mental occupation....

i've been unusually busy and mentally occupied the last few weeks as i am adjusting to a temporarily-full schedule and the added role of "adjunct professor" -- which is intimidating in and of itself. my class {of 20 students} meets twice a week and will last a total of 8 weeks. all in all everything is going well and the students are producing work that meets and exceeds my expectations while surprising me at the same time. the element that i didn't expect is the mental weight that comes along with it. i feel like my brain is constantly percolating with thoughts of what i need to do, what i should have done, what worked, what could use tweaking if i ever teach the workshop again - not to mention the responsibility of holding students to a common standard when it comes to the basic maintenance of attending a class as well as reviewing them/their work evenly. i was pretty stressed the first week or so, but i must remind myself that it is my first time and other adjunct-faculty that i've spoken to all say that it gets easier the more you do it. it's already gotten easier, actually. -- my respect and awe of my friend martha (who has been teaching for at least 8-9 years) has grown immensely in the past weeks, and it was already pretty high to begin with.

some highlights so far:

(1) i brought in local architect, Ralph Nelson, to talk about a side project/product that he and his firm, LOOM, have developed called 12 blocks. you can read about it here. (and see an article about it here.) ralph is unbelievably articulate when it comes to talking about his design perspective and process and did not disappoint with his presentation to my students. he, too, has been teaching longer than i've been out of school, and is someone for whom i have immense respect.

(2) i took my students on a "field trip" to visit the BLU DOT headquarters that are located right here in minneapolis. i've known people at blu dot for many years now (since working "with" them while at redlurered) - but it was really fun for me to take the tour to see how much they have grown and evolved in recent years. the breadth of their product range is continuously growing, the scope of their work is expanding, and the strength of their marketing is becoming more and more reflective of the "blu dot personality" - you can see their catalog as a PDF here. medora was a fantastic host and provided an insightful narrative to blu dot's history and approach to design.
so, this week i'll be meeting with each student to discuss the direction they'll be taking for the final project. i can't wait to see what they're cooking up!

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