I am the best student at that which is not in the classroom. If puddle jumping were graded, I’d never miss an assignment, although the best part about puddle jumping is that it isn’t graded at all. If there were tests on how to adore another human, I’d already have my degree. If homework were kisses and laughter and love, I’d be a straight “A” student. My studies would be textbooks pushed off the table that we only use to entangle. Human anatomy learned by my own hands, eyes, lips, legs. Graded papers stacked only to be used as stands for coffee mugs, leaving circular stains as perfect picture frames.
Use your red pen to critique how I sing lullabies and never miss the sadness behind a fake smile. Give me a grade point average for diligence or dedication, patience or passion. Crunch the numbers. Put it on a transcript. Measure my worth if that is what you insist on doing.
But when you find it doesn’t fit on a transcript, that the numbers don’t add up, define me by my score in the classroom, because that is the way things are done.
This is Caleb. His super powers include taking great photos and being surprisingly effervescent. His weakness? Being way too easily distracted by beautiful things. But that helps with the photography aspect of life… So it’s not such a bad weakness to have.
It is uncommon to find people who really see the world, who actually see others. How many times a day is the old Admin building passed, glanced at, overlooked? How many times a day do individuals look at one another and fail to truly see anything worthwhile? The best artists show the world what they see, and Caleb sees a lot. I have an assumption that his camera can never keep up.
I’ve had a few shots of him for several weeks from a brief adventure we took to welcome the new year. They’ve been used to practice sketching buildings and stairwells. Usually I dislike drawing anything that can’t answer back. So… when is comes to architecture I doodle and break every shading law in existence because I prefer to scribble without thought.
But a couple sketches, while lacking in plenty of ways, turned out to be at least interesting. So here’s to many moments of sketching in coffee shops without diligence and sneaking a sharpie out of my backpack in class from time to time. A line at five, a shadow at ten. It’s not much, but it adds up to plenty of scribbles which I’m going to go ahead and call art.
We’ve all seen it, the lovely little college brochures that advertise university life. Pictures of smiling students reading and learning spread across the pamphlets. The groups are always diverse; the sun is always shining; and the grass is always green.
Such photographs are quaint and represent any given university to an extent. But here in my snowy Northern town, I’ve come to view our campus in a different light. The following is a quick glance of what I have observed.
It’s only a few unedited shots, but it’s the campus I know.
Here are the dorms. This is where they want you to live.
This is the wide grassy yard they show you. Across the way are just a few places where they want you to buy food, topped with more dorms where they would like you to live.
This is the long path where they capture countless pictures of students merrily walking along, chatting on their way to class.
This is where knowledge is king.
I have met with my English professor in this building. It is a maze. But the view from the top window is beautiful.
Here is one of the buildings for the theatre department, conveniently located by a fire hydrant in case it ever spontaneously combusts.
These bikes are star models in the average college brochure. Cheerful, friendly looking students zip in and out of the frame, seemingly eager to learn.
However, most students prefer a car. There are always strangers rushing by. You see them, but you will never know their name.
These are the women I look to when I want to know what friendship is. What laughter is. What kindness is. What faith is. For years they have taught at the same Preschool week after week and shown countless children what joy looks like. They love endlessly and are loved endlessly.
Also, they happen to be very fun and very pretty. Which is why it took all of two minutes to take their picture.
Melissa Dow: teacher, reader, occasional rapper and Bohemian Rhapsody singer. The two of us embarked on our photo-shoot adventure on a surprisingly warm day for our little Northwestern town. I could tangent off into cliche observations of the brilliant dappled leaves (They really were beautiful) but I won’t. Instead I will make an observation about the lady making funny faces in the majestic autumn leaves. Put simply, Melissa Dow is hilarious. My camera could hardly keep up with her spontaneity. She read to me in Latin, rolled various accents off her tongue and the only legitimate instruction I had to give her was, “Stop talking! Your mouth is in weird shapes in all the pictures.” But what grand pictures they were. I’ve never had such ease getting shots that really showcase a person’s vibrance. Even with a book in front of her nose, Melissa could never be hidden. The more she reads, the more she knows, and the more she knows, the more she wants to tell everyone about it. As Melissa and so many other brilliant individuals before her have shown, reading is sexy. Case closed.
2013 has arrived and Lydia and Sarah are the same as ever. They’re practically the embodiment of smiles and theatrics. As we ventured around the heart of our wintery hometown I found myself wishing I was making a video instead of just a photoshoot. You can’t quite capture these girls without audio. They like to be heard! Here’s just a little sampling of the session. I hope you all enjoy 🙂 And thank you Lydia and Sarah for being such colorful models!