Saturday, May 18, 2013

Probably the best part of Graduation, amongst all the craziness, all of the introductions to family members, all of the tear-inducing speeches (including a particularly teary one given by Steele that feels a little too intimate to recount here, even though it was said in front of so many people), all of the photos being taken and the goodbyes being said and the well wishes being wished.

The best part was when Mark Rupert gathered up all his photo students and brought them down to his office to mercifully escape. He sat us all down and opened up this brown suede pouch and began laying rocks on his desk. And then went on to tell us what each rock was used for, what tool, what purpose. And then handed it off to the person who it fit the best. 

Here is a grainy dark picture of the whole affair:

This man, I tell ya. 

I remember the first photo class I ever sat in. I thought Mark was hysterically funny in a dry way, and felt like I was the only one laughing about it. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this tiny photo community. The photo studio is strange. It's often isolating, each person working on their own thing. Not much conversation. But also we are banded together and tied together, and I think a little protective of the photo department in general. Mark has been a rock. He hides out in his office trying his best to get all his work done, but always listens when you come in rambling about nothing. He is patient with each and every one of us. 

The rock he gave me was meant to be an axe. Which is meant to help me break out of my detail oriented mind. To find different solutions for smashing, so to speak. It fits in my palm and I may or may not have slept with it in my bed last night. 

During the ceremony we were able to say a few words, just enough to thank a few people. 

And I said, possibly the stupidest thing ever, which was, "A lot of the time, I felt really alone. But I know that there's always a pillar of support under me. I'd like to thank the people that make up that pillar. You know who you are."

And I suppose, the second half of that was good. It's the first sentence I got wrong, or didn't explain it properly. 

What I meant was that art-making can be isolating thing. I have felt lonely a lot the past four years. I have been inside of my own head for a lot of it. That's just me though. My insecurities. I guess I just wanted to express that even though I have been alone in my head a lot of the past four years, I know that there is this community holding me up. And maybe some of that will fall apart now. And maybe that's why it's so hard to leave. Because for a while, my pillar might be shaky and crumbling, as people fall in and out of my life. And I'll have to rebuild it again and again. 

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