At the end of the year, there is an all Meadows School of the Arts meeting. I go most of the time. The Dean let’s us know how the year went from his perspective and he also gives us news about exciting developments in the future. The meeting runs from 3-4:30 after which there are cocktails and hors d’oevres.
The Division of Dance just lost an amazing woman, Karen Kriete. She was a ballet teacher extraordinaire. I learned so much from watching her teach. She had a profound effect on many students. She truly changed lives.
I remember watching her teach when she asked a student at the barre if she new the “choreography”. I thought “choreography”? And the it made sense – everything you give in a class as a teacher is choreography. I thought that was quite profound. Karen was also the director of the Brown Bag student performance series. It happens in both fall and spring. When she retired, she handed it overt to me – a great honor. I think she did so because we shared the same philosophy, Brown Bag was about the students from beginning to end – their ideas, their music, their process.
Karen’s funeral was about 20 minutes northeast of SMU on the same day as the end of year meeting. Five of us went. Heather, the Dance Coordinator said she would save us seats. There was a bit of traffic and we knew it would be close. We were driving into the parking lot when the phone rang. It was Heather with “Where the hell are you”?
We raced up to the meeting room which is designed like stadium seating. I said that I was going in the back. They all said NO – sit in the front – very odd. We all sat and Kevin Hofeditz, the Dean of Student Affairs asked me to stand and proceeded to announce that I had won the 2017-2018 Distinguished Teaching Professor award!
I was amazed. It was completely unexpected. Kevin read me Bio and then some quotes from students. You get the Golden Apple and you also get $5000, $2500 for whatever you want and $2500 for continued research. I will be sing it for the spring 2018 mini-retrospective. On Saturday May 20, Meadows had its diploma ceremony outside in front of the Owen Fine Arts Center. I was given the award a second time in front of the entire student body. Let me just say, my students were quite rowdy and leave it there!!!