A Question of Balance

My Booth at Huffhines-Trails Art Festival October 26-27

My Booth at Huffhines-Trails Art Festival October 26-27

Education, I fear, is learning to see one thing by going blind to another.

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

I love the talk about a professional athlete’s sense of “vision”, the ability to “see” plays before they develop.  When Marshall Faulk caught passes out of the backfield for the St. Louis Rams, he could see the gaps between the defenders, the positioning of his blockers, and zig-zag his way down the field en route to the end zone.  Wayne Gretzky, when he centered for the NHL, could see the geometry of his wingers closing in on the slot, and knew how to tic-tac-toe the puck from winger-to-winger to the back of the net.  After more than twenty years in education, I can no doubt compare bad times in school to juggling cats, but in the good times, I can see a number of things progressing in Aristotelian fashion toward the Good, from lesson planning, to lecture delivery, to dialogue, to various students rising for that teachable moment–I can see good patterns emerging from their writing, their verbal remarks to me, to their peers, to their response to written examination and oral cross-examination.  I know the joy and satisfaction of students coming to my class as a “safe room” during the lunch hour in order to talk to me about the things we didn’t have time to address in the Philosophy class or the Art History class.  They want more, and the curriculum only has so much space to fill.  Few things are better when I have that “feeling” in the educational enterprise.  And I need to keep those good moments before me during current days when I continually experience numbers being pushed at me.  Public education feels the necessity of measuring everything, and I sense that there are professionals occupying the top seats of education who only look at spreadsheets but not into the eyes of the students.  They are pushing data into their educational monologue while remaining blind to the myriad of factors not measurable, factors which only the teacher has the privilege of seeing and directing.

My own life is out of balance, to say the least.  My days are chewed up by high school classes and far-too-many meetings centered on data-driven details, my nights are devoured by a university part-time teaching schedule, and my weekends have been consumed by art business, mostly festivals.  My studio no doubt feels neglected, so does my study, so does my journal, and most certainly so does my blog.

My past weekend was given to an art festival–Huffhines Trails in Richardson, Texas.  I have posted a shot of my booth at the top of this post.  The weather was splendid, and so were the crowds and sales.  I enjoyed every moment of that weekend outdoors, every conversation, and every page read during the slow moments (I’m still trying to finish Carlos Baker’s biography on Ernest Hemingway).  There was plenty of time for journaling and reflection as well.  But alas, five days of school and college have inserted themselves between that festival and the posting of this blog.  Late again!

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

4 Responses to “A Question of Balance”

  1. Xraypics Says:

    Cherish those moments both at work and away. You must have the bad to understand and appreciate the good. Sorry if that’s a little trite, but it’s true. Your booth looks good – and balanced too! Hope to hear more from you soon. Cheers, Tony


  2. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    We all must find respite where we can. Like you, my days are too full. I am beginning to “delete” so I can breath more deeply and think more clearly. Still not good at it but am beginning to say No. Good luck, my friend.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, my friend. I really am trying, it’s been so difficult this semester with the increased responsibilities. I’m never caught up and I’m neglecting my reading, journaling, blogging, all my reasons for “being.” I’ll claw my way back out of this wilderness. Thank you for your encouragement and faith.


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