the view at 65 is worth it

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Elevator Presentation

My friend said, “give me an elevator presentation of where you’re at.” I said, “one course finished, the next one starts in a week, plus my proposed independent study has turned into two courses and both have been accepted.” He said, “phew! That’s a plate full.” I said, “Indubitably.” Which by the time we reached the metaphoric next floor, had grown into a huge awareness. I said, “my next four months will be booked solid.” It means putting studio time on hold, for now. But, I knew that would happen. In fact, all this “back-to-school-at-65” stuff is really like one giant canvas to me, in or out of the studio. Perhaps that’s a better view of life ( one large canvas ) than just the accumulation of major and minor incidents subject to the nods of approval of society. I can only imagine what the canvas will look like once I get to the top floor.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Summer Elective Sunset

At last. The sun set on my summer elective course called "Digital Tribes." Another course completed. It's a challenge doing the whole thing online with discussions, readings, research, and writing essays. No comparison to actual classroom settings. In fact, the hardest part was staying motivated to participate online because texting, or typed discussions, is about as "technically advanced" as smoke signals.
The hot humid spells we've been having haven't helped either. But, not to complain about the weather. It has otherwise been a spectacular summer, except for the smoke from forest fires that keeps drifting from the mainland in our direction. I'm already looking forward to May 2011, for the next Spring Institute, live in Edmonton. I've got about 2 weeks before the next major course starts - "Exploring Critical Thinking."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dealing with the stress of it all

Sometimes things overwhelm me. Having taken up the challenge to go back to school did not prepare me for a mind that won’t shut off. I’m thinking 24/7 about essays, online discussions, research, and the long range goals of graduate studies, not the least of which is the culmination of all work into a final Project Portfolio. In addition there are of course all the other daily matters of life and relationships. My studio is clamoring for me to spend some more time there. In fact, it can all get downright stressful. How to deal with the stress of it all? Do something beautiful. It’s not what stress does to you. It’s what you do to stress. Doing something beautiful, such as spending time on a detailed realistic silverpoint drawing instead of my abstract art, is an antidote to stress. You may not draw, but I am confident there’s something beautiful you can do. Go and do it. When stress builds up, deal it a hand of beauty. It really works.

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