An Open Letter to My Students at BHC:
I will miss Black Hawk College a great deal. I worked with a lot of wonderful people over the last three years, many of whom have had a significant impact on my life. The last four months have been very challenging for me both personally and professionally, but the support that I received from my colleagues and from all of you helped me to get through it. I will never, ever forget those of you who stood up for the art department and for me. You have no idea how much that meant to my wife and I. I will carry those memories with me for the rest of my life.
I feel privileged that I was able to work with Zaiga, Melissa, and David over the last three years. I learned a lot from each of them and they have helped me grow in many different ways. Zaiga and Melissa worked incredibly hard to keep the programs alive and I truly hope that the administration will somehow find a way to keep Art and Design thriving on campus. I will miss many things about BHC, but at the top of the list is working with my fellow art faculty.
I truly hope that some of you enjoyed my teaching as much as I enjoyed having you as students. I hope that you were able to see how much I loved my job and how much it meant to me to be your instructor. I often think about how lucky I am to do this for a living. I get paid to do things like run wildly down the sidewalk, digitally blend two people’s faces together, and discuss the finer points of photographing fruit on fire. Your energy, enthusiasm, and excitement keep me coming back semester after semester. I cannot conceive of a better job to have.
You should do everything in your power to find a career that you love. There is no amount of money that is a substitute for that. After I lost my job here, I had many people suggest that I look into other fields that might be more lucrative, reliable, etc. I did not listen to those people. I am an art teacher. This is what I love, what I am good at, and what I want to wake up and do everyday. And while it has not always been easy, convenient, or simple, it has been the right decision for me.
Never let anyone tell you that you can’t make a career out of art and design. You may have to bite, scratch, and claw more than other people, but if you are passionate about what you are doing, then you can make it happen. Believe in the power of hustle. Some of you are more naturally talented than others, but ultimately your success will be determined by your work ethic and your “give a damn”. Show up when others don’t, follow through when others don’t, and keep working while others rest. Never lose sight of what you really want to do, and always be taking steps toward that goal no matter what gets in your way.
Please stay in touch and never hesitate to reach out. Good luck in all of your pursuits.
P.S. Always remember to keep mouse in the house.
Black Hawk College is a community college with campuses located in Moline, IL (Quad Cities) and Kewanee, IL.
Students majoring in art at Black Hawk can pursue an Associate's Degree in Visual Communication, Art or Fine Art, or a certificate in Art Technology.
ArtSpace is Black Hawk College’s art gallery. Located in the hallway of Building 4 of the Quad-Cities Campus, ArtSpace displays exhibits that rotate on a monthly basis.