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How Are You Doing?

How are you doing?  How are you really doing?  Every time I see someone I know these days, we ask each other ‘How are you doing?’ and we really mean it.   No one is content to just hear a ‘Fine, you?’, no, now we want more. Much more. Like: do you have parents who are elderly or sick? Do you have children? Do you have a partner? Is everybody feeling OK? Do you have enough food? Do you have toilet paper?

A few days ago, I called my niece in NY, and she was at home working through phonetics and reading with her 6 year old and her 3 year old. At the same time, she’s trying to get some work done (she’s a lawyer), and probably concerned about her father who’s in his late 60s. I tried to make a bit of a joke to lighten the mood, saying, ‘Gee I really didn’t ever see you as the type to home-school your children!’, and she gave out a sigh. Then I realized that having little kids around is a big, big issue for lots of young people. How on earth do you educate your children at home? And for heaven’s sake, if you are an MC student, aren’t you also trying to educate yourself? What about work? We all need to cut ourselves some slack right now.

We are experiencing something which has not happened in our living memory – we’re struggling with a plague. And very few of us have experienced shortages of any kind, so it is quite unsettling to see empty shelves. I went into a supermarket yesterday and I could smell fear. I never would have believed that I’d be afraid to buy groceries. So, I’ve been trying fight fear by learning all that I can about this disease, keeping a routine, setting daily goals, and then trying to concentrate on accomplishing them.

Generally, now I try to check emails in the morning, and do any reading or writing which might be required for class. Most of my classes at MC have been completely cancelled, but the professor for Figure Drawing is trying very hard to keep everyone engaged. What a challenge. The course is all about drawing from a live model, and doing this for a solid 5 hours per week is easy when you have class, but difficult to duplicate at home. His assignments are very helpful in keeping me on track. Honestly, I don’t get there every day, but trying to stick to a schedule is helping a lot.

So, yes, I’m doing OK. How are you doing? Really.

Arleen Seed

Hi! My name is Arleen Cannata Seed and I’m studying Fine Arts here at Montgomery College in Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Originally from New York City, I studied Art as an undergraduate years ago, but chose to spend my career in a totally different field, working for the United Nations and traveling all over the world bringing technological solutions to global problems.

Once I retired, I had the time and mental space to practice Art again, but I knew I had forgotten the fundamentals. So, I enrolled in 100 level courses in drawing, painting, and sculpture at MC. This was just the catalyst I needed! The professors at MC, in both the Community Arts and the regular credit courses, provided a course of study and opened my eyes to the different ways in which Art is taught in the 21st Century.

This blog is about my journey, my transition from working adult to pursuing an earlier dream, and I’m hoping this story resonates with young people thinking about their career choices and older people yearning to rekindle pursuits which have always interested them.

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