Friday, February 24, 2006


African Megaflyover pilot videographer Mike Fay for policymakers

This is amazing.

Mike Fay flew over Africa at 500 feet and took 92,000 pictures. Michael, in film school and also a pilot told me about this.

He wants to convince policy makers to invest in natural resource management for the promotion of peace. Sounds odd? Perhaps not. He alleges that Dafur, Rwanda, and many other troubled areas in Africa have resource depletion as a hidden cause. Would convservation help preserve peace and prevent human rights abuses? Read the article here, or watch the really, really good and short video here.

I like to look a bit more in what he has done. And how he got here in life.
"Fay drummed up support from various sources—the Human Footprint lab at WCS, the WILD Foundation, the Bateleurs (an Africa-based organization of bush
pilots volunteering for conservation), and, as chief financial sponsor, the
National Geographic Society."
I find it interesting who he got involved... and the varied life stories of the people behind; the pilot slash optometrist and the Mario Scherer pilot slash Kosovo war crimes investegator.
"Fay arranged collaborations wherever possible with local conservationists, field
scientists, or national agencies, assisting them with their aerial-survey needs
as well as adding data to his own comprehensive trove."
I think in order to be successful anywhere, you must arrange collaborations.

Post your comments on what you think about this guy, his political ambitions, or the breathtaking pictures/videos.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Bringing India to America

Currently I have a short gig as a sixth grade teacher. Since these students have been learning about ancient India in their social studies class, the teacher asked me to speak to them about my experience in India. I was thrilled to have this opportunity because one of my passions is to educate Americans about other cultures. I thought this would be of particular interest to the children because while we were in India we worked with children in hopes that we could see India through their eyes. So I felt my presentation would be a way in which I could connect American children with the lives of Indian children.

There are two sixth grade classes and I was to make my presentation to both. I've taught these kids before and I've known both groups to be quite boisterous, so I didn't really know what their response would be, but I hoped for the best and thought the use of my website,, and its pictures would hold their attention.

I was very pleased with the first group. They immediately showed enthusiasm when they learned that I had actually traveled to India. They asked thoughtful questions, enjoyed the photographs, and were emotionally affected by what they saw. We didn't have nearly enough time for them to thoroughly appreciate what I had to offer.

The second group acted like spoiled self centered Americans. They were completely disrespectful as they constantly interrupted me with silly questions and laughed through the entire presentation. When I told them of the poverty in India, they did not express any compassion for these people. Nor did they express gratefulness for their wealth. Rather they expressed disgust, the same sort of self righteous narrowminded views that have oppressed the lower castes all along. Their reaction was an utter disappointment.

Both groups are a good indication of what Americans are like in regards to other cultures. Some just don't care. Others are unaware, but willing to learn. Hopefully in time the first group will join the second.


Advice for Schools with Art Majors

If a school is going to offer Art as a major, it should have a required course taken freshman year that aquaints the students with various careers in the arts. Even if it doesn't offer the various design degrees, it could at least inform the students about them and let them know what knowledge base they need to acquire to enter those fields. Instructing the students how to conduct business would be beneficial as well, as in how to sell art and exhibit it. Most college students are too callow to seek this information on their own.


Advice for Future or Present Day Art Majors

Double major in something more practical. Really figure out what you plan to do when you graduate from college. If you want to go into commercial art... learn the software, get an internship, get the necessary qualifications before you graduate. If you want to teach art... talk to your professors about graduate schools and get a clear idea of what your art is about before you get to grad school. Learn something about business. And once again, consider double majoring in something more practical.

Sometimes I find myself filled with so much regret. I wish could go back and start college all over and pick up another major. Maybe major in psychology so I could be a therapist, or education so I could teach kids. I should have taken some business/economics classes. But I wouldn't want to lose the experiences I did have. They were really wonderful. I guess I just wish I did more. I want more. I didn't want to leave academia.


What's this blog supposed to be about anyway?

So Jonathan hijacked the blog for awhile to talk about technology and economics and stuff, and now it is my turn to take over and talk about things such as art and teaching and post graduate school and being a lost artist in society. After all the blog is called artview, right? It's now time to get an artist's view.

So here's a little update about me and my situation:

I graduate from Purdue with my MA in Visual Art in May.
I spend the next month in India running art camps for children.
I fly back to the US and spend a couple weeks packing up and moving out of my apartment in Indiana and back home with my parents in Ohio.

From here I get lost. What do I do? How do I find a job?

I spend the summer trying to learn computer graphics software. I do some online volunteering in graphic design. I look for jobs on the internet, and don't really see anything I am qualified for, but I still apply to some artsy ones that I think I could possibly do. I don't hear back from any of them. I'm not surprised. Jobs don't exist for artists. I have no experience in commercial art, and really I am not sure I'd like it but am willing to give it a try. I look at my resume and see that most of my experience is in teaching, so I send my resume to a local college. They acknowledge my resume but unfortunately don't need any art teachers.

After two months of living at home I feel guilty about not aquiring a job yet, so I reluctantly interview to work at the soon to open Target store. Not surprisingly they hire me, because I am way over qualified, for an amazing $6.00 an hour. The month before the store opens is gruelling. Eight hours a day of lifting heavy boxes and stocking shelves. It doesn't get much better when the store opens because now on top of restocking the shelves, we have to help customers (oops, I mean guests), answer calls, and make sure everything is perfectly zoned. After three months I quit because I come home exhausted and I am getting nowhere in my career. I think it is much better to be temporarily unemployed than to be in a deadend minimum wage self esteem sinking job.

I now decide to call local graphic design firms to see if I can find a job or at least an internship to get some experience. I meet with two of them. The one guy just hits on me, and the other place offers me an internship. Now I think this is really promising because they have this website that lists a whole bunch of positions that they are hiring for....part-time graphic designer, freelance graphic designer, etc.... and I think I'll humble myself and intern for free for awhile and they will be so impressed with my work that maybe they will hire me. Unfortunately, no luck there. They tend to ignore me most of the time. They don't give me much to do so I am bored a lot, and I never get any feedback about the work I do. It also turns out that they aren't looking to hire anybody right now. So I quit and I think they were just waiting for me to go.

The one thing I have had success with since I've been home is substitute teaching. I occasionally sub at my alma mater, St. Mary, where my mom is currently teaching first grade. It's fun going back there, seeing my former teachers, and being on the other side. It has affirmed my love and strength for teaching. It gives me a glimpse of hope for my future.

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