Monday, January 21, 2013

Enrollment ongoing

As of today 9 people have enrolled in the program, leaving 3 spots. I feel sure we will have a full group soon. I have been visiting many classes on campus to tell students directly about the program. Many recognize the value of the trip but can't take advantage due to financial obstacles, or having children, or no time off from work. My heart goes out to them because I can remember being in the same situation as a young undergrad in the 1970's at La. Tech University majoring in painting. La. Tech had, and may still have, a summer program focused on art in Rome that I craved to go to, but, due to financial limitations in my family, couldn't.
As I speak to classes I feel more and more the potential value of a trip like this recalling my own transformation from traveling to Mexico, China, Argentina, and France. From each trip I have gained firsthand knowledge of a culture, a place, a world view that I only knew threw media. As an artist I understand very well the ways that communications can be crafted so that a particular point of view is stressed, while sacrificing a whole picture of a place or a people. Being able to talk to people in person, in their home environment, smell the smells of their place, taste their food, see their world gives you a much more viable understanding than what we get through movies, TV and the internet.
Vietnamese students in Tam Ky, Quang Nam province.

Myself with Yen Nhi, of Vietnam Tourism Department, and Hu Phong, Tam Ky University administrator.

Vietnamese student at Quang Nam University, Tam Ky.

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