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Let there be light.

January 3, 2011 \pm\31 4:45 pm

Happy New Year, everyone, and even you, whose name I have forgotten, who tried to belittle me last week for wanting to pursue photography as a career. You, especially, deserve a great year, and one that will enlighten you about the artistic personality that needs variation.

A couple of weeks ago, my cursor floated down the Facebook sidebar to a picture of an SLR camera and a question about wanting to study photography online. Pittsburgh. I clicked a few times, because I’ve always liked photography, taken classes early on, gotten a few photographs posted on sites — thank you Dan Nester (Unpleasant Event Schedule) and Guy Shahar (The Cortland Review) and Georgia Kral (Carroll Gardens Patch) — before I realized that I’d clicked into being contacted about obtaining a B.A. in Photography. Oops.

I certainly do not live in a remote, culturally deprived area that would force me to search for good online instruction. For goodness sake, I live in New York City. I don’t even need a degree or certification, but rather extra classes to fill in the gaps. Hanging out with photographers is also useful and fun. I just did click, I just made a mistake.

The man whose job it is to call a segment of the population who have clicked on the Facebook ad and get enrollments, is a salesman who listens just enough to keep me on the line to run through all of his questions and determine whether I am a candidate or not, yet not enough to listen when I say that I do not need another B.A. My answer would end the call, in my estimation, but not his. As a salesman, he’s a conversationalist, which is better than someone reading off a questionnaire. He found out I was a writer — but not how long ago I obtained my B.A. — that I would want to pursue photography freelance, and that if I had to choose I would choose writing over photography. 

This last answer came to a question that I find old fashioned and limiting. I said that if he was asking me to choose between them, then his program was not the one for me. (By this point, I was acting an alternate version of myself, the one who would consider starting all over as a young person.) There are many multi-disciplinary programs, I said, although I meant “interdisciplinary.” I also wanted to chide him for his speech pattern. He almost did not need me on the phone to answer him, when he said “And my next question, which I think I know the answer to, is…” If you know the answer why ask it?

The answer seemed to be to run me through the paces of the race that I would surely lose. I was not professional photographer material, he made sure I understood. I had already said that I made a mistake and that I didn’t need another B.A., and that I also had a sore throat and need not remain on the line much longer, and intermittently threw in that gracious let’s-end-this-call phrase, “I have to think more about this.”  But, he persisted in letting me know that I had wasted their time by wasting his own, and mine.

So, have a happy new year, sir, and may the f-stop of your brain open wide.

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