Back to School

High School in Beijing, China - April 2013 - iPad mini.
High School in Beijing, China – April 2013 – iPad mini.

As I walked in the door, a sign directed me to a welcome table across from the receptionist.  One of the very friendly guys let’s me know about all the upcoming movie screenings at their three different theaters, and we talk briefly about The Regent Theater.  He says “have you been?”  “Not since the late 90’s” I reply.  His face goes blank, and he just nods his head and says “Oh.”  I can tell this is going to be an interesting experience.

I started my class on Black & White Photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers last night.  I figured I’d be the oldest; turns out it’s 11 Pitt students and me.  Not only am I old enough to be their dad, I’ve been married long enough to be their dad following the traditional order of our society – marriage first, then have kids.  The guy at the welcome table probably barely remembers the late 90’s…..

I’m most interested in learning the darkroom and printmaking process, and this all started with me looking for a darkroom to rent or use.  That search led me to the Filmmakers, considering a membership, and eventually to registering as an independent student.  Business travel will cause me to miss one of the earlier contact printing classes – the instructor was very clear that was one step he wanted to show me personally – he didn’t wan’t to “outsource it”, so he’d schedule a make-up lab session, which is reassuring.

The instructor is Dylan Vitone.  He also teaches graphic design at CMU and has (or had) works in over a dozen museum collections and many more exhibitions over his relatively short career. Check out the pictures from Rutland; I don’t know where that is, but I know I never want to go there!  He’s a real high-energy guy – reminds me a little of Lyle from the movie The Internship.  After the first nightI think it will be a fun class.

It’s hard to believe, but after a 9-year hiatus, I’m back in school.  And I never thought I’d be anywhere near a film school, even though I minored in Theater Arts in college the first time around.  Each break gets longer (this is my 4th spin in college-level classes), so if the progression holds true (unlikely), I’ll be at least in my 60’s before I get back to a college class after this stint – somewhere around the year 2032!  Who knows what I’ll be learning about then….




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