Last day of school


The last day of the semester…and for me the last semester, too. For the past fifteen years I’ve been teaching in the Art Department at Middlesex Community College, in Bedford and Lowell, MA. Standing among eighteen new students in each class and encouraging them through fifteen weeks of growth has been an awesome experience. I especially like the Lowell campus because the student body in that immigrant city is like a slice of the world. In the Drawing II class that just ended yesterday, there was an international program student from Kenya, a boy who came here from Costa Rica a few years ago, and first generation kids of Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cambodian descent along with kids whose families have been here longer. Some wrestle with language, one with a severe health issue, and others who are seriously talented. I try to lead them into unknown territory and they see good things happen. Sometimes visual firestorms break out and we all enjoy the glow.

Dynnaro You - glazed ceramic. photo by Egils Zarins

Dynnaro You – glazed ceramic. photo by Egils Zarins

One student, Dynnaro You, will transfer to Mass. College of Art in the fall. He aspires to be the next Hayao Miyazaki, which might very well happen. Dynnaro gave me a ceramic tea light holder he had made earlier that is reminiscent of a Chinese house. I am honored by this gesture.

I will miss each of the Britanies, the Dynnaros, the Leangs, and the Hanh Les I’ve interacted with over these fifteen years. The fireworks that happen when someone figures out something about themselves, and the world, is wonderful to watch.

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  1. Judy Parsons-Kerins
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    You were always the best design teacher to me!

    • Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Hi Judy! Thanks so much! What a wonderful thing to say. I often wonder who got more good things from the classes – you the students, or me! I hope that you are happy and prospering.

  2. Kiara Rivera
    Posted May 20, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    It was a pleasure learning in your class. I didn’t feel like my imagination was in a cage. I always looked forward to coming to your class. I learned from the students in my class as well and how other students show emotion in their drawings as well. I look forward to crossing paths again. I learned alot in your class and from you yourself as well. Thank you Joyce Zaryns.

    • Posted May 21, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      Thank you so much Kiara. Your courage this semester inspired me and it was exciting to watch your drawings blossom. Your big, colorful abstraction surprised everyone, I believe. I wish you all the best. And keep me posted.

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