Earthtribe-Gather: In the Hallways    
 In the Hallways1 comment
picture7 Apr 2006 @ 05:30, by John Ashbaugh

On the way, into another day.
It's called home.

Wednesday into Thursday, fourth week into the quarter. Morning accounting with Matthew and Joyce, getting it step by step, and quite fortunately for all of us, are within very close rates of assimilation. The complexity of the problems is increasing, as well as their vocabulary, and the puzzle keeps getting bigger, and there is no moving forward without sufficient introduction to a given concept or practice, and I have to decide what levels of sufficiency are appropriate for each successive concept. It’s all laid out there in front of us. All we have to do is walk the steps.
Then there is crossing paths under the low branches of a fir tree near one corner of the parking lot. Wallick and Neal and I bantering about how it’s always going to rain over the ‘Burque when those heavy dark clouds hover over the streets in the valley, but it never quite does. The clouds just evaporate later on in the day, and nothing ever falls. It’s gotta go somewhere, that vapor in the sky, but it’s not falling on the trees in the valley. Tag along with Neal in his new to him ’98 white Jeep to the Subway a few blocks away, for a table next to a window with a view of the Eastern mountain. His British inflections weave through stories that weave through my stories until we arrive back in Canyon, Texas where I lived for nearly five years, including three years in the MFA program at the University there, West Texas A&M. To me, that school and that town and the canyon ten miles away was a jewel, and I put a good piece of it down on some canvas and in some prints. Never know where exactly you need to go to get that art moving, but those places come along, because I’m looking for ‘em, and that one worked.
Almost out of the Blue it seems, I wound up there back in ’94. Got grounded into the whole scene. University Art Department, as small as it was, had just the right people for me. Plein-aire painting in the canyon was a whole new world from where I had come from in Wisconsin. The formations and the color opened up my palette into a whole new set of combinations. That was then. Now is here. Neal has been to Canyon visiting the Panhandle Plains Museum next to and even actually part of, the University campus. We’ve walked along some of the same pathways down there.
Tonight’s portfolio class working with Tyrone, a sixteen year Army NCO veteran since 2001, and very experienced in the building and construction trades since then, now completing an Associate degree in Drafting and Design, a very capable man looking forward to a different kind of professional life. We’ve got to get it all down to one page, and he has to make choices about what to include and what to cut. We worked closely together over the screen, moving lines around, getting things in order, and we came up with one I would say is a good one, and he likes it too. All the really important stuff is in there. None of the cuts were critical to the sense of who he is. Good day in the hallways.
Thursday morning in the hallway, Kathryn is sitting on the floor of the hallway at the door of the classroom when I arrive at 7:15, forty-five minutes before our scheduled start. One of those morning people who likes that emptiness in the world with that first brush of dawn, before the rest of everybody awakens. Morning’s first rays glisten through the east doorway down the length of the hallway floor. Matt and Eli and Aaron and Alyshia and Roxanne, most of my multimedia crew working on their one-page autobiographies. They’ve got other things to do too. One is to write out the answer you would give to an interviewer when he asks you, “Tell me about yourself.” The inevitable question which, if you are not prepared mentally in some way for it, can prove oftentimes to be over attenuated, and at other times seemingly hopelessly piecemeal. Young men and women, twenties to early thirties I’d guess, preparing for the transit from neophyte student, through their graduation into the world of job opportunities. There is a place for each of them and all they have to do is find it. All of these people are writing their stories down for me to read. How did they get to be where they are at, and where would they like to go? After reading it, I’ll talk about it a bit with the author. The context is a potential interview for that coveted position. Who are you? Got a coherent, relevant, meaningful line? I hand the paper back to the writer, who may add to or edit his or her thoughts, and I will comment until I say it’s good for it’s purpose, I think, and if that person is happy with it too, then it’s outa my hands. This group will have been classmates for most of their classes for the past two years. They love creating artwork on those screens and feel right at home just working those colors and shapes like there was no end to it.>

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1 comment

19 Apr 2006 @ 06:14 by jobrown : This
just "takes me back" down the Memory-Lane -as the saying goes. Thanks, John, quite lovely!  

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