Since I retired in November of 2018, I have been considering ways in which I could continue to explore the world of the arts. I taught FINE 1306, Introduction to Fine Arts, for 13 years at Dallas Baptist University. During that time, I taught on-campus, in-person classes at 8:00 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. I also taught online sections of the class in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, as well as mini-hybrid classes during March, May, August, and winter breaks. This class is taught by many other professors because every student is required to take this class, except for music majors and education majors (they take specialized versions of the course taught by professors in their disciplines). I believe, but I’m not sure, that I have taught the course more frequently than any other currently serving DBU professor. I also was responsible for a major re-write of the online curriculum in 2010, as well as minor updates to reflect new textbooks in 2014 and 2018-19. I just state this up front to testify that I know the course material inside and out, and I’ve learned a lot about all kinds of art during this long process.

In addition, I took 36 hours of doctoral classes at UT-Dallas, majoring in Aesthetic Studies. This program is an inter-disciplinary study of art, music, history, literature, and philosophy. Those courses furthered my love of and knowledge about the arts in all areas.

What I want to do, now that I’m semi-retired (I still teach the online and mini-hybrid courses), is learn more and share more by taking advantage of this blog. In the past, I have written in this forum sporadically at best, but my hope is to eventually produce a nearly daily output. My two main challenges are: 1) sticking to it and not sloughing off or making excuses; and 2) not writing too much. I’m very wordy, as you can see!

My plan is based on a modified version of the course schedule I use during the week-long mini-hybrid courses that I teach, to wit:

Monday – paintings and other flat visual arts

Tuesday – sculpture, architecture, and other three-dimensional visual art

Wednesday – music

Thursday – cinema and theater (mostly movies)

Friday – television

Saturday – books

What I hope to do is feature some of my favorite items from these categories and provide brief reviews or information about them. I worry about getting too pedantic, but perhaps I can learn to avoid that and just be entertaining. I plan to include items of pop culture, as well as the more traditional, “classical” works, so maybe that will help!

I started today with four paintings chosen by my students and the haiku poems they wrote that were inspired by those paintings. This occurs only a few times during the year, when I teach the mini-hybrid courses.

Tomorrow I’ll feature a work of architecture to get us started. Let’s see how it goes!

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