Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall is near...

The air I fantastize about breathing while breathing Phoenix air.

The weather forecast keeps taunting me with potential thunderstorms and temperatures under 100 degrees.  I try to reflect on the summer and I barely remember it happening… just a blur of frustration at living in this wretched dirty sweaty ugly city and hiding in the house with my delicious husband, wonderful dogs and blessed air conditioning watching all 6 seasons of Lost.  I wish there were more seasons. 
I did successfully revel in the reaching of my next intention, which is obtaining my teaching certification in fine arts.  I cannot explain the joy and relief I now feel having reached this transformative decision.  In going through this process, each student must take and pass the state’s proficiency assessment regarding the specific subject matter they want to teach, mine being fine arts.  So I print out the practice test and study guide… and failed hardcore.  Being that I’ve always just created, and never trained, I have never been formally educated in the relevant details of art history, theory, critiquing, etc.  The few questions I did know were regarding materials, process, relationship, etc.  So realizing how much I don’t actually know about these topics made me nervous initially.  Not too long ago, I would have been convinced I need to just get another degree and put off the test until afterwards.  But after a nice yoga session, I decided to find my nearest library and go get what I needed to learn the material.  I mean I could be a professional student at this point, so why the hell not?  Hooray for public libraries by the way, please support your local collection of knowledge!  So here I sit (taking a break to spew this blog) cramming my face off for this test.  I have until November 19th, so I think I’ll be ok… but I also realized that I’ve never really cared about a test as much as I do this one.  My undergrad and graduate degrees didn’t involve much formal testing, and I never had to take the SATs, ACTs, GREs, etc. , so its not like I had an opportunity to care, but I’m really excited about this.  This is knowledge that I’ve always wanted, but never had time to really get while I was learning all the other madness.  I’m actually savoring every word of it, not skimming, and actively working to retain it.  Not that I didn’t care about everything else I’ve studied… its just that this is the stuff that so much of my soul is made of… creation, depiction, visual communication, beauty… it just makes my heart sigh with relief.
It is not the case that I didn’t try to go to art school several times before I landed where I did academically, it just never worked out for me financially to go, and after 4 attempts going awry in one way or another, I decided that maybe I just wasn’t meant to go to art school.  But I can still sit here in this moment and feel like I actually was meant to go to art school, or maybe I’m still meant to do so in the future.  I don’t regret my academic choices by any means, I highly value my experiences, knowledge and relationships that came as a result of the entire process.  And it isn’t the most practical idea anymore, having already gone through graduate school and holding the loans to show for it.  I’ve considered the doctorate in arts education, but I’m not really interested in doing that level of research at this point.  Maybe I will be later, but not now.  Who knows.  I know I want to do an artist’s residency at some point, preferably in the European countryside for at least 2 months.  But right now, this teaching certification has fallen into place beautifully and easily and my brain is bursting with curriculum ideas.  I think this may be a critical milestone in satiating my constant desire to figure out exactly what I’m supposed to be ‘doing with my life’…but most importantly my feeling that there is a hole in my heart that can only be filled with art.  Hey that rhymed! Awesome.  
Cheers,
Emily