After 36 schedule-less days of winter break, getting back into the groove of second semester certainly feels challenging. Yet it has been truly wonderful to reconnect with my classmates and compare notes on everyone’s holiday adventures. We go into second semester with new cohorts, new assignments and projects, and, for me, a class of 36 remarkable students I have the privilege of seeing on a weekly basis! My project assistantship has transformed from course planning during fall semester to executing during spring semester as I help Bolz Center Director Sherry Wagner-Henry and Professor Stephanie Jutt run the spring 2013 Arts Enterprise class. Arts Enterprise: Art as Business as Art offers an overview and foundation for students interested in developing, launching, or advancing innovative enterprises in arts, culture, and design. Students from across campus and from a variety of creative majors learn the unique contexts and challenges of creative careers, with an emphasis on venture creation and collaborative projects. The course helps students understand the nature and structure of arts enterprise—for-profit, nonprofit, and in between—while cultivating their own career vision and creative project goals.
When I was told about my position as a teaching assistant (TA), I didn’t give it much thought. I figured that I’d show up to class, take attendance, and maybe field a few questions from the students. However, only two classes into the semester, I realize the amount of preparation, coordination, and flexibility that it takes to lead a class…and I have never had a larger appreciation for those who work in education.
As a teaching assistant, one is never “off the clock.” While the professors implement the curriculum, the TA is responsible for all the logistical matters that make the course run smoothly. The part of my position that keeps me the busiest is also proving to be the most rewarding: the chance to engage with the students. And what makes these particular students remarkable is that they all share a passion for creativity, yet each of these interests takes on a different form. We have not only dancers, visual artists, poets, fashion designers, and musicians, but also engineers, scientists, and computer programmers. After only two classes, I find myself inspired by listening to their conversations and witnessing the power of collaboration across these different disciplines. I look forward to seeing what transpires over the next 13 sessions.