Sunday, April 4, 2010

venezia bound.

in about 48 hours i'll be on a plane to venice. i'm giving a paper on pollaiuolo's drawings, a paper that still needs some finishing touches. haha. perfect time to blog!

but right now i'm preparing to teach leonardo tomorrow and burning cds for aaron. (ciao, aacat!) as i put together my powerpoint (ugh) i am reminded of the ridiculously amazing parts of my job. you know, like going to venice. is this my life? do i write papers on pollaiuolo and teach leonardo? do i get to sit in front of drawings by leonardo and verrocchio? really?

tomorrow i'll be showing students details of this:

and even better, this:

has there ever been a more perfect representation of a cat in the clutches of a small child? as i zoom in on details of these works, i feel my eyes welling up, an immediate response in part to how ridiculously beautiful these works are but also to the fact that somehow my job is to talk about how ridiculously beautiful these works are. i often find myself faced with the problem of finding words to express what can't be said, how do you describe leonardo's pen on paper?

the thing is, i often feel like teaching is depressing, an uphill battle, a lost cause. but then, there are flickers of seeing a student love something as fiercely as i do, and there's the knowledge that this thing that they love, that they didn't know existed until today, i gave it to them. and i really, really want them to run with it.

so after i teach leonardo, i'll pack for venice, and i'll fly across the atlantic to read my paper in the city that floats, all while wearing a dress with turtles strewn across it. thanks, anthro, for that one. don't be fooled, i'm a nervous wreck. but in the back of my mind, i am comforted by the knowledge that somewhere out there, there are a few shadowy shades a la leonardo who couldn't be prouder of how ridiculous this life of mine is. thank you, gm, gd, and d. (and m.d., who just hit 98 lbs and is a little less shadowy.)


  1. jessa i can't believe you burned those cds before your trip!!! thank u! i am enjoying them. so nice to think of you revealing some beautiful piece of paper to your students and for you to see the twinkle in their eye as they love it like you do!!! you give such nice gifts!! xxox ciao aacat