This week is finals week/graduation week at FIDM. For me that means that I spent time grading final portfolios (19), grading final projects (13 done, 8 to go), listening to final presentations (3 hours done, 3 to go) and calming ruffled feathers. Not that I’m counting!
As an adult with some years of practice it is easy to forget that little glitches in life are so much more to young adults. I am always grateful that my role is simply that of a teacher, not a parent because I can’t imagine how much energy that takes!
We operate on the quarter system, which means that we have 10 or 11 weeks of classes. The pain is quick and intense, and the joy of accomplishment also comes rapidly. If you are taking four or five classes, and possibly working part time, it is hard sometimes to see that everything is going to change quickly too. I too operate under the presumption that the pain and excitement will all come and go, then I get a break and we start again.
Even for me this quarter was really long. I had an extra class, at night, and students who just didn’t seem as engaged in my classes as I wanted them to be. So we all approach the end of the quarter knowing we survived, hopefully exceeded our expectations, and at a minimum learned a lot that isn’t spelled out in the course syllabus.
One thing that creative work offers (trust me, it isn’t usually money!) is the opportunity for constant change and excitement. Every time I do something I am able to do it better than the time before, I find new ways to conquer tasks, and it all feeds into a constantly changing, frightening and ultimately satisfying work life. This is what I hope my students learn as they go forward. They have a constant capacity to evolve and grow, and their work, while often intense, will be able to give them many personal rewards.