Do you remember when your teachers sent you home with that permission slip? You were so eager to get a signature so you could skip the classroom and go straight away to a fun-filled day off of school grounds? I remember those, but more importantly, I loved the ones – sans the permission slip – that I attended in college. You know, the ones where you talked to industry professionals, and learned things from an outside-the-classroom perspective.
I love field trips, and since I’ve had this opportunity to teach at PPCC during the past seven years (yes, seven! Time flies!), I’ve incorporated field trips into just about all of my classes…wait, yes, all of them! My biggest field trip schedule is in my architectural photography class, because let’s face it; you just need to leave campus to explore all the wonderful buildings around our community and make photographs of them. And, for my large format class, we get to visit a local darkroom at Bemis School of Art for a true 4×5 film processing experience. Now that I am teaching the product photography course, I’ve talked my good friend, Don Jones, into letting us invade his professional studio for some great lighting demos, and I even had the chance, about a year ago, to take my history of photography class to the archives at the Pioneer’s Museum!
All of these opportunities are so much fun. Students get to learn from experts, have docent-led tours that discuss the significance of the architecture of certain buildings that we visit, and it’s a chance for some teamwork, bonding, professional “outside-the-classroom” perspectives, and fun. Yes, is that a bad word today in education? Fun? I don’t think so, and it really is amazing the amount of participation and great feedback I get in return from my students for organizing these outings. I love this opportunity to watch my students in action – shooting, asking questions, and making beautiful images. And, when they use the 4×5 camera for the first time that is just the best!
Scheduling my fall line up starts in mid-July! It’s a lot of work, making connections with local people in the community who support our program, and a lot of follow up, and, of course, thank you notes! See last week’s blog for details. But, no matter the scheduling snafus, possible fall-weather follies (that’s what giant golf umbrellas are for by the way), and hauling of equipment, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
So, to mark the beginning of fall semester 2016, we visited Pikes Peak Regional Building on Wednesday – a great day! Hot? Yes! Lots of gear? Yes! Tons of fun? Heck yea!