A Good Conversation

Today, Reshan and I spoke with an artist whose work I greatly admire. At one point, in a portion of the interview that probably won’t make it into the published article, he digressed to tell us about a parent-teacher conference — the first of his life as a parent — that he had recently attended.

The teacher presented reams of information and data about his son, who was still very young. She showed him standards and data and reports. She was energetic and on task and seemed to really understand the academic program through which she was moving this tiny human, this artist’s son.

He said he bit his tongue until she stopped talking. And then, when she stopped and he breathed to calm himself, he simply said, “thanks, that all sounds interesting, but what I really want to know is . . . is my son happy? Is he kind? Is he making friends? Does he seem to be okay? That’s what matters to me. All that . . . and not what’s in your binder.”

You talk to artists and you expect to learn to become more creative; you don’t expect to become a better human being. I got lucky and both things happened for me today. Plus, Reshan told some stories about Poland. I look forward to sharing the rest of the interview soon.

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