COURTESY OF JACQUI THOMASSON
Useful life skills were a part of learning from a young age – no matter what was stereotypically masculine, feminine or otherwise. My brother and I were crawling underneath cars to drain the oil and taking tires off of bicycles to replace the innertubes for as far back as I can remember.
One time, in preparation for a camping trip to Yosemite National Park, I left with my dad late at night to fill the motorhome gas tank. The batteries that would surely not start the motorhome another time were for the motor. My dad explained how the coach batteries used to run the fridge were on a separate system from the motor batteries.
In the parking lot was a woman’s small car with a flat tire. I knew we had an air compressor, and the gas station’s machine wasn’t working. I convinced my dad to let me help fill this lady’s tire – we couldn’t move, but since we had the coach batteries, we would be able to fill it with air. He indulged my idea and in the darkness of a Walmart parking lot, approached her with the offer and she was on her way.
My dad’s and my shenanigans didn’t end there. Middle school summers were hallmarked by hours spent pulling tax returns well past the statute of limitations out of files and moving them to boxes for shredding. Fast forward to eight years later and I worked full time at his accounting firm. I put in place the system for processing tax returns that they still use today.
Working there showed me that accounting was not for me, but it did shine a light on my knack for managerial practices. Business management, or some variation of it, was the major I chose at all the universities I filled out applications for.
In addition to stealing a position at his accounting firm, I was grabbing ahold of my dad’s camera from a young age as well.
My dad’s main purpose for this camera was to take higher quality photos of youth sports games and family portraits while on vacation. Soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, you name it – he was cheering us on with his camera in hand.
When my dad’s DSLR camera was as big as my head, I would walk around with it in hand. Last year I tried to go back and collect photos of my dad and I, but after the switch to digital one of us was usually behind the lens. There’s very little evidence, aside from a variety of stories, that we were together.
Fast forward almost ten years and my first week at WSU I applied to work for The Daily Evergreen as a photojournalist. I fell in love with not only the people here but the newspaper itself – so much so that I added multimedia journalism as a second major.
At the basis of all this is the idea that my dad shaped my life in ways that, at the time, I could have never foreseen. Everyday interactions with him – that scared my mom, because we would of course find some way to get into trouble – led me to find not only the two majors fit for me but my dream career after college.
To my carpool dummy, partner-in-crime and the one who sometimes understands me best – happy Dad’s Weekend.