During this time period as a design exercise, I developed the plans seen here, intended to fit on standard lots and designed for shared living. They feature three fully independent suites, with separate entrances, kitchenettes and full baths as well as a shared living space.
I didn't have too many places to turn for help because I didn't want to tell my client I didn't know how to do this, and I basically worked by myself. So again, I turned to family for assistance and had my dad look at it with me.
I named my new company Paragon Drafting, because paragon means "model of excellence" or "a perfect example of a particular quality." I wanted people to know that my company would be the best!
Our plotter at the time was a pen plotter. It methodically drew every line in a particular pen weight (thickness) by shifting the paper up and down while the pen moved right to left. It actually drew each drawing like you would by hand. Then it would select another pen of a different thickness, and do it again. It took about an hour to do a single sheet.
The employee had been removing the gunk, just like I was. When he left for the day, everything was fine. But sometime in the night, Voelter had been called by a friend to let him know his building was smoking!
Over that summer, we were slow and didn't have enough work, so I spent a lot of time watching Jeff work. He was very fast and used mostly keyboard shortcuts, and I learned a lot. Later, when many people relied on buttons, I could speed past them in CAD using the shortcuts.
When I took the drafting class it was the first semester it had ever been offered in CAD or computer automated design. We had those computers with Windows 3.1 and 3.5" floppy disks that we would save our work to.
I worked hard on crafting a resume and then my mom drove me to the offices of the two firms. I nervously walked in, unannounced, and asked to meet the owners. Suprisingly, in both cases I was granted an audience, and in both cases I was offered a position for summer employment.
For me, it started with my mom. Really you could say it started with a car. Any car. I was 15 years old, and I wanted to be sure I had a car to drive when I turned 16.