Summer Holiday

Ahhhhh! Finally, my summer holiday has arrived! Now I’m about to enjoy the pleasure of why I chose to become a university professor…summer break. It did come a bit late for me this year though. So back in May, when my colleagues took their respite after Spring finals and started their bike riding on the Katy Trail WITHOUT me, I’ve pressed on for six more weeks of teaching summer session. Mind you, I’m not complaining about their enjoyment out on the trail, I’ve experienced my own pleasure at what I enjoy most…teaching.

I found teaching two summer sessions rather unique. My intro studio class ran for six weeks, while my digital imaging (i.e., Photoshop) lasted only three weeks. It’s interesting to condense a full 16-week semester into three or six weeks. Nonetheless, the same material and most of the exercises are still accomplished. One thing I did notice was the higher quality of work produced by my students. I suppose there’s multiple variables to account for, such as, highly focused and motivated students, less pressure on me with a lighter load, not having to simultaneously accomplish my doctorate studies, or, maybe it’s just the simple pleasure of teaching two subjects I thoroughly enjoy.

Regardless, my students performed well, received very good marks, and now I’m ready for summer! I came straight home, kicked off my shoes and put on the flip-flops, pulled the shirt-tails out, fixed an excellent whiskey and coke, and plopped down on my favorite chair on the front porch and watched the rain come down. Now I get to relax. Soon I’ll be on a road-trip to visit the grandkids out east, then we’re off to Chicago for some serious urban and cultural infusion, and lastly back to our first married hometown—Madison, Wisconsin, to visit Army buddies and friends.

Reading is high on my list of relaxation activities for the next two months. I’m also planning some serious photography projects. Two specifically. One I see as an on-going project involving old “Fall Out” shelters from the ‘50s and ‘60s Cold War era. Below is a rough, preliminary exploration of where I’m thinking of taking the project. The other project will be solely in the studio, incorporating aspects of important moments from my life in still life format with a “scientific” flavor to it. That one will remain under wraps until finished…sorry no preview! Time to sign off, as tomorrow will be busy with preparations for vacation!

© 2008 Terry Ownby, Education Fall Out.

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