It became of some concern to me following my previous post that I made my job sound like there are no perks to it. Why do I still do this if there is so much work? There must be something to it, right?
So here are some of the reasons.
I like people. I like learning from other people. I like that I am in an environment that is all about the constant flow of learning. It’s endless. To get into teaching with the mindset that the learning for you is done, is rather unfortunate. If you like to continually learn, this is a good place for you.
My colleagues are knowledgeable in a multitude of areas. I know people that have been all over the world and that have exhibited/published all over the place. These are people with interesting lives and stories. These are people that are resources if I am ever curious about something in their area. I don’t merely speak of the art department, but the entire campus. It’s like one giant living micro-internet of interesting information. I love that. There are resources all over campus. That’s AMAZING to me.
As an artist/professor, I have seen places that I would have never dreamed. I didn’t get to travel a lot when I was young, so seeing places as I got older was a big deal to me. Through my profession I have traveled overseas to Guanlan, China; Dundee, Scotland; and Bristol, England. I have been able to see the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA. I stood outside of the house where Martin Luther King lived in Montgomery, AL. I walked by the salon that Cindy Crawford’s mom owned in Dekalb, IL (maybe that last one isn’t as substantial, but still interesting). Would I have done this otherwise? Who knows? I have been privileged to see these places and meeting some of the people there. If you like to continually travel, this is a good place for you.
I have met artists that I looked up to as an undergrad (and still do). I have developed relationships with some amazing colleagues. I have watched students become amazing artists and great people. Through my travels, I have a second family spread all over the country – my printmaking/art family. I have friends all over the country I can visit.
There’s a lot of hard work involved to get to this point as well as to maintain it. I think I established that last time. And this post isn’t remotely supposed to be about being vainglorious. The point is to illustrate that for all hard work involved, there are perks that go with it. And most important, this is a very interesting life to have. Though this is shorter than the previous blog (I can only talk about myself in such a manner before coming nauseated; if my CV is important to you it’s on this site), I am hopeful this post balances out the last one.