Every tear spring comes and i am exhausted and sad. Losing my seniors is like being left at the alter. Heartbroken and lonely I pack my bags, clean up my office, and head into the woods to hike and make art. My mentor and teacher from RISD told me that his best dyas teaching were at the beginning of his career and and the end of his career. When you are a new professor you are you and fresh introducing new ideas and moving 100 mph. At 67 i only bring a certain amount of wisdom to the classroom. I know what works and what I should be teaching. I came to the conclusion that the more work you make the better you get. Process is the product. Like John Cage said there is ” no right or wrong there is only make”. After working with the disability community the past few years I stopped grading on whether or not I liked the work. I look to whether the work is true to the student’s voice and identity. I do believe in craft and the traditions within a craft and skill base. I also believe in letting them find their own voice and aesthetic even it feels rough to me.
When the pandemic started I realized that this was a “practice what you preach” moment. I started the “Corona Diaries” as an example of process. Only now am i beginning to accept what I sound like and what I look like as a 67 year old white guy talking to a bunch of twenty year olds who are terrorized by what the future holds from them. After Connie died, I came to the conclusiion that I no longer feared death and I no longer feared love. I separated my love for my students from my sexuality long ago…Love is just intense caring about the person sitting across from me or in front of me. Just keep caring and you will understand love and don’t run away from it. The death part will happen no matter what.. so love all you can.