Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet

There are a couple of teachers who had a real impact on my life for the better! I cannot think of one who had a real impact on my life for the worse! I typically only try to look to the better side of things even though sometimes I go astray but in situations as this I think only in the positive part of it. Something positive can always be pulled from a not so positive situation. Like how to do things differently to avoid a not so positive situation or experience.

I will start with the very first teacher to have a positive impact on my life. His name was Tom Ellenbecker. He was my Art Professor at Rainy River Community College when I attended there for my business certificate. I had always loved art but never really thought about it as a profession at this point in life. In fact, I felt I had to get a degree that was more “realistic” or more in demand that would land me a job fresh out of college. As I took his classes every semester through out my time at RRCC, he kept asking me why I was wasting my time at RRCC for a Business Certificate. He encouraged me to follow my dreams and often repeated this same saying to me on many occasions, “This is not your dress rehearsal. This is it. You live only once.” I often followed it with a laugh and wasn’t sure how to react. I knew I enjoyed being creative. I knew that it made me happy and fulfilled!

Well, one day I came to class and he was no longer there. They said he had left for “medical reasons”. I wasn’t sure if this was true and nor was the rest of the class but I have never seen a class so heartbroken to see a professor go. He encouraged our creativity. He taught us techniques and ways to better our skills. He laughed and joked with us. He wasn’t just a professor but became a friend to all of us. We prospered in his class and three of us went on later to pursue art degrees. 2 years after I graduated from RRCC, I enrolled with the Art Institute in Schaumburg, Il for Graphic Design. This was a bit expensive for me. So I moved home and enrolled in school at Bemidji State University for Art-Studio Art. What I really wanted to do was get a degree in Art Therapy so I could help others while being creative but they didn’t offer that.
I figured I would obtain my Art degree and then apply for Graduate School for Art Therapy.

During my time at BSU, I had two amazing professors. They are both so different from each other but have been a very positive influence on my life as a person and as an artist. My sculpture professor, Linda Brown and my printmaking professor, Jason Clark. The things I learned from these two professors was amazing! In ways of expressing myself as an artist, or techniques for each, to encouraging me to apply for shows, grants, residencies, and so on to the point of them questioning me until I find the answers to things I didn’t understand about myself. I have learned how to accept myself as an artist and have discovered who I really am by these two. They are inspiring.

I am so grateful to have had such great influences on my journey in life to finding myself as a person, an artist, a mother, a friend, a lover, and a daughter. I learned how to believe in myself through out my journey in school because of these teachers I was blessed along the way with.

What about you? I would love to hear about yours!


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