Skip to content

Back to School

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
1 min read

My wife got a new job at a college. I'm taking advantage of the situation to go back and re-take several photography classes with a discount. It's been 20 years since I've taken a college-level photography course.

I'm excited by the prospect of having a beginner's mind again. Maybe I'll argue a bit with the professor, but I did that the first time around as well. Right, Monte?

The point is, we all could benefit from a beginner's mindset. I may have devoted most of my life to writing and photography, but what could be possible if I walk into a classroom dropping all my assumptions? Could I be the student with the most to learn?

I think it's a worthwhile experiment.

If I walked around life in general with that attitude, I'd bet I get more out of every experience.

As an aside, the only thing that has lessened my enthusiasm for this experiment is the equipment required for the classes: an SLR and a tripod. I sold all of that stuff around 2009. As my recent writing has shown, I hold no grudges against such gear, just the lack of creativity they tend to foster in me. Everyone has a different constraint-happiness level. Mine is somewhere between the iPhone and rangefinder fixed-lens film cameras.

So, I picked up an entry-level SLR and tripod to meet the minimum requirements. I'm really trying to like the experience. I'm practicing. But everything I've produced so far has only confirmed what's already in the book. Constraints work.