Here's a little scene from a couple weeks ago in Vancouver, in the Chinatown section of town. I spent a little time wandering around, looking over the shops full of dried goods, and mulling through some of souvenir joints. This is the kind of thing I am attracted by- the little details with stories of intrigue. It reminds me of a few spots in Sicily that I would have liked to set up and sketch, had I time. The little balconies with a string of shirts drying and a satellite dish. Nothing fancy; just the signs of humanity that you find all over the world.
The village of Fort Langley is a stone's throw from Trinity Western, where our son has started his first year of college. The village sits aside the Fraser River, the same name as the dorm where my son resides. Going to school in Canada fits him well, and several times he remarked how similar it felt to Germany. We moved him into his dorm room, met his new roommate, shopped around for some necessities, hung out nearby for a few days, then eventually had to say goodbye. Returning home, we find ourselves empty-nesters. This will take some getting used to, but we made it a point throughout our marriage to do things together without our kids just for fun, so the habit will definitely help us out.
Here's a sketch of a spot in Chinatown, near a place where my son found a local skate park. There's a great hole in the wall there where we found some delicious pesto and pasta. My son started at college, so we are officially empty-nesters now.
Here's the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose where we stayed last weekend. My wife got a great deal on a room there and we really had no idea of the beauty of the place until we drove up. A wedding reception was in progress when we got there, so we checked in and found an amazing place to eat in "Little Italy." In the morning we enjoyed the jacuzzi and pool before heading over to Davenport beach, where I fell asleep on the sand, listening to the pounding of the breakers. Stopped in Davenport for an ice cream, then headed home.
My wife and I are in that very emotional time of life when we send our kids out into the world. Our emotions are compounded in that both of our children leave the nest within two weeks of each other. My daughter heads to Long Beach where she will work and save money for grad school, and my son leaves for college in Canada. Our daughter left Saturday morning, so rather than walking back into our empty house, where we'd have to walk past her empty bedroom, we decided to get away for a night and a day. We ended up staying in San Jose, at the Dolce Hayes Mansion, a sketch I will post eventually here. We didn't actually eat at Henry's BBQ, but I just liked the look of the place.
It has been two months now since I began working at Fresno Pacific University. Here is a sketch of the seminary building on campus, which I see quite often. The seminary is part of the Mennonite Brethren Church. What I didn't know is that the church has three seminaries, one of which is at Trinity Western University, the school that employs my wife, and where my son will attend college.
What worked in the past does not necessarily work today. Even if the content or the principles have not changed, the methodologies must be continually evaluated and adjusted. Kids today have many of the same questions about life and the world that they have always had; but there are new questions that need to be addressed that we never asked our teachers. To be effective in education we need to have our ears and eyes attuned to the cultures in which we live.