Posts Tagged ‘Humanities’

Evening Afterglow

August 20, 2019

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Getting Ready for the Next Class

No more will I dismiss, with haste, the visions which flash and sparkle across my sky; but observe them, approach them, domesticate them, brood on them, and draw out of the past, genuine life for the present hour.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Literary Ethics”

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance”

The first class of this new semester is in the books, and I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve felt this fulfilled in the educational enterprise. I haven’t been in the classroom for a year (I’ve taught strictly online), and the one classroom course I had last year at this time was in Logic, and I haven’t found a way to insert creativity and spontaneity into that discipline.  Today was Humanities and our material will run from antiquity to the seventeenth century.

I invoked the twin bards of Emerson and Whitman to set the stage for today’s orientation lecture, and was gratified to see the students respond with interest and enthusiasm. The focus of my lecture was the pair of Emerson texts posted above. In the Humanities class, as we explore literature, philosophy, art and music, I will continually challenge the students to speak with conviction ideas they draw from the creative works. I want them to speak courageously from their own perspectives rather than offer “correct” answers from me. Much of today was spent trying to break them from the habit of offering canned answers to challenging questions. The time flew by, and once we departed, I felt that the first revolution of the wheel was a successful one. Now I lean forward to next Thursday’s encounter.

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“Monet: The Late Years” at the Kimbell Art Museum

Immediately after class, I treated myself to a visit to the Kimbell, a short drive from the university. This was my fourth or fifth time to visit this exhibit, and the galleries were so packed with people on this day, that I could scarcely maneuver to look at the paintings without bumping into someone. The show hangs until September 15, so I decided I would give it another look on another day. With membership, I don’t have to pay admission.

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“Crouching Aphrodite” 50 BC-AD 140, Roman copy of Greek original

The Monet exhibit is on display in the Piano Pavilion of the Kimbell complex. A comfortable stroll to the main Kimbell building allowed me to view the permanent collection with only about 5% of the population I encountered earlier. The leisurely stroll through the galleries I found to be much more relaxing than what I knew at the Monet exhibit.

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Quick Sketch Attempts in my Sketchbook/Journal

I appreciated the comfortable furniture arranged throughout the Kimbell. Taking a seat after some quick sketching, I found myself scribbling out a couple more pages of my thoughts concerning the morning’s class and what I was seeing in this magnificent art collection. The museum time was a fitting reward for the university experience, and I remain grateful for that.

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“In Progress” Plein Air watercolors from Sedona, Arizona

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Working on Them in Groups of Five

This lovely, quiet evening has given me wonderful space to chip away at a large watercolor project begun in Arizona a few weeks ago. I’m also taking frequent breaks to resume reading and taking notes for Thursday’s class. It seems that the transition from summer vacation to fall semester has been a seamless one. What a gift!

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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