I re-read the email at least a dozen times throughout the day. It took me a while to actually digest the contents of what I read . . . And then, after a day of things bumping around in my head, I came home from teaching and burst into tears.
In 2007 when I re-enrolled in school, I immediately signed up for advanced ceramics with one of the most fabulous instructors I have ever had the pleasure of working with . . . And I met a crazy person named Moses. I say this in the most loving way possible. Like me, Moses was obsessed with clay. Together we spent hours--no--DAYS in the ceramics lab making things. We bought clay together, critiqued each other's work, and argued about things. We even broke one of those huge windows in the studio together after a not-such-a-good-idea of wanting to play baseball in the kiln yard with a stick and a piece of clay. Moses lost his grip and the stick went flying into the window and shattered it into pieces. Thankfully no one got hurt, but the look on Moses's face after it happened was absolutely priceless. (It was not unlike the look you see on his face in the image above.) We supported each other in a quasi-competative manner, which was good for our artwork and our energy.
"Upon reading about UT's decision to close the ceramics lab at the art school tonight, I decided to go ahead and cry about it. I can't begin to count the hours I spent not just making art there, but making friends, eating meals, entertaining myself, and even filling a void on a lonely Saturday night. There was something about it that made it okay to be there at 4am...I miss being an art student tons at times and it's comforting to me to know these places are still there. I'm not interested in any kind of reasonable analysis of what's replacing it or why that can't be done elsewhere. I just want to be sad, romantic and old fashioned here! Thank you for listening." -- a recent Facebook post by one of my friends after hearing the news
"I've tried to express my sentiments to others about how sad it is, but unless you've spent Saturday nights there, had dance parties and moments of panic at 4 in the morning . . . I guess you won't get it." -- a Facebook response to a post on the subject