Saturday, April 25, 2009Sinking Roots
By now, I've done six sessions at PCM, and I'm feeling much more at home. P. joined the staff officially this week, and I was quietly pleased to find that during his first night in the studio class he was as confused-looking as I must've been; he even graciously complimented me on how assured I seemed on the studio floor. And it's true, I'm gradually figuring things out, becoming a bit bolder. Tomorrow (well, today technically) is my first session as a co-teacher, equally responsible for managing the class. The other teacher, being an old hand, will of course still be guiding me through it, but as far as covering the material goes, it's as much my job as his.
The station does basically two types of class: project-based, multi-session courses for the studio and field; and then single-session component classes designed to cover particular topics in greater depth. Tomorrow's session is just a component class in using video on the internet -- I spent a couple of hours tonight reviewing my codecs and the peculiarities of a few major video-hosting sites, but having looked over the syllabus for the class I think I can probably get through it without embarrassing myself too badly. It's not rocket science, after all.
And from here on out, I will only be co-teaching (with the exception of the field production course already in progress, on which I'm essentially a TA.) We sat down a few days ago and hashed out which of the upcoming classes P. and I each want to teach, and I surprised myself a little by volunteering for courses that I find more intimidating -- the studio production course, and component classes on switching and directing, audio, and using the character generation system. I guess I'm thinking that the best way to get more confident in those subjects is to damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.
Other than that, life is quieting down a little. I've got my bookcases up and full -- today I took some leftovers to Powell's and turned about a dozen French and anthropology books into enough money to buy a bottle of decent cachaca for our upcoming house party. But the books are unpacked, the boxes are gone, and it's been nice getting re-acquainted with, by weight, the bulk of my few possessions. I still have a couple of boxes of assorted crap to finish putting away, but I'm getting to the lighting and art-hanging stage in my room, which is nice.
In a couple of weeks, one of my closest friends in town, Rick, is leaving. Rick is considerably younger than me, though he scoffs at the idea of attaching any significance to that fact. The reality, though, is that Portland is the second place he's ever lived, and the only place outside of Detroit, his home town. Which is to say, it's time for Rick to go see something of the world. Somehow he got it into his head to undertake an epic journey by bike down the Pacific coast, over to Arizona, and then on to Tennessee. He is spectacularly under-prepared. Lots of people are very worried about him, me included. But as I see it, this is the kind of thing a young guy (and pretty frequently a middle-aged 40-ish guy, probably even a elderly 75-year-old guy) just has to do sometimes, and so I'm happy to see him off. Rick's a great guy, but he needs something to age him a little, something to test him, make a man of him as they say. Crossing the southwestern desert on a bicycle in May or June could probably do the job.
I'll miss him for sure. I don't really expect to ever see him again. But part of the understanding here is, if I am to settle in one city, then I'll have to accept that I'm no longer the person who continually leaves; I'll be the one who's left behind. It's a little sad, but I'm willing. |