The Vertical World
I’ve been working on and off for the NYC DOE for seven years and as with any large organization, there’s a lot to contend with for someone with an artistic bent. I was straight out fired ten years ago; I don’t think I’ve mellowed that much since then, but at 55 years of age, one’s looking over a high cliff at times, employment-wise.
What has always worked for me has been the kids. I’m constantly inspired by them. Although I’m working in one of the poorest neighborhoods in NYC with a difficult age (Does anybody like the 7th grade?), the students keep me going with their energy, interests, and passion.
My biggest challenge, which I feel capable of on days when I’ve had enough sleep, is reconciling their brilliance the dull thud of the demands of a large bureacratic organization. I feel up to this as well, as I’m no careerist and look to them like an artist in front of their public. Inspire. Provoke. Amuse. Challenge. To the sounds of silence from the organization. That’s when I go home and do my art.
A public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood introvert.