Saturday, December 02, 2017

Football Counter-Programming 2017: Conference Championship Week

NOTE: I am posting this painting here specifically because Sarah allowed Lynda to put it on Facebook. Otherwise, I would not have publicized it.

Today is Championship Week in college football. This signals at once that the football season is coming to an end while also saying that the real work is still very much ahead. All of the ups and downs of the regular season were pointed to (hopefully) getting to this point. But not everyone will experience this week and even fewer will advance beyond this with a victory to move into the playoff games ahead.

And here is where my discussion of college football stops--because this post is supposed to be diverting you from college football to something else. But my subject for today is related to this experience of working toward a goal and projecting forward towards an unknown future.

I speak--of course--about the college application experience. And since I am featuring one of Sarah's paintings above (and since she is the oldest and the one who will be trying for college first, you know that I am talking about the experience I have had as she goes through her efforts to apply to art schools.

And the first thing you need to know is that it is not finished. And that is relevant to my own struggles within the last few weeks, as I have tried to get straight in my own head the various deadlines and requirements for each individual school. You see, I thought that she was facing a hard deadline of December 1 (yesterday) for submission of paperwork, essays, transcripts, and most crucial for art schools, a collection of artwork (the portfolio) that is the bedrock of the school's evaluation of her application. And, heading into Thanksgiving week, that seems very unlikely and I was stressed out beyond belief.

But . . . I have learned that my stress was misplaced. You could get full applications in by December 1, but it was not a necessity. Scholarships for Fall 2018 would be available a few months after the Christmas holidays and all was not, in fact, lost. So, I have taken a breath and held onto hope.

Going through this has been stressful, no matter what the deadline, because Sarah has been working to find her artistic voice throughout this process and she is doing it on her own (and not my) schedule. She will get what she needs to have done when it is required--that I very much believe. But I have had to accept the fact that she is doing it her way and decidedly NOT my way. But I have to acknowledge that everything about what she is doing is hers and not mine--and not for the obvious reason you may be thinking.

Sarah is an artist. And to be an artist involves bravery and skill that I simply do not have. She is making pieces and expressing parts of herself in ways that I definitely could not do when I was seventeen. And she is embarking on a college journey that I am frightened of and also full of admiration for. She is taking a challenging road, but she is committed to accomplishing something unique. She is defining her world and her life on her own terms. And isn't that all Lynda and I have been trying to teach her to do anyway?

Plus . . . and I think this bears saying, even though I am decidedly unobjective about it . . . she is talented.And she can DO this. I believe it! I hope for it. I want it to happen.

And it may not happen in the way that I would try it. And the accomplishment of it may be unpredictable and as yet unclear. But I believe in her.

So . . . I guess that is it for this week.

If your team is in a conference championship game today--I hope you find out the results on the internet before you go to sleep tonight and don't spend your time watching it on the television. There are only a few more Counter-Programming posts remaining this season, so let's make them count.

Thanks for stopping by.

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