Every year a phalanx of photographers descends upon a small Missouri town for the Missouri Photo Workshop, where they each wrangle up a story and spend a week of days documenting it in pictures and nights getting their images and ideas ripped to shreds by a faculty of professional photographers. It's all very educational and cathartic and I felt lucky to be chosen as a volunteer member of the team (i.e. free student labor) that helped run it this year.
All in all it was good and I learned a lot, but just the same, if I'd had it to do all over again, I'd rather have been in Mesa Verde and the Great Sand Dunes National Park with Jack.
- I now know a great deal more about how to use a bunch of cameras and lenses that I can't actually afford to buy
- Have been informed that I should throw out every photograph I've ever taken and start over from scratch
- Was actually told to my face by a faculty member that I couldn't understand the issues behind whether or not Tiger Woods was pushed into golf against his will because I am not a mother and as a woman without children, this is just apparently beyond my...I don't know what...mental capacity? empathetic skills?
- Doubt I'll ever actually get a job as a professional photographer
- Learned how to deal with packs of ostensibly angry farm dogs who object to joggers using the roads in front of their homes
On the last one...border collies require a firm, even slightly angry voice..."GET BACK IN YOUR YARD NOW" seemed to work pretty effectively. And they remembered me a day or two later when they still barked at me, but didn't come out into the road to nip at my heels as they did the first day.
And labradors can sound mean and look mean when their teeth are bared, but if their tails are wagging, it's a good bet that upbeat, puppy-wuppy dog lingo will do the trick. That earned me a couple of escorts for two miles of a hilly backroad of St. James, Missouri, but only until we got to the border collies' territory. Apparently the canines of the town respect each others space.
The rottweiler and his sidekick yappy chihuahua luckily did not require any dealing with at all since by the time they came after me from one side of the farm house, I'd already turned around and was headed the other way, out of their view.
So that was running in St. James. A long dusty, hilly dirt road with lots of cows and horses and picturesque farms that had me kicking myself for leaving my point & shoot digital at home. I only went twice, but twice a week has unfortunately pretty much become the norm for me these days. 12 - 15 miles a week sounds ridiculous compared to what I was up to nine months ago, but it is what it is and at least it's better than nothing.
I am however considering the possibility of going to Spokane in December for the Cross Country Nationals with a local running group. I'd really have to get my act together to even be in remotely decent shape, but hey, maybe a little motivation would do me some good.