(part of the presentation as guest speaker for a symposium for teachers in the Gifted 
Student Program of the Koko Head school district of Honolulu, January 2005)

- in the life of Pygoya
January 15, 2004



     Suddenly I turned 59 and stare at 6-0.  This was as good a time to have a second mid-life crisis.  The first came when I turned 29 and stared down the big 3-0. I remember my generation declaring "don't trust anyone over 30!"  This new age, plus my eldest suddenly being counseled to take a special program at Punahou to do better in the SAT college entrance exam, became the two factors leading me to my dilemma of suddenly looking to the mainland for eventual relocation.  I asked myself the following mental questions and did the research.  I welcome you to take the my life's "pop quiz" along with me. The exercise not only demonstrates how identified attributes of "giftedness" continue to be active after the years of formal education.  Such a dissected out personality classification, for the sake of educational tracking and supplementation beyond standard public school curriculum, continue to perplex one's life past graduation.



    Before I present your fun examination, it would be helpful to keep these attributes in mind.  Remember, teachers should understand giftedness as life long, for better or for worse, as it affects the life of the individual.  If one cannot handle it, it can be an affliction which some later in life cannot cope with and succumb under its burden.  I know of a brilliant physician who became a mental case and a young Ph.D. that committed suicide.  Van Gogh cut off his ear and many rock stars OD.

    Professional evaluators look for these habits and traits:  above average in fluency, flexibility, persistence, high energy, hard worker, independent thinker, strong self confidence, imagination, creativity, innovative problem solving, time management, resilience, risk taking, and awareness of the complexity of decision-making in real life situations, action oriented.





1. Hawaii students can choose a mainland university for

    a. learning self sufficiency and independence
    b. improving one's spoken English, getting rid of residual Pidgin and local accent
    c. select broadly by region before looking at local schools, such as West Coast, East Coast,
        Midwest, and the South
    d. all of the above



2.  A Hawaii student would select from the Pacific coast for

     a. shortest, most economic fares back to Hawaii during holidays
     b. encountering more locals abroad
     c. surf the Pacific (but in a wet suit)
     d. universities among the best in the USA
     e. all of the above


3.  The most affordable off campus housing is in

     a. San Francisco
     b. Seattle
     c. Los Angeles
     d. Eugene



4.  The most affordable real estate, to claim in-state residency as a student with a mailing address and property ownership off campus, is in

     a. California
     b. Oregon
     c. Washington state
     d. New York City
     e. Chicago Loop



5.  In the Northwest, the most value for the money in regards to residential property is

     a. Seattle
     b. Portland
     c. Eugene
     d. Cottage Grove



6.  Which of the following distinguished schools has the lowest tuition?

     a. Stanford University
     b. USC
     c. UC Berkeley|
     d. University of Oregon
     e. Univeristy of the Pacific
     f. University of Washington



7.  Which area is most green/treed like Hawaii?

     a. Los Angeles
     b. San Francisco
     c. Eugene
     d. Seattle (inner city)
     e. Las Vegas



8.  Where would an artist-father best be influential in the arts ("big fish in a small pond) and have the lowest cost of living as compared to Hawaii?

      a. Los Angeles
      b. Chicago
      c. Portland
      d. Eugene
      e. San Francisco
      f.  Boston


9.  Where is there still available and affordable downtown commercial property?

      a. Eugene
      b. New York City
      c. Seattle
      d. Cottage Grove
      e. San Francisco
      f. Portland
      d. Dallas



10. How could a dentist, in full time Honolulu dental practice, with 3 teenagers not yet in college, manage time to commit to an arts business on the mainland?

      a. Work 6 days a week
      b. Find an associate dentist to cover his practice when he is on  the mainland several times a   month
      c. Find a part time dental position close to the arts property
      d. Find reliable artist partner to manage the arts property
      e. Find a reliable renting tenant for upstairs of gallery to help cover monthly mortgage
      f.  Learn to sleep on the flights between Honolulu and the Pacific Coast
      g.  All of the above



11.  Which carries the most financial and managerial risks to establish and financially break even?

      a.  Building (8,000 sq. ft.)- establish Cottage Grove Art Museum & Cafe/Gallery with volunteer artists
      b.  Building (8,000 sq. ft.)- establish Internet Art Museum (with Pygoya Gallery & International Webists Gallery) with paid staff
      c.  Residential Victorian House - zoned commercial, with upstairs bedrooms as artist studio and downstairs as retail gallery
      d.  Join local arts association and pay dues for exhibiting in group shows
      e.  Rent gallery space in downtown Eugene
      f.  Build a web site and try to sell art online



