The Gift of a Czech Presentation
I just returned from my second trip to teach for a week at the University of West Bohemia in Plzen, Czech Republic for ArtCamp 2011. The privilege comes through the collaboration between the university and University of Houston-Clear Lake where I work. This experience provides me the opportunity to teach digital photography while instructing students, engaging staff and observing the people of Plzen. In that experience is 1,002 Listen to Life topics. One stands above them all: we are called to create in ways that express who we are and what we think, and sharing creates understanding.
My class emphasizes "why before how." Why we create determines how we choose to. I use the "why before how" guidance at work, in photography, writing and many other areas. This approach allowed for great sharing of ideas through conversation as well as through viewing the students' work. In that sharing came understanding for photographers and viewers alike.
The Czech students are amazing. It shouldn't be surprising considering their country's history: much great thinking, artistic expression and thought-filled ideas are born in turmoil and challenge. The young adults in my class were expressive in their words and their images.
In the openness of their work came a clarity that is sometimes perceived as cliché: we are more alike than different.
My life is richer for the experience of teaching there; my eyes are sharper; and, my heart is fuller. Our hearts and minds always grow when we listen to the souls of those courageous enough to share-whether they are friends, families, strangers or others from a different country.
Take the chance to grow.
Listen to Life is a free newsletter about learning and getting more from life by paying attention to our own stories and the stories of others, based on the presentations, writings, photography and workshops by Dion McInnis (www.dionmcinnis.com). Copyright 2011 Dion McInnis. All rights reserved.