I was questioning whether I should go or not up until I physically sat down on the plane. You can see the look of sheer enthusiasm on my face. So excited to spend the night prior filling out close to 400 report cards and then packing, only to be able to sleep 2 hours before catching a cab to the airport. Yippee. Hooray. Woohoo.
Then I got over the big fluffy white clouds, and all was right with the world again. Something weird happens when you sit on the plane for close to 25 hours. Flying has become a sort of meditation for me. When you are in that seat, looking over the clouds or the ocean or the frozen Great Lakes, you can really think. I explored all sorts of things in my brain. It's really the only time that I am forced to relax . . . And I absolutely love it.
So I thought I was arriving in Baltimore on Thursday night (a day later then when I left), but I was actually arriving on the same day: Wednesday. You see, I don't do math. Thankfully, the wonderful people I call my friends actually do math. So Sarah--see above, superwoman to the masses--actually noticed on Facebook that I had landed in Tokyo at like noon. So she put two and two together and realized I was actually landing in Baltimore on Wednesday night, not Thursday night. Math people, it works. So I got to Baltimore a full day before I actually needed to . . . Genius-style.
And Sarah took absolute perfect care of me!! We left the airport and went straight to Sip & Bite, where I had the most amazing hamburger (BEEF!!!!) on the planet. I also had a Natty Boh. It's Baltimore, baby! The air was clean and crisp outside, and it was cold. It was the perfect sort of mid-winter cold. Not a wet cold, but a dry cold. I had no coat and no real clothing for this weather, but it wasn't humid and 90 degrees out . . . And that's all I cared about!!
The next morning, Sarah got up and made us pumpkin/chocolate chip pancakes. I could not have asked for a better breakfast. Especially since I felt like I had just taken a nap and it was 8pm, not 8am. (Oh jet lag: I hate you and your mother . . . )
My friend Suzie came and picked me up from Sarah's house around 230pm. She was just driving in from DC, via Kentucky. She had found us--all 5 of us--a beautiful little brownstone to rent for the weekend. We went to check it out and it was gorgeous! It was walking distance from MICA and in a beautiful little neighborhood called Bolton Hill.
There were a ton of toys in the place. Of which the pretty-pretty-princess dresses I found most appealing . . .
Above, Georgeann Schellenger from Pennsylvania.
Above, Kirk Palmer from Florida.
Above, Suzy Kopf from New York via California.
Above, Jason Stewart from New Jersey.
Above, Howard El-Yasin from Connecticut.
The above samplings of artwork are only a very few pieces of the many participants in this graduate program. It's a rotating program. So at each critique, there are always a year of students that are about to graduate. And there are anywhere between 8 and 12 students per year. I was a 1st year going into the critique, having the other 1st years, 2nd years, and 3rd years critiquing my work. Last summer, it was the same amount of people but with the 4th years included. Each year graduates during a summer. So the 4th years weren't here for the Winter Crits, because they had graduated. And the 3rd years during this critique will graduate next summer. So basically I was defending my artwork to move from being a 1st year to a 2nd year . . . And I did it! And I did it being completely jet lagged! Whoot!
I also got a chance to see some of my Community Arts comrades. Can you believe it? Almost 5 years later?? It seems like no time has passed at all . . . I wish I could have seen all 12 of the people I graduated with way back in 2010!
I wish that I could explain fully how heartbroken I was to have to get back on a plane and leave these wonderful people. The only exciting part of this is that I know we will see each other over the summer. It's just that I was so out-of-it during this special weekend . . .
Alas! Summer will be here before I know it. And it will also be the date of my giant 4-0 birthday. So, believe-you-me, we are going to be having a good time when we all see each other again! Yay!
I spent my last night in Baltimore at Sarah's house. The above sunrise was taken out of her bathroom window. Can you believe it? Baltimore was sending me off in style! And I even beat all of their snow!
And then I got to Detroit, Michigan . . . It was a bit of a mess in Detroit, weighing in at a whopping 7 degrees. There was snow all over the place, the Great Lakes were frozen over, and they had to ice down the plane not once but 3 times because the water kept freezing that they were mixing into the non-freeze solution. Oh the irony! So we were stuck on the ground in the plane, in Detroit, for over 3 hours.
This caused me to miss my Tokyo flight, which made me miss another day of school: fab. At this point the only thing that kept me going were the movies that Delta--yes, Delta--provided me, along with the complementary red wine (keep it coming, please).
The movies I got to take in during my to-and-from flights were: Waiting For Superman, The Eye Has to Travel, The September Issue, Bridesmaids, Notting Hill, Funny Face, Enough Said, and Love Actually. Four of these movies I had seen several times before, but I was tired of watching New Girl over and over and over again (although I love it). But what actually happened during this bout of movie watching might even be considered as worse: I regained my crush-ness for Hugh Grant. Oh boy. Regardless, I don't know if you have seen these movies or not . . . But you should. They will change your life (said the lady crying in seat 21A . . . Oh wait, that was me!!!). Especially that first one. Waiting For Superman is an extremely important movie for you to watch if K - 12 education is even remotely important to you or your offspring. (It should be: just sayin', folks.)
I can't wait to be in Baltimore this summer . . . I know that we will have such a blast learning about our art work and ourselves, and how all of it relates to the world. It will be amazing!