Ichiro Takayoshi, Associate Professor of English for Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences, speaking at "Tufts Talks," held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, MA. He spoke about the importance of imagination and language, that envisioning ideas and objects we cannot see is not only an important part of development, but also of continuing to consider abstract ideas in relating to others.
Bergeron spoke about the trajectory of her career, the value of continuing education, the importance of balancing a healthy lifestyle with a professional career, and the momentous shift of becoming a mother months prior to the launch of her first massive product. At one point, the projection screen behind her illuminated with the message, “You might think you have a plan when you head out on your first leave. But in reality, no matter how much preparing you have done – face the fact, you are winging it.”
The winter is a period when everything slows down for me, as if the cold freezes time. Initially, I revel in the quiet; autumn feels as if the universe hits the Fast Forward button in late summer and only releases its hold months in time for Thanksgiving dinner. By early February, however, the walls feel too close, and I’m begin to rattle, looking for ways to regroup, for new opportunities, for positive change in the upcoming season. My ears are always open for guidance, and my job allows me to sit at the feet of strangers who become mentors by default. At one point in her talk, Bergeron said, “Sometimes the ‘little’ opportunity sets you up for the ‘big’ opportunity,” which reminded me of Oprah’s famous definition, "Luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity."
Time to continue my preparations…
Jessie, a returning client, contacted me recently with a proposal that summarized the kind of work I love – a mashup of creative needs that had to follow a condensed schedule. She needed a portrait – “and let’s do it quickly while it all feels fresh” – and wanted help teaching her Boston University design students how to photograph their artwork. Overlapping with this, she requested that the class, and her teaching it, be documented as candidly as possible. Students would be in two groups: one would be learning camera skills, while the other conducted a peer review, overseen by Jessie. Given the nature of the project, I enlisted my husband Tim Correira to teach so that I could focus on her portrait and covering the class. Luckily, this large red and black painting, stationed in a studio room glowing with natural light, allowed for a bold backdrop in what turned out to be a three-minute portrait session… record timing, that.
There was an additional interesting quality to the shoot; Jessie initially hired me for family portraiture years ago, and I’ve gotten to cross over with her into new areas, documenting her professional work, inclusive of headshots, her design website, and now, this class. Similarly, it was a lovely thing to be working with Tim in a new professional capacity; he and I occasionally work together for photo shoots, but watching him teach students about his work and engaging his technical skills in a new way had me thinking about (and still processing) the potential for our career growth in multiple directions. I appreciate the trust that Jessie, and clients like her, invest in me to be part of their own growth, and it challenges me to develop new perspectives and strategies for my work.
As part of Harvard’s programming surrounding the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, German artist Judith Raum presented her lecture, “Fabric in space, fabric out of space” at Harvard’s Fogg Museum.
Prior to the arrival of the students, I looked at the beautiful and odd fabrics laid out across the tables. Some were muted and some were vibrant and lush. I told Raum that the textiles she brought were extraordinary and that I wished I could touch them; she responded in a patient and clipped voice, “I shall touch them and everyone shall enjoy seeing that.” Due to the fragility of these unique handmade pieces, students could look but not touch – they did angle to get their faces as close as was respectfully possible.
The Bauhaus and Harvard will be on display through July 2019.
The MIT Leadership Center and the MIT Sloan Office of the Dean hosted Eric Schmidt, Technical Advisor and Board Member to Alphabet, Inc., and former CEO and Chairman of Google, as part of the iLead Speaker Series.
In a packed room, I sat nearly at his feet to ensure I could get a clear view. Schmidt was concise, warm, thorough, and funny; he clarified the importance of treating people well. “Value people,” he said, “and make people feel valued.”