I’m here to teach your children, America.

Or young adults, I suppose. I find myself here in the Bay again! Hello, tacos! Hello, sunshine!

Right now I am procrastinating. I really do need to finalize my syllabi.

I am so thrilled to be here to teach another session of Pre-College at California College of the Arts. It’s 4 week studio intensive courses for high school students to earn a few college credits and to see if art school is the right fit for them. I taught last year and truly loved it. I’ll be on CCA’s Oakland campus, teaching drawing in the morning and a painting/drawing hybrid class in the afternoon. Class starts on Monday!

I arrived late Tuesday night into San Francisco International. I actually experienced a full 24 hours of daylight being so close to the summer solstice and with the 8 hour time time difference. The sun rose in London around 4:45 AM, and I was traveling while it set on the west coast around 9 PM (or 5 AM London time).

Heathrow Leah, patron saint of international travel and homesickness

The Bay area has welcomed me back with open arms. I have 12 different couches to sleep on here! Well, I do get to sleep in some beds, and I have an REI camping pad in case of floor slumbers. I’ll also be ensuring the feeding and safety of two cats, some fish (or sea snails? I’m not sure what’s going on in there), a lizard, and possibly some chickens. I’m house-sitting right now in Berkeley, which is great as I finalize everything for Pre-College and recover from traveling. Thank you, friends. I am so lucky to have so many couches excitedly offered to me.

In some ways, it is hard to be back so soon. All my goodbyes are still raw. Flying over San Francisco was really painful for me. Planes circle up over the North Bay, then glide down the west side of SF along the Golden Gate toward SFO. I can usually find our apartment in the outer Richmond. It’s not our apartment anymore.

First things first: my first meal in California, my first tacos since April

In other ways, it is a relief to be back and to not live here. I can just enjoy the things about SF that I love and not worry about the things I don’t. I am feeling so glad that David and I took a leap of faith and moved into the city of San Francisco for 3 years. SF has etched itself into my heart, and I find myself trying to describe what that means. Maybe it’s that in SF, I began to be healthy and to find what I wanted for myself. I like myself more as I grow–I like myself more than myself 5 years ago, and SF helped me get there. It’s not that SF feels like home necessarily, but it is something special to me.

Hopefully teaching and dialoguing with my students will help me find the vocabulary to name these feelings. I am doing a postcard project with them, some suitcase-inspired still life drawings, and in depth projects about where we come from and where we are going. Many of them travel and stay in the dorms while they attend Pre-College; and I think it’ll be good to be in a similar head space as my students while we work together. We all have portable toolboxes filled with our art supplies. What are we going to make? What will we learn? Where will we go to do that?

The program coordinator is like Oprah: “You get a toolbox! YOU get a toolbox! Everyone gets a toolbox!”



One thought on “I’m here to teach your children, America.”

  1. Leah,
    You’re too funny. I love the taco countdown. It is good to know what’s really important in life, and of course, you do. Enjoy your time on the West Coast and good luck with your students.
    Love, Cathy


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