There are an alarming number of people who come to college and become completely disinterested with the amount of resources and information available to them. Going to every class is a chore rather than an experience. Instead of being excited, some choose to be bored. They feel like there is something better they could be doing. Well, I wish to assure them there isn’t.
Imagine life without having obligations to attend class and complete assignments. Most people would probably do what I tended to do over the summer when I had such a schedule: nothing. There was no compelling reason for me to do anything with my time. Despite vowing to not waste this summer, great though it was, I failed in that regard.
NAU photography instructor Sam Minkler gets it. “Think about how much time in life you enjoy,” he said during class this morning. “This 90 seconds [of exposure],” he suggested, is an incredible amount of time. It was his way of telling the several groups of people who spent the entire class texting, sighing and watching the broken clock: Look at how amazing this shit is. You are using light, paper and plastic to make god damn beautiful pictures, and all you care to do is not care.
Now that NAZ Today has started up again for the semester (watch the shows here), my days are typically 8-13 hours long, and I come home with far more energy than I should, bugging the hell out of my roommate. But that’s good. It’s very good. Compare the lifestyle of video editing, making black and white photos, directing a live newscast, watching classic films, and meeting new people then making new things to the one where I plant my ass on the sofa and catch the afternoon daypart on cable television.
The careless students around here, probably riding on scholarship or parents’ money, are as black and white as the photographs Minkler inspired me to try to make today. (For the curious: The contact sheet looks ok, but the enlargement I tried had extremely low contrast, and is therefore unsatisfactory.)
I use TextEdit to write the drafts of pretty much anything. It’s my favorite word processor for Mac. This morning, I took a much closer look at the application’s icon, and this is what it said: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The revels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. you can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify them or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.”
And that’s what I wish everyone could be.