I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that I am embarking on my fifth ceramics class at Marywood University. (Don’t worry. I can count. The sequence goes Basic Ceramics, Ceramics I, II, III, and finally Intermediate Ceramics IV… so there.) As I reflect on the long hours in studio I’ve amassed in the last two and a half years, I can’t help but revel in the fact that every time I set foot in the building it feels like the day I set foot in it for the very first time. With the exception of some first day jitters, it always felt like a safe place where I could find joy in the creating process, with the clay acting as my therapist, my punching bag, my journal, something to nurture, a willing receptor for my emotions and inspirations brought about by the day’s activity. It’s true I feel so much more familiar with parts of the studio – the kilns, the glazes and chemicals, further equipment, and even my professors, technicians, and fellow students – but every day is different, and every day I am reminded I must remain humble, for there is still so much I do not understand and so much I must do. I am so hungry for all this semester will bring, from intense portfolio development and photo workshops, to new projects and new approaches to old processes, to another Empty Bowl project, and for things I don’t even know are in store yet. Sadly, I do know that it is the last semester my adviser, Matt Povse, will be teaching ceramics, who’s meticulous and thorough reflection on each individual student’s progress will be sorely missed (and that’s an understatement), but I will work with extra fervor to ensure he can be proud of what he helped me to accomplish (a menial token, of course). We are getting busy here on campus, so until next week… I’ll keep you posted!