Waiting for the Glimmer
I’ve spent the past few days at a Modern Quilt convention in Austin, Texas. I was teaching classes there primarily on color theory and design. My classes, as well as many others sold out in less than an hour with many people traveling from all over the world to take the workshops. As an instructor it’s a lot of pressure. It would be horrible for these people to have traveled so far and not enjoy the 6 hours they spent in my class.
So as I’m talking I’m looking for the glimmer in each of their eyes that signals that something I’ve said or shown them is resonating with them. It’s very subtle. Sometimes it’s a shift in the head or a change in the eyes. And I desperately want to see it. I want to know that what I’m saying is useful and that all of my preparation, and hauling 100 lbs of quilts across the country and staying in the cruddy hotel and eating bad meals and sleep-deprivation and arranging for the kids to sleep at someone else’s house because my stupid flight back has a layover in Houston which means that I won’t get home until 1am or so and Bill will have already left to teach his round of classes here. This dizzying schedule is all planned so someone will hand me a check, presumably. But I will not be satisfied with a check. I must have the glimmer. I must see the head nod. There’s a checklist in my head of definitions of success for this 6 hours: “this is the best class I’ve ever had” is one option. Also, “I wish I had learned this 20 years ago,” or “I’m going to totally look at color differently, this was great” or ” the next day to hear, “I was up all night thinking about the class” are also possibilities. Our society doesn’t place a great deal of monetary value on these classes. But I see it. It’s the glimmer and the slightly frozen look on their faces as they try to process some new idea I’ve explained to them that has opened their minds to a new idea or a new way of thinking. That’s the real payment.
Weeks, I haven’t taken a class from you yet due to schedule conflicts. I have, however, attended lectures and taken from Bill and experienced the ‘wish I had learned that years ago’ experience. Both were great experiences! Thank you!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Weeks, I was one of those people in your class who suddenly realized two things; I have a lot of fabric in my stash that I now know how to incorporate into my modern quilts, and as I was shopping I found myself buying fabric based on its usefulness to me, not just because “it’s pretty!” THANK YOU SO MUCH.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh I’m so glad Nancy. Wonderful that you are able to see things differently. Also happy that your stash will have a new life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I sure hope I’ve paid you and Bill appropriately over the years. I am a quilter today because of you two.
You have been so supportive and we’ve really appreciated it. Really.