12 December 2004

bitter sweet endings and zen moving

it is official - I very much dislike the last day of class.... OK, that is not entirely true. On the one hand it is amazing - my drawing students put an incredible amount of effort into their final projects. All the love and care and hope and time that you are supposed to spend on artmaking was there for every one of them.... there wasn't a dud in the bunch. This makes me (and my TA) feel all warm and fuzzy and proud. We had a few minutes at the end of class and so I told them what a great class they had been and then the flood gates opened. They said such wonderful things and thanked me and I immediately got teary-eyed and had to fight the urge to flee.... the most complimentary moment came from one of the students that I wasn't sure I had really been able to reach. It was a consistant struggle for me to figure out how to get her to leave her comfort zone and get her to look outside of the "bay area figurative" box.... (this will sound like I'm tooting my own horn, so forgive me) she said that I was one of the most knowledgeable teachers she'd ever had, and that I pushed her to try such new things and that she was so happy with the results. If that doesn't put a smile on your educator face I don't know what will! After a few rounds of hugs and some promises to keep in touch I managed to escape before my masacara ran down my face.... I even got a gift of a LOVELY fly drawing (yes, a house-fly and YES it's lovely which seems like an oxymoron, but that is intentional and that's why it's so great) which I now have perched on my desk.

I also was asked to substitute for Katherine Sherwood's UCB beginning painting final critique. There is something so charming about beginning students. They often say things like: well this is my first painting class and I really wanted this to look like X but I don't know how to do that and I think I failed miserably. There are those that are just bursting with conceptual thoughts, those that have an innate natural talent that makes your heart melt and those that are defensive and scared but with some thought could really get somewhere.... \ some of the ones that are trying art even though they are MCB students "for real" are incredibly articulate and open and so much fun (this is why it is SO great to teach at a Liberal Arts college). Luckily I had met these students before (Katherine brought them to see the Emerge show) so I wasn't coming in totally cold. Critiques are mentally taxing and draining (I think I used up my allowance of adjectives) - but also important - and you can see and feel how crucial they are to the student too. They really work when not only do they take you as the teacher seriously, but also when the comments and thoughts of their peers are taken into account as well.... It's amazing to see minds at work.... (yes I think I'm really getting into this teaching thing... it's amazing how stimulating it is for my own mind and practice)

After driving down to Aptos 2 days in a row I am only convinced that I am not suited for any kind of commute. We were going to be good samaratins to D's mom and stepdad. they are moving to Santa Fe. they have A LOT of stuff. big lesson in the burden of possessions. (um yes, this is coming from a perpetual pack rat who loves to collect random crap - crap to you gold mine to me!) We inherited some lovely furniture a bunchs of potted plants and a big polar bear of a dog - this is temporary (I'm praying it's temporary. he's a great dog, but we've had 3 dogs before and 2 is immensely easier than 3). We are joking that this is the fat farm for him because he is 30-40 pounds overweight. He's a goofy lab that would eat 24-7 if he good. I have a sad feeling that for the next couple of months (until we can drive him to Santa Fe) I will be perpetually covered in a white haze of dog fur..... ;) note to self: moving is absolutely AWFUL - do it as little as possible. stop buying big things because they are harder to move. practice a zen like attitute toward possessions (well, I can try).

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