Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Opportunity

As I said yesterday, it is possible that a new opportunity is presenting itself. I am being cautious only because the whole situation is still vague. That's part of my interest: can I shape this new opportunity? Maybe, if I don't wait too long.

In a way, this is something that has been coming for a long time. In another way, this is brand-new, unexpected, surprising. Which is good: nothing much has been surprising for quite some time.

Of course, change means shifts, complaints, rough edges, uncertainty, and discomfort, as well as new possibilities. Nobody likes change, especially when it forces change on them.

But, again, this is a possibility that doesn't seem like a dead end. Instead, it feels exciting and like an open door--as if it is leading somewhere, instead of nowhere. The fact is that colleagues and even my department haven't supported this key program for some time, beyond the basics. To see and feel this has been sad and frustrating, but priorities shift and programs evolve. What is hardest is to hear colleagues simply devalue students' work: I have been told about this by students, who have heard it from other professors outright in class, or, as yesterday, to be told that students' work is "painful" to watch. That's right: the one sure thing in our business is that students will be awkward, clumsy, make missteps, and sometimes look completely awful. They're in training, right? So "painful" is par for the course... admit it or not. What we're supposed to focus on is their growth, their improved skills, and their evolving artistry.

That's my opinion, and not a majority one, it seems, in terms of this particular program.

I do not want to dwell. This is an opportunity, and I want to make it even more than it seems, something really great. Something new--which I need, too, as I said. So... onto making plans.

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