8:oo o’clock here and my hands are having a hard time typing. I was just outside in 38 degree weather for the past hour hanging around for the sunrise. I wanted to see Jack Maxwell’s major sculptural piece, “Jacob’s Ladder” in the first light of morning. The sunrise was perfect, but my hands were so cold, I blew it on paying attention to my settings, so my shots weren’t as good as I’d hoped. Jack’s piece is pretty stunning, though I have a hard time finding a spot where I find the composition completely satisfying. The setting of the angels’ ladder in a sacred space made of huge blocks of stone with various words carved into them is especially compelling. There is a sense of peace about the place, and the small baptismal pool makes me think more of “rivers of living water” than it does baptism. Great place to begin a morning.
Yesterday’s class went well. The student’s waded through my ramblings on aesthetics and then we listened to a wide range of music in the afternoon session, trying to decide if there was any merit to the notion that music from high culture and folk culture require a different listening “in kind” than music from pop culture. I’m not sure what we decided but I thought it was interesting that most of the students saw images as they listened, not diving into the sound itself, but taking pleasure from what the music reminded them of or brought to mind in memory.
Anyway, they take the final this morning and then we’re done. I’ll catch a flight out tomorrow, and will anxiously await seeing my family again. It’s always good to be here, but I miss home. But again, I leave with a renewed sense of hope about the students here. Their hearts and minds are wide awake, far more than mine was at that age. Whatever ACU is doing, they should keep doing it.