Teaching with Contemporary Art

Word Games

Judy Pfaff- production still

Judy Pfaff- production still

Friends like to pass along quotes because they know I love them. I hang them on my office door, take them to the studio, use them as bookmarks, and read them when I’m taking a break from painting. I even torture my family with them.

Here’s one I received that was given to me at the beginning of the school year (which, by the way, feels like a long time ago already):

All the really good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow. – Grant Wood

Now don’t think I’m completely nuts- there’s a connection here. As we round out the first month or so of a new school year, a quote like Wood’s reminds us all to reach back and get some quiet from time to time in order to pull from the stillness new ideas, patience, a new perspective, or even a chance to soothe some of the daily stress that goes with teaching. Similar to what Wood describes, I find that taking a walk during a lunch break or finding some real quiet during all of the noise and general insanity can do wonders for my teaching, planning, and even my time at home after the day is done. It may not be as effective as milking a cow, but the calm of a slow walk on campus or simply tuning in to the hum of lights in the library can recenter us when we need it. And believe me, we all need it.


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