Why I love teaching at ITP and Shel Silverstein

Posted by

We’re more than half way through semester at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU that I teach at – a two year graduate program that has been described as art school for engineers, and engineering school for artists. I’ve been going through all of my students’ blogs in more detail in preparation for handing out midterm grades, and am reminded of how far they have all come since day one. I also thoroughly enjoy this exercise because of the perspective the students there have and the creativity they inject into activities that might sound somewhat simplistic to others. As an engineer by training, I find it’s easy to get bogged down with theory and technical jargon behind the scenes. But the sense of wonder that is captured in the project documentation of the students reminds me why I love teaching at ITP – the students remind me to look at things from a different angle.

This reminds me of a Shel Silverstein poem. I had Where the Sidewalk Ends growing up, and my sister had A Light in the Attic. We both read them cover to cover several times, and memorized some of the poems. Here is the one I thought of:

New World

Upside-down trees swingin’ free,
Buses float and buildings dangle:
Now and then it’s nice to see
The world– – from a different angle.

– Shel Silverstein