Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
It’s a frigid Sunday morning and I’m sitting in my cozy home office sipping a cup of hot coffee and checking on all my online classes before heading out to church. I have art students all over the state this semester and in some cases overseas. I just love how I can be sitting home (in my warm PJ’s) with my laptop teaching a subject I am passionate about to students hundreds of miles away. I absolutely love technology and how it’s empowered me as a teacher and distance learning administrator.
Technology also allowed me to have face to face conversations with my daughter Andei while she was in Sicily and then Paris.
Now we talk and share our love for photography as she sails towards the Bahamas with her Mom and step-Dad using a program called Skype. I still can’t believe it’s free software.
We both have web cams so we can see each other as we talk, and also can send photographic files back and forth to each other. The other night I even critiqued some of her new images she has taken from the boat. Her photography continues to evolve and get stronger.
She is developing a unique and very identifiable personal style based on her non-conventional camera angles, selective focusing techniques and abstracted compositions relying on the interrelationship of lines, shapes and colors and not so much on depicting representational subject matter in a didactic fashion.
My son Adam is here visiting for the weekend. He leaves for the Peace Corp in El Salvador at the end of the month. We went out and had a great dinner last night with his brother (my step-son) Cody. He’s practicing his Spanish every chance he gets and is already thinking ahead about graduate school and career options. Wow! You wake up one day, after all the trails and tribulations of raising children and all of a sudden they are out on their own and building lives of their own. I feel as though I’ve run this really hard (grueling) race and now I’m sitting back catching my breath realizing the race is over and I can rest for awhile.
I’m excited for both my children. Traveling is an education in itself and so important in developing confidence and a heightened awareness of other cultures. I believe the Peace Corp experience will be a good one for Adam and a great addition to his resume when he begins his career journey after Graduate School.
I’m at the tail end of my regular 9-5 job at the College and look forward to venturing into other creative endeavors. I’ll always teach online because I love to teach, in addition to the great supplement it will be to my retirement. The great thing about it is I can teach from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection and/or wireless. That’s the plan I’m developing as retirement gets closer.
I want to have more quality time to write, photograph, paint and travel as well as visit my children where ever they may be and the places around the world I have not been to yet such as South America, Africa and possibly even Australia.
Yes…I’ve experienced many ups and downs in my life – traversed many hills and valley’s and I can look back and realize my journey has made me who I am. No one gets a free ride and no one goes through life without having to experience bad times. Sometimes terribly difficult and heart wrenching times. When I compare my life’s sojourn with others less fortunate I have to stop for a moment and be thankful for the blessings that have been bestowed on me. Divorce wasn’t a picnic and it hurt terribly but I survived it and so did my children and their mothers.
Our great country is getting ready to enter a new chapter in its evolution and I hope things start getting better for the people that have been out of work and/or impacted negatively by the struggling economy. I am not going to wax philosophical about politics here – what’s the point? The people have spoken and soon we will find out what change means for us all.
Family Shadows Long Island NY 11/08
I for one am going to focus on being their for my family, children and students, in addition to preparing myself for the next leg of my journey on this bumpy road we call life.