bunting Bearings for 20 years in the offices, when I was laid off, along with twenty other employees. I mourned this loss for three days, not knowing what I was going to do. At 54 years old, and a shortage in jobs, I couldn’t see a future for myself. My work was my life after my three boys were all out on their own.
I cried everyday for those three days. On the third day, I prayed for God to help me. I asked Him what I should do with my life from then on. He answered me, loud and clear! He told me that I knew what to do. He said that He had given me the gift of art a long time ago, and that I had never used and developed it over the years. Therefore, He said that I was to go back to school and learn how to use it. He said that after I was done, He has a plan for me.
I had dreamed of going to art school since I was 8 years old. I had been making some art on the computer off and on for a few years. So I went to Northwest State Community College to enroll right away, no questions asked. I enrolled in visual communications as a way to learn the computer art. Luckily, enough credits transferred to this second go-round in college that I could skip ten classes required by the program.
I surprised myself by getting a 3.94 GPA in seven classes the first semester. I made the Dean’s List twice, which shocked me. I loved my classes at NSCC. The one course that really made the difference for me was the beginning drawing.
I had been drawing since I was four years old. In grade school, I was the class artist, drawing projects for the teacher while the other students colored and decorated what I drew. In third grade, I drew a life-size nativity scene from a small picture in the teacher’s book. The other kids colored it with colored tissue paper. The teacher then put a backing on it and stood the scene outside her classroom for several years after that.
While in beginning drawing at NSCC, I was drawing a large picture project, “A Barn in Winter,” with charcoal and white charcoal, I realized what it was that God was actually telling me to do. I stood up in class and yelled, “I know who I am now!” Mary Ann, the teacher, yelled back, “My lightbulb!” She said that every now and then, she would have a student who discovered their true talents suddenly. She always called them her “lightbulb.” She would then introduce me to people as her “lightbulb.”
At the December art show, I actually sold that charcoal drawing to a lady from Archbold who had lost her husband earlier. He had been an artist and used their barn as his studio. My “Barn in Winter” reminded her of that barn and him.
I took beginning painting the following year. Having discovered my true calling at NSCC, I knew immediately that God intended that I expand my learning and transfer to Bowling Green State University. I ended my studies at NSCC in December 2010. But couldn’t actually graduate until May 2011. I graduated with an associate degree in business management, majoring in visual communications.
I was already taking classes at BGSU when I graduated from NSCC. I was surprised at just how many of my Northwest credits transferred to BGSU and allowed me to only go for three years. I needed to pass an ‘art portfolio review’ to get into the bachelor of fine arts program. I passed with flying colors, thanks to the artwork that I was able to create in Mary Ann’s classes.
I was able to live my dream since 8 years old and went to art school. I even was able to be on the Dean’s list twice, with one semester having a 4.0 GPA. I graduated from BGSU in December 2013, with a bachelor of fine arts degree in 2D art, majoring in painting and drawing, at age 59. I was the oldest in my class IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LIVE YOUR DREAMS!
God led me back to Northwest State Community College to begin my new life. If it weren’t for how NSCC has expanded it’s curriculum, I wouldn’t have been able to live my dream. I will always thank my Lord God for His Plan for my life, and NSCC for being there so I could make God’s Plan for my life come true. Thank you so much!