On Being a Generalist by Being Off the Beaten Path

Our old ways of thinking has led us into the destructive constructs we find ourselves tangled in. Most of this is due from doing things because “that’s just the way it’s done” sludge mentality. As a long time art teacher, I see the need to bring awareness and creative thinking to tease out answers in the problems we have created.
For the past 2 years, I have been living semi off-grid in the Texas Hill Country. I have become very water conscious, and hold a deep appreciation to access to clean water and indoor plumbing. Such a long way from growing up as a city girl from Houston! A little background about myself.  As a young person, I was a voracious reader and happened across a book at the public library called, “The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a REAL Life and Education”. I quit high-school 2 weeks after reading the book and started my path to pursuing meaning and adventure on this planet. What I have observed from veering away from the traditionally accepted learning path, is that people have so much fear of failure that they sometimes stop learning new things. For many, learning stops at graduation from high-school or college. Thus the sludge thinking builds up…
I moved to San Antonio in the early 90’s and was in culture shock for months. The transition was made easier by exploring the art community and learning how to work in different mediums while a student at the art organization, SaySi. A few years later, I started, what I now call my teaching career, at what was then called The Southwest School of Arts and Crafts. From there, I have worked at almost every non-profit arts organizations in San Antonio. I continue to work with both children and adults in various art mediums, my favorite being hand-building with ceramics. My enjoyment comes from seeing people come to the classroom with hesitation and become more relaxed and absorbed in their work. In this state of open mindedness, I see problems being reworked into solutions or situations in which the lesson is learned and starting anew is embraced. Sludge way of thinking being wipe away…

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