My First Quarter

After pulling a couple of ?finals week all-nighters?, I?ve now completed the first quarter of my Masters in Art Education at Southern Oregon University. Truly, despite the expected but nevertheless intense school work, a full-time job, the added concerns (actually terror) of medical issues with my eyes, along with an unexpected and very sick pup, this was the happiest and most fulfilling school term of my life.

I write these words with confidence and sincerity. If I chose one word to be a canopy for all of the experiences of this quarter, the word would be inspiration – from many sources and for many reasons.

First, I’m amazed and inspired by the never-ending natural beauty that surrounds me here in Oregon, including the gorgeous SOU campus. Creatively, it inspires me and makes my soul leap and brings a new level of joy I?ve never quite experienced. To have this world at my fingertips ?for my eyes to drink and my feet to touch and travel – is magic for me. Everyday, the wonder of this place unfolds before me like petals of a flower. To live, attend school and pursue my dream in such a beautiful place inspires me. It opens my heart and inspires my work. Creative thought emerges and blooms here.

This quarter, I was inspired by my teachers. Creating work in new venues of art and learning about teaching art from observing very fine instructors inspired. My teachers were not only skilled and gifted in teaching their subject matter but also in subtly bringing out the best in their students. I was very fortunate to launch this program with such excellent professors.

I?m inspired by the new possibilities I?ve seen for my own work, and what seems to be a new creative future and direction. I wrote about this in my Printmaking post on May 6th. Repeating myself – I?ve discovered a new creative world.

I?m very inspired by new possibilities for teaching my future students ? what I will teach and how I might teach – working with some methods I learned and observed from my professors this quarter.

I was inspired by the kindness and incredible talent of many of my fellow-students. I was in awe of much of the work done by classmates. Many were graduate students, certainly working at the level of true professionals, particularly in printmaking. Not only is their work amazing but their dedication, commitment and focus are rare.

One student, Sabrina, created work that mesmerized me. Her work reflected Asian themes ? very poetic and lyrical. Her artistry, craftsmanship, and skill, as well as the joy inherent in her work, were stunning. Even as a novice, I knew her labor-intensive copper plates were very special. And then there was Alisdair, a student from Scotland whose work was clearly created by the heart of a true artist. And, he was so kind, as were so many of the students in my classes.

Finally, I?m inspired to go on and forward into the next four quarters of this program. I look forward to going forward because for the first time in years – ?actually since my accident in Alabama – I have some hope for my future and what it could be.

Hope is what I lived by most of my life, until that accident. It was the star that guided me and kept me going forward through good and bad. But, I completely lost sight of that star for the last few years. I?m inspired because during these last three months? I saw it twinkle again.



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