So, I withdrew from my classes. I spoke with Frank after this last class with him, after turning in the first assignment and completing our critiques. I told him I didn?t think I could do this. I apologized and wished I could stay. Then, I went home and cried so hard. I?d never wanted to do something so very much but felt, nevertheless, I wasn?t able to make it work.
The next day I went to work the lunch shift at Coyote Grill, an upscale restaurant in Kansas City. I should have been thankful to have a job there. I was. But, I had a different dream and Coyote Grill was not part of that picture. This particular Tuesday was a busy Tuesday. I rotated around my tables, as all waitresses do, and came to a new customer sitting in my section. My new customer was Frank Hamilton. My photography professor was at Coyote Grill for lunch! He was there for lunch, but he wasn?t.
?Hi Frank,? I said.
?Hi, Anne Marie,? Frank said. ?I?m sorry that you had to leave class. I think you have a great eye and a lot to offer. Your work, after just one assignment, is excellent. If you come back to class I will help you. I hope you can come back in the fall.?
Why did he care so much about me? Could he see the dream held in my heart? Why am I so important to him, I wondered?
I have learned, over the past 23 years, that this is Frank?s heart. He loves his students. He fights for them. He would lay down his life for them.
The summer passed by quickly. My resolve deepened. I had a fabulous opportunity come from out of the bright blue sky. I got a full-time freelance position at Hallmark Cards in their photography studio as a photo assistant. Despite my own bleak forecast, my dream was coming true, a little piece each day, each week.