...an unpaid sabbatical. Just call it a break. I've fallen well short of my original goals for this blog and am too busy to continue at this time. Thanks for the comments and feedback people have given me by email and other means. I will continue to find solace in nature walks, with or without camera and notebook, but I will take at least a two-month break from posting here.
I have been teaching since 1965 and have recently joined the English Department as an Associate Faculty member at Feather River College. Recently taught Nature Literature in America and am currently teaching Interpersonal Communication and Basic Reading and Writing.
I was getting a little tired of frost these past few days. I want snow. I want our watersheds to recover. Since the frost has made my early-morning departures more difficult - frosted windshields that I can't get to before unfreezing my truck doors - I have failed to notice the beauty of the frost. But today, when I walked out to start my wife's car, the beauty of the frost broke through. I went back inside to get my camera.
For a moment, I thought "this is it. I need to keep the camera by my side and get back to blogging on a regular basis." However, after a few minutes of contemplating a walk in the woods for more photos, I had to face my ambivalence. My ambivalence about where to focus my creative energies.
Among my favorite Christmas gifts were items from Austin Kleon. I got his "Steal Like an Artist" 2017 calendar and the book for which it is named, and also another of Kleon's books, "Show Your Work." My work, as far as this blog is concerned, has been mostly nature photography and musings about what I learn from being in nature. However, lately I've been much more conscious of possible links between my evolution as a teacher and my experiences with nature. On the "back burner" is a memoir focused on my experiences with education, both formal and informal. As a teacher and as a student, as a child and as a parent. So, like the frost in the photo below, I'm on the fence. I think I
will be posting fragments of this memoir as it develops. My first chapter will compare memories of things I learned before starting pubic school with memories of my first grade experience. My most enduring memories of the latter are centered around a few absurd questions such as "What comes after yellow?" "How high can you count?" and "Did I ask you to draw that?" Although I'm focusing on things that happened in school, I am sure that Mother Nature will intrude frequently. I am thankful for my wife's choice of Christmas gifts and for Austin Kleon's ideas which he has invited me to steal.