And just like that, winter break is over and we begin “Spring” semester. I used quotes on Spring, because obviously it’s still ridiculously cold out there. Don’t get me started…wiith the new semester I am faced with a brand new set of stresses and hopes. This Spring semester is going to be especially big. Conferences, a new job, and the always daunting critique week.
First up, I’m teaching this semester. It’s my first time ever teaching a group of students by myself. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t terrified. I totally am. Not so much that I’m going to do a bad job, but largely because it’s the most grown up thing I have ever done…aside from being a dad of course. I am teaching a class on Papermaking. Obviously I love making paper and feel very comfortable with the material. I also am working off of a master syllabus, so there’s not a lot of worry there. There are a couple of lessons I’m not looking forward to, like the eastern paper demo. I’m not very good at eastern. The biggest fear I have is grading the research paper that I have to assign. Over break I had a discussion with an elementary school teacher friend of mine. He was baffled by how someone can grade artwork, while I was amazed at his ability to grade written work. Clearly we are meant to teach in the fields we are in.
But all of those fears aside, I am so excited to start teaching. Teaching is one of my end goals and I am so thankful for the chance to be hired at Columbia as a teacher of record. It’s an honor that I’m really looking forward to.
Also happening this semester are a couple of conferences. The College Arts Association (CAA) conference is being held here in Chicago this year. There will be a ton of panels and discussions on a lot of hot topics in the world of college art. Along with that, it’s a huge networking opportunity for anyone that is interested in teaching at the college level. With it being held in Chicago this year, there really isn’t an excuse for any of us not to go. It’s going to be big and crazy, and should be a lot of fun.
And in March, there is also Chicago zine Fest, which is being hosted by my department. There is probably one panel that you all should make sure to attend, a panel of parenting Zines that will feature yours truly. Also look for me at the Pulp, Ink & Thread (PIT) table, where I will be selling zines, buttons, and stickers.
Make sure to stay warm out there as we start heading back to campus and wish me luck!