Teaching Philosophy

Teaching has been a passion for many years and has carried me to remote areas of the world in the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and North America—teaching a wide variety of subjects. I have an ability to understand the many learning styles each of us possess and gear my teaching to accommodate individual as well as group learning experiences. My philosophy in education is that "Learning Must Be Fun." I demand a lot from my students and expect professional work at the level of their experience. I attempt to make the learning experience a pleasurable one without sacrificing reachable goals. While I may have a reputation of being strict, I also have one of being fair and am willing to work with students who communicate their needs with me. Good communication is always key in every circumstance. I demand it of myself and expect it of my students.

Now that I’m retired from teaching I can look back and remember times of great joy, frustration, heartache and occasionally think,”what if I had done such-and-such differently?” However the conclusions are always the same and I know that I did the best of my ability in each situation . I’m over-thrilled when one of my students contact me and I learn they are successful in their careers. This may sound boastful but I believe I was an extraordinary teacher and mentor.

What is Design? What is Art?

In a world where we rely on written communication, it is impossible to not see thousands of letterforms every day. These words come with many forms, shapes, sizes, and infinite combinations. They tell tales of love, hope, promise, anger, war, and so much more. Words found in children’s story books can keep a young child still for hours, or can be found on political fliers causing nations to rise up in protest against one another. Most of this passes us and we are captivated by its message rather than stopping to truly look at the beauty found in the letters themselves. This is where I find my inspiration. Some see beauty in the delicate petals of the rosebud and while I agree this is beautiful, have you considered the sweeping motion of the letter S or the abrupt shape of the letter X?

The older I get the more I appreciate things that are older. I enjoy rummaging through antique stores, dusting off old photographs, the smell of the forgotten book with its yellowed pages, musty with age and then I wonder who has held those pages and the impact those words may have made upon them. I see tattered and scratched images of people now long forgotten by most and wonder how they lived their lives and what those lives were about. What did they bring to the world and what did they leave behind?

I conclude that all of this is art—lives lived well, people trying to bring beauty into the world and making their convictions known, the Declaration of Independence, or the poetic experimentations of Guillaume Apollinaire. We often classify art in certain academic vocabulary that fits nicely into our ideas or within gallery standards. However, art is in every place we turn, if we only take the time to look. To quote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “The hardest thing to see is what is in front of our eyes.”