An American Thanksgiving in Greece…the session draws to a close…

Tomorrow is the American Thanksgiving, but here on Paros at the Aegean Center we celebrate the Feast of Thanks on Friday evening, not Thursday.  This is mostly so we do not interrupt the class schedule at a point in the term when everyone is either scrambling to wrap things up or just feeling the crunch.  I have conducted an inventory of my darkroom work and I only need to reprint two pieces and then I can begin the selenium toning process, then I matte them.  My digital work is half-way done.  So I am in good shape.  I cannot speak for any of the others.

I have found an apartment, or rather one was found for me, and I am looking forward to the move in late February.  It is actually the former apartment of an Aegean Center faculty member and in spring of 2010 I visited it and loved it immediately.  It is on the second floor with two small balconies.  There is a large living room, a separate bedroom, a small but full kitchen and a bathroom.  Good windows, lots of light and the price is right.  It is also adjacent to the school, so I will be within shouting distance of whatever work I will be doing.

In regards to that, I will be taking the painting course this spring as a student plus working one-on-one with the maestro in the digital lab.  This means that I have to bow out of the darkroom as a formal student, but I am pretty sure I will be doing some work in there as well.  I know nothing of painting, or how to do it, which is hat they like here.  Jane and Jun would rather work with a blank canvas than try to re-teach someone.

John says the turkeys are in the brine.  I have to make a shopping list of goods to buy for glazed carrots as well as a normal style stuffing.  This means onions, celery, sage and veggie broth.  I also need to buy bread, cube it up and let it dry.  Perhaps I’ll toast it in the oven to facilitate that drying process, or else it might just mold.

I am so thankful for this life that I cannot figure out where to start.  This morning I was up early and out working with the 4×5.  The light was soft and lovely and there is no wind today.  This will change, I know, and that’s alright, but for now I am feeling pretty good about what is happening.   There is a sadness in the air, though.  In two weeks the student show opens and then we all go our separate ways.  Most of us will never see each other again and although it is a small planet and connections can be strong at the beginning, the ties will thin and eventually fade out.  I have experienced this firsthand in my life.  Yes, you may say, there are social networking sites and the internet, but truth be told there is nothing really very strong about them.  They cannot hold a candle to a strong network built on real communication and true friendship.  Clicking a series of buttons does not make you my friend.  Commitment, contact and honesty does, however.  There is at least one student here who I will miss terribly but she has made a commitment to her family and I respect that.  I have to believe that the time she has spent here has altered her life for the better, and forever.



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