…and we’re back! Just like that classes have started just there’s a slight crispness of fall in the air. There’s always a bit of uncertainty with the change of season for me – excited anxiousness about starting another year of school. It’s been a productive break, and I’m looking forward to seeing how everything buzzing around in my head shifts and grows. This year I’ve made a point to take classes that directly support my goal of entrepreneurship, it’s a way to consciously unite the business and creative sides of my life. Here is a list of classes I’m taking and my first impressions.
As you may remember, over the summer I took an improv class. After spending so much time thinking and making work last year, it was a relief and challenge to be present in my body each moment. So when I saw a course called “The Body” was being offered and taught by Dr. Meida McNeal, a member of the Honey Pot Performance, I signed up immediately. I didn’t have any expectations walking in the first day of class. Our syllabus states “This course invites participants to take a deep dive into exploring ‘the body’ as concept, practice, and technology/instrument of communication.” We spent the first part of class moving and experimenting with rhythm while focusing our minds and building trust with our classmates. It all just felt right to me. Looking at the topics we’ll be covering over the next 14 weeks it seems like a breath of fresh air, a class that has the potential to bring us closer to ourselves while growing as a class. That last sentence sounds very touchy feely art school but also true.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND NEW BUSINESS CREATION
I’m branching out of the Art and Art History department and taking a class in Business and Entrepreneurship. My first class was really amazing – it’s a full class of very enthusiastic and engaged grad students. We were asked to come to the class with a business idea that we want to pursue all semester. Each class features a guest speaker that is an entrepreneur or works directly to support entrepreneurs. Our first speaker was Katie Sowa from Future Founders, a inspiring non-profit that believes that every youth can become an entrepreneur. The professor, Jason Stephens’ passionate for entrepreneurship is infectious and he described this class as place to support us as we build the next stage of our businesses. This comes at a perfect time for me as I’m establishing my business here in Chicago.
This is a core Interdisciplinary Book and Paper class that I’ve been looking forward to for the past year. The first 5 weeks of the semester we will be learning letterpress and taking advantage of Columbia’s newly revamped print facilities. For the Letterpress portion we will be learning from a Book and Paper Alumni and Master Letterpress printer, April Sheridan. The final 10 weeks will be devoted to learning Offset printing from master printer and founder of the Journal of Artist Books, Brad Freeman. It’s inspiring to be learning a new craft from such highly respected and supportive faculty. I have quite a few offset printers in my family so we’ll see if it’s in my blood. I’m excited to experiment with text in my work and explore text as pattern.
I was reminded of some sage advice just before school started. A fellow graduate ambassador talked about the temptation to over commit to all the exciting projects and opportunities at the start of the semester. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in everything, so this year I’ve been taking a step back – refocusing and making it a point to not spread myself too thin. Be present in my classes and laugh as much as possible.