Yesterday after teaching a class and attending a meeting over lunch, I decided to stop by a friend’s studio, largely to wish him a good holiday and to see how he’s getting on. I hadn’t seen him in over a month but I knew he was around mostly because he had answered a couple of questions for me. I always enjoy finishing the semester with greetings for those I will not see until into the new year.
I came down the elevator and heard his voice as he was teaching one of his classes. I sat in a chair with the idea of catching a couple of quick words when his class ended. I also found myself learning a bit about his subject matter as I listened to his explanations to his students. As an applied scientist, I have no idea of how he approaches his extreme performance art and gets the results that are conveyed to the audience, largely a group of untalented realists such as myself. I listened to what he was saying and I heard the questions from his students.
As I listened and noodled on my cell phone-checking lab values and making sure I wasn’t supposed to be in another meeting, the bane of my end of semester, I listened to his clear explanation of what he was asking his students to perform. I listened to the process and listened to what he expected them to discover as they followed his directions. Oh my, some insight into how he teaches, guides and leads out. The energy in his classroom was unbelievable. I was mesmerized by his amazing connection with his students and their connection with him. He has no peer in this regard.
The “thing” about this friend is that every time I see him, listen to him and interact with him, my empathic vibes go off scale. I first experienced this when I saw a photo of him without ever hearing his voice. When I heard his voice, I found that we had great connection; reality and on my part, a smile in my heart. The beginnings of a nice friendship and the widening of my circle of friends; a colleague (both academics) but in very different disciplines. Ah, someone with whom to share ideas and observations as life becomes too short.