University of Mary Washington to present a writer's workshop, one thing I did not have to worry about was finding a place to park. Barbara Quann, trade book specialist for the university bookstore, had arranged a parking spot for me as well as many other special accommodations. That made for a pleasant and positive experience at the university from which I received my undergraduate degree in psychology.
So much of the campus has changed since I was there, but as I was preparing one of my talks for the day on creating a gathering book I began to realize how much I owe my university.Years ago, I took my first art class ever while attending Mary Washington. Drawing and Design was offered in a wing of duPont Hall. In that class, we created a portfolio for the art work we made as well as for the sources of some of our creative ideas. That was indeed my first gathering book. Many more gathering books and portfolios have been created in the years that followed, but, as with many other things, the first one was very special.
I wanted to major in art there, but my father did not approve. After all, art wasn't a good way to earn a living. He was right, but in my heart of hearts I've always yearned to create art.
And I've always had to write.
That was another place where the University of Mary Washington played a large part. While I was working as a student assistant in the English department, a retired professor emeritus hired me to type his novel written out in his sometimes difficult to discern handwriting. I typed the manuscript, and I learned a great deal from the experience.
As I think back, my four years gave me a lot more than I realized at the time. And I am still using what I learned in my art, in my writing, and also in my teaching.