While breaking a hand scuppered Isaiah Martin’s senior rugby season last year, the accident may also have propelled him to top design graduate at EIT.
Isaiah is looking forward to graduating Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design on Friday (March 22). He says his extended family could fill an entire row in Napier’s Municipal Theatre, but it will be his proud parents, travelling from their home near Taihape, who claim the allocated seats to see their older son capped.
Isaiah will be the first member of his immediate family to graduate with a degree. However, younger brother Elijah, in his second year at EIT, is hard on his heels studying for his Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design.
Always keen on pursuing art, Isaiah took it as one of his subjects when he was a boarder at Napier Boys’ High School. The focus then, he says, was mainly on painting.
It was his first semester at EIT– when new degree students were encouraged to experiment with different media – that sparked his interest in graphic design.
“EIT’s ideaschool has good equipment, and there are all the new software programmes. You can do so much with them.”
Isaiah was supported in his studies with a Year 13 Study Grant paying the fees for his first year and a half at EIT.
A gifted sportsman as well as a talented artist, he was playing blind flanker for Napier Technical Old Boys premier team in about the fifth game of the season when another player landed awkwardly on his hand. Isaiah broke a bone in his wrist and, even more significantly, badly tore the joint controlling his index finger.
He had a metal plate inserted in his hand, which has given him back the ability to use a computer keyboard. But for a few weeks after the accident he couldn’t use the injured hand at all. With rugby ruled out for the rest of the season, he threw himself into his studies.
Flatting close to EIT, Isaiah was able to walk to campus and he continued beavering away on assignments after hours and at weekends.
“I was always in here after the accident and I think it did help a little bit in getting me the top design graduate award. The lecturers all say that anyway, although I was definitely surprised to get the award.”
Isaiah enjoyed studying for his degree. Taught by lecturers with extensive workplace experience, he says he and his classmates developed the wide range of skills needed to succeed as professional practitioners.
His plans now are to study for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching at EIT and, later on, to travel to Australia and Europe. More circumspect about his future in rugby, he says he will weigh up whether he plays again in 2014 – “but I may get back into golf”.