Saturday, August 22, 2009

Transition from Camp to Home

We walked through central park finding our way to galleries and museums from the subway.

Looking off the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art shows a lovely NYC skyline.

Times Square has a special area with room for lawn chairs for people watching and making it more neighborly than it used to be. I think it was part of the parks dept making it happen.

The pottery building where I spent most of my time teaching at camp.

The throwing room has a beautiful panoramic view overlooking the trees and lake at the camp. There were 12 brent wheels for the students and my wheel to teach from. Take note of the 100's of little pots we made in the background. It was a great place to teach and learn.

Sometimes I wonder how most of America lives. Sometimes it seems like Tulsa OK is a "normal" place to live, and then I visit somewhere else. After teaching in a camp in the Poconos for over a month and having easy access to NYC I began to feel a bit deprived, not to be confused with having a pity party. I love adventure and camp was a wonderful adventure.
My 3 days off included two trips to NYC. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park are truly New York and after a while I got used to the subway and began to understand just how it works. As my husband told me when I left for camp I tried to explain my fears of getting lost, "It's not rocket science. You just get off and go back if you get lost." I just think underground travel is a little creepy. The second trip included half a day in Soho, on Spring Street. It was there that I began to once again why it is hard to get ahead in the design world while living in Oklahoma. The galleries and design shops were fascinating. I could see the edginess of my sons designs popping through with florescent colors and design innovations everywhere. Even the street vendors had cool stuff for sale. It was the first time I ever felt like I could stand the idea of living in New York City. And yes, more people live that way that the way we live in middle America. Another revelation was how friendly everyone was. Anytime we asked directions people were quick to answer and very friendly.
Only a few days ago it seemed like I would never get home again. Every minute was busy at camp. I taught so many kids how to throw on the potter's wheel in 4 weeks. The excitement of the kids learning to throw is priceless. They made a lot of really interesting pots as we spent two days on the the technical part of throwing and the final day on self expression and design. Having taught hundreds of kids to throw, I wrote on facebook, "I think I could teach a monkey to throw now." We had a lot of fun trying to make cool pots on the wheel in just a couple of days. There were lots of giggles and redesigning off center pottery. "Let's make it into something cool!" was said a lot.
The camp is located in the Pocono mountains of PA. It felt like a foreign country. Most of the other faculty members whom I adored were all from Israel. After a while I could not even tell if a person had an accent because it became so familiar. The camp had campers and staff from all over the world including South Africa, Australia, England, Germany, Ireland and more. Is PA really a part of the US? It did not feel like it to me. It was a wonderful environment.
As a child, I never had the opportunity to go to a summer camp so it was a new experience for me. The campers are there for either 4 or 8 weeks. That is a long time for a child to be away from home but very "east coast" from what I hear. The kids were wonderful to work with and kept there energies high.
The night before I left after working very hard for about 5 weeks my resistance must have fallen and I finally got a bad camp cold. So weird ears popping and not popping on long exhausting airline flights led to staying in bed for a whole day when I got home. And, maybe that was not such a bad thing. It gave me a day of transition to stay under the covers and sleep as I reentered my own comfortable lifestyle. I exited the plane and my husband was at the gate to meet me with flowers and chocolate. It was nice to get back home.
Just a little more recovery time and I will get this blog going again including my link to ShopBrooksidePottery which I hope to develop into a good sales outlet this fall. I will get it all together soon. It is nice to be home.

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