12. Which promotes and accelerates the artist's career and professional image the most?

      a. own inner city downtown art gallery 
      b. own downstairs gallery in one's residence
      c. identify self as community artist, establish local arts center and exhibit one's own art with other locals' works
      d. house all one's works in large building and title it as "(Artist's Name)-Art Museum" with world visible Web site, "(artist's name)_ Art_Museum.com"
      e. stay in Honolulu and try and sell digital art on the Zoo fence
      f. stay in Honolulu and try to sell work hung in restaurants on commission basis



13.  Which facilitates saving tuition on the mainland for a local student and provides transition towards relocation on the mainland and retirement from health professional private practice in Honolulu?

       a. get an Oregon dental license
       b. buy residential property at today's value (relative to LA, SF, Seattle, Portland) price (appreciating 7% each past 3 years in Eugene) and at less than 6% mortgage interest rate for a "vacation/2nd home"
       c. network with Oregon artists and dentists and provide mutual help
       d. find a part-time dental position in Oregon
       e. start commuting back and forth to create income and record of paying Oregon state taxes, another requirement for qualifying as in-state student with the much cheaper tuition at University of Oregon (2004: $8000 resident vs. $19,000 out-of-state)
       f. acquire building, build new Web site to promote location globally to attract tourist foot traffic into the building, the town; display online the brick n' mortar art collection (especially one's own works)
       g. pick a university that all 3 children have a good chance of being accepted into (not Harvard)
       h. continue to train for marathons to keep cardiovascular system strong
       i. all of the above



14. Why continue to work full time in private practice for a few more years?

      a. to qualify for more mortgage through uninterrupted good income; money leveraged into assets that can appreciate over the long term
      b. children still in 8th, 9th, and 11th grade
      c. all at expensive private schools
      d. carrying several mortgages already
      e. keep building retirement nest egg tied to working income per IRS law
      f. continue building inventory of artwork 
      g. for the continued personal satisfaction of treating dental patients
      h. all of the above


15. To work full time in Honolulu dental practice, fly back and forth to establish art museum and gallery in Oregon, and keep one's health and sanity, which of the following are necessary?

      a. persistence, tenacity, commitment to one's dreams
      b. sensitivity to family's needs 
      c. hard work, 7 days a week including planning
      d.. leadership, networking, financial and managerial controls
      e. marketing, vision, community assistance and participation
      f. exercise, diet, adequate sleep, resistance against contagious enclosed air on jets during long flights overseas on a regular basis
      g. luck, managing risks
      h. working on relationships - wife, kids, employer dentist, artists, media, government, internet, staff
      i. all of the above



16.  What is the option to the more risky and stressful options for change present in the above questions?

      a. stay put, no purchase of property and acquisition of more debt 
      b. keep working, until all graduate from mainland colleges, pay out-of-state tuition for 3
      c. to do b., work full time as Honolulu dentist till 70
      d. start retirement and transition to full time artist after 70
      e. have nagging doubts whether could have made it big time as a contemporary digital artist elsewhere from this unsupportive cultural environment for digital art
      f. die unknown and unappreciated, relegating artwork to garage sales
      g. be financially secure and thus make wife happy
      h. quit art, take up golf
      i.  all of the above



17. What can happen to the value of a downtown building in a downtown Oregon town?

      a. it drops in price with a faltering economy
      b. it drops in price without continued maintenance 
      c. it raises in price due to improved economy, increase in population of retired Californians relocating and with discretionary income
      d. reduce to nothing with a major flood or earthquake
      e. it goes up a million or more dollars sitting on prime retail space a couple generations from now (example- downtown Honolulu)

Answers - if you get them all right, you qualify for a free art print or a free dental check up!


     In summary, there's no easy answers in life, especially if one lives a double life with multiple talents.  There is always temptation to diverge from a chosen path, measuring risks versus rewards, comparing desirability of goals at the end of each destination.  As life gets more complicated by spouse and family needs, it becomes even more difficult to "follow one's dreams" which may not be as financially rewarding as one's day job that have and can continue to provide financial security for all in support.  But as "life is short,"  and when one is open to opportunity that can accelerate the process in "making it" in a creative field, the temptation is there to make a leap of faith.  There can be heavy pressure not to do so by those others that would be affected, but less inclined to gambling the breadwinner's career and financial safety net away.  In the end it comes down to guts, trusting in God, bearing down to survive a risky transformative period and make the successful transition, all to elevate one's game to a higher level at a latter stage of life.  Too not jump is not personal disaster and staying put has it's awards (continuity, financial security, continued local style living in paradise, habitual normalcy and comfort zone). I could live with that decision.  But the grass may indeed be greener on the other side of the fence and worth the risk of attempting the major life shift - not just for the self but for the whole family's group actualization.