>Sunday, Labor Day weekend, was beautiful. The family went out for breakfast to one of our favorite haunts, and then we decided to take a walk around the University of Oregon campus which was next door. I had not been on campus for years.
I graduated from the place in 1989 with bachelors degrees in film studies (the old Telecommunication and Film dept.) and in art history, then again in 1993 with an M.A. in film studies (emphasis on independent film aesthetics). I also used to take portrait photos there when I was a professional photographer. I have to say the campus was perfect for strolling and just enjoying the surroundings on this quiet weekend.
But I also became a little contemplative. As we passed by so many of the buildings in which I spent so much time many years ago I couldn’t help but think about how important some doors can be in one’s life. These are some of those doors for me.
Many times did I walk through this entrance to the Art and Architecture building. Most of my art history bachelors degree came in one year as I crammed five courses a quarter of memorizing slides, dates, painters, architects, styles, and historical periods. I loved it. I have always loved art, but studying art history opened my eyes to how magnificent the breadth and depth of art has been.
150 Columbia is a large lecture hall. Although I had some science courses there, this is also where many of the films shown by the student forum (or was it student union?) were exhibited. This is also were visiting filmmakers might show their wares. For example, I saw a two-night presentation of Stan Brakhage’s films with Brakhage introducing each film and talking about his life as a filmmaker.
Villard Hall was where the old Telecommunication and Film department (now defunct) resided. I spent many hundreds of hours in this old building, and hundreds upon hundreds of times going through this side door. This is where I studied film history and aesthetics, created videos, and taught film courses as a GTF. I figured out how to “sneak” through this usually locked door late at night and on the weekends so I could spend extra hours editing my projects.
180 Prince Lucien Campbell
Every Tuesday and Thursday evenings I spent a couple hours or so in this large lecture hall watching films for my film history courses. This is where I was introduced to the cinematic “cannon.” Here I saw Griffith, Renoir, Godard, Sembene, and so much more for the first time. Here is where my world opened up and I became a person of the world, with my mind expanded and heart grown bigger. Words cannot really describe how big of an impact this door has had on my life.
So that was part of my Labor Day weekend. I’m sure in your life you have had, or still have, doors that are more than just doors.