The Traveling Vietnam War Memorial made a stop on campus last week. This small replica of the memorial in Washington DC contains all the names of US soldiers killed in the line of duty during the Vietnam conflict. I suppose this is reason enough to force my sculpture classes to walk across campus to walk through the memorial but the added bonus for us is the connection to Maya Lin, earthworks, minimalism, public art, calls for artists and the experience of viewing a large scale public sculpture.
As both classes moved across campus they were chatty and jovial. Something interesting happened, though when they turned to walk down the wall. It's tough to put a finger on a single cause and I'd bet there were many factors but man, did they get quiet. It was great to step back and watch them and other viewers as they reacted to the wall. There were elderly veterans sharing stories, family members placing flowers under names, and the strongest men you'll ever see were openly weeping.
After a much quieter walk back to the sculpture room we looked over some slides of the full size memorial in DC to discuss the differences between it and the replica. We talked about Maya Lin and viewed some of her gallery pieces which just so happen to utilize the lamination process the Sculpture I students are knee-deep in right now.
Now that the semester is under way, there are all sorts of things happening. Just so that none slip through the cracks......
Someone graduated with their MSN degree. This someone graduated with honors, still hanging on to that 4.0. The fact that she did this after completing her BSN all while working full time is impressive. The fact that she did it while raising 2 kids and actually having one of them is even more impressive. True fact: During one semester she planned and stayed one week ahead of the class schedule for the entire semester. She turned in her final project a week early and after clicking the "submit" button she promptly went into labor and had a kid. She was out of the hospital and back home before the rest of the class finished their semester.
More good news....the grass has been cut again. Yes, all of it. Better news....I didn't have to cut it. It seems the cows are hungry around here and my acres of grass make great snacks. Sweet.