It’s very ironic that my classmates find it terribly difficult to be on time, especially when they vowed that they would be punctual.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
This morning we met our mentor at a Starbucks coffee shop on Varick and Spring streets. We were admonished to meet at 10 am. He literally begged us to be sure to arrive at that time.
Then we walked a little further down into Tribeca to visit a filmmaker friend of our mentor. He showed us some excerpts from his experimental films and we had a fascinating discussion about virtual reality and cinema and the evolution and ends of both. I noted that his house is enormous, by New York standards. It was filled with a tantalizing collection of books, records, and DVDs of many, many classic films.
After that, we had Mediterranean take-out food and ,walked to the Chaim Gross Foundation on LaGuardia Place for the third time, we went to the home and studio of a dead famous artist. It was interesting, but at this point, I’m getting a bit tired of looking at old work when I want to work on my own and blaze my own path. At the Gross foundation, we talked about Gross as well as about Horace Pippin, again. There was a lot of speculation about his life, and it’s very difficult for me to gauge these things.
I think that my Mentor is an extremely sweet and thoughtful person. He loves to talk profusely, which is also appealing to me. I most definitely appreciate people who like to talk. In a way, they are (sometimes) better at working through issues, because — and I qualify this as in the case of someone like my Father, who simply talks without listening — they can learn to understand another person to whom they are willing to listen as much as they talk.
My Mentor is also an interesting case study because he has spent a lot of our time together talking about issues of race. I’m more or less okay with that, although at times it can get tiring and even more so for the “white” students in the group, I imagine. The most interesting (and depressing) part is that often it seems that some privileged (and I mean this in the best way) people are concerned with the injustices of the past, and interested in diversity, but they don’t always see that their actions have an impact on righting wrongs or making things better. I hoped to impress this upon him in a heart-to-heart talk on Tuesday. I think that he heard me, but when I mentioned that there were African-Americans right in his orbit that he could make a positive action to help (namely me!) he tensed up, and his eyes went from focused to that far-away look I’ve seen in so many people’s eyes when they make an uncomfortable realization or recognize that they might not be as committed as they imagine.
The man is under no obligation to help me, of course, but I did want to make him cognizant of the fact that history is just a moment ago, and to change the future, you have to start in your immediate orbit. Many people fail to either recognize or remember this fact.
I was actually emotionally drained after the day, and spend the rest of the evening eating and lurking around spots in the city. I ate food from Miss Lily’s on Houston street, a restaurant that serves Jamaican food. I didn’t want to eat in, so I took the food as take-out, in a rare move, since I don’t like bags and too much packaging. I must say, though, that the food was both delicious and generous! I will most definitely return and explore some more of their offerings.