Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Archive for May 2012

Receding From View

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It’s been more than two weeks since this class met for the final time. Shown are some of the students in a course titled Editing and Graphics that I taught in the spring 2012 semester.

It was one of four courses that I taught. With 27 students, it was my largest class.

All of those classes have ended now and I am still transitioning out of the term that just ended.

The ending of a semester is a funny thing.

As a friend of mine who has been a college professor for longer than I have been once observed, you work like a maniac in the final weeks of the term and then one day everything ends and there is nothing to do anymore with any of your classes.

The students go away and most of them I will never see again or know what happened to them.

A few of those who I taught this semester will show up in another class that I’ll teach next year or maybe the year after that. But most of them will seemingly vanish without a trace.

There is always something sad, even a bit depressing about that. For 16 weeks, these men and women were a central part of my life.

I spent many of my waking hours teaching them, grading their work or planning their activities. It is almost as though we had become partners, associates, friends.

Yet we weren’t. They are students who purchased a service and I am the guy who provided it.

The relationship was never intended to be permanent. Yet the relationship continues in that the cycle begins anew each semester as another group will replace this group

The names and faces may change, but not the challenges, experiences and satisfactions of helping student learn something.

So I “posed” this class portrait through the doorway leading into the printer room because this is how all of my classes look to me these days. They are receding from view.

Editing and Graphics is my favorite class to teach and I tend to remember the various sections of this class more so than I do other classes that I teach.

This class did much of the work in creating an annual magazine published by the School of Communication so I’ll always have a tangible reminder of this group. I say did much of the work because I’ll be doing the finishing work on the magazine over the summer.

In that sense, this class was a true partnership more so than most classes that I have.

So long COM 425 students of the 2012 spring semester! It was fun working with you.

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Written by csanders429

May 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Old Man River Doesn’t Give Up Fog Easily

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Fog hung over the French Quarter of New Orleans on the morning of March 15, 2012, as my wife, Mary Ann, and I made our way to Café du Monde to get some beignets on our final day in the Crescent City. Our spring break vacation was coming to an end.

The closer we got to the Mississippi River the heavier the fog seemed to be. I was delighted of course. Fog photos!

My idea was to capture some boats on the river navigating through the fog.

But as we stood at the river’s edge, I couldn’t even see the river.

The top photo in this three-photo sequence shows what we initially saw.

Mary Ann suggested going to breakfast and checking out the fog later. I sure hoped that it wouldn’t have lifted by then.

About a half-hour or so later, we had finished eating and set out for the river walk.

The fog was still quite thick, but beginning to break up a bit, as seen in the second photo.

I killed some time photographing a freight train and the street cars on the nearby rail lines.

The fog was lifting, but in a strange way.

As the third photo shows, the fog stubbornly clung to the water’s surface even as bits of blue sky poked through the clouds. It made for some dramatic photographs.

Although you can’t see it here, the French Quarter behind me was sunny with blue skies overhead.

Old Man River put on quite a show on this morning. He doesn’t give up fog easily.

Written by csanders429

May 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I Didn’t Let it Get Away This Time

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Many of our life rhythms revolve around routines necessitated by our work schedules. During the spring semester of 2012, I taught four classes, all of which met in the morning. My routine seldom varied. I’d get up, do some work, shower, get dressed and go downstairs to eat breakfast.

Before doing the latter, I’d go out to the front lawn to retrieve the newspaper.

For much of the semester, it was dark when I went out. But as spring arrived the sun kept coming up slightly earlier day by day.

On some of those mornings, the first rays of light greeted me as I went out and I’d think how “this would make a nice photograph.”
But I never did anything more than admire the view and pause for a few seconds.

On April 4, though, I did more than think about it. The beauty of the sunlight reflecting off a bank of clouds was just too much to pass up.

I raced upstairs, got my camera out of the bag and snapped away.

I had to work fast because the color was disappearing rapidly.

The results were more than satisfying. At last I had done more than just admire a sunrise before resuming my morning routine.

Written by csanders429

May 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm

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