Sunday, May 9, 2010
I'd like to introduce you to...
I'd like you to meet Dr Ollie Theisen, (on the right) the woman to whom I owe a great deal of thanks. She's known to me as Ollie rather than the esteemed Dr Theisen because that's how she is, open and approachable.
Ollie was head of the art department at Northeast Community College from 1985 to 1996. During her tenure it was rumored NTCC had the best art department within a 100 mile radius. Regardless of what was said we all knew it was true. What we were getting we knew we could not get anywhere else, or at least anywhere within a reasonable driving distance.
Eight out of the eleven years she was there, she had me for a student. I could tell you stories but it would probably be better if I didn't. Looking back I know she put up with a lot from me...at least that's how I remember it. I haven't seen her but once since 1993 so I was delighted to hear she was going to be at the college. Dr Ollie Theisen was coming to receive a Distinguished Professor Emeritus Recognition Award. So Wednesday afternoon I headed that way. It was great not only to see her but to watch as she received her award. I hung around a little while after most people had gone just to catch up. I can't tell you what it meant when she said how proud she was of me. And she said it not once, but several times.
If anyone had told me all those years ago that I'd be teaching workshops and classes or that one day I'd be teaching drawing at the very same college, in the very same room, sitting around the very same tables and sometimes using her very same words, I would have been stunned and of course not believe a single word. I'm not sure how I feel about that, it stirs something deep in side, but mostly it just makes me smile.
And she looks good too!