Fiesta de la Trashumancia by Hillary Sturgeon
“I enjoy photography” is a better sentence, but it gives the impression that I understand something about the art, which I don’t, so I simply say, “I like taking pictures.” That I have a decent eye for a good shot (and Instagram filters) provides some nice gets from time to time, but that’s about all I’ve got.
My youngest daughter, on the other hand, has long been light years ahead of me and can now claim that she is an award-winning photographer.
This is the eleventh year that the College of Arts & Sciences at Seattle University has hosted a photography competition titled, “Imagining the World,” and tomorrow night when this year’s exhibition opens in Kinsey Gallery, Hillary’s photograph, Fiesta de la Trashumancia, will be featured as the first-place award winner in the Study Abroad category. I am sad to be 2500 miles away from the awards event, but I look forward to seeing the exhibit during graduation weekend since it will be on display in the gallery throughout the summer. Hillary’s photograph will also be the cover photo for the book that is produced each year featuring all of the award-winning photographs. I might be a little proud.
I credit our friend, Cecily, with planting the original photography seed in Hillary’s heart during her teenage years and then Malibu High School’s photography department for helping develop her talent (alongside Cecily). Following high school, Hillary spent an entire summer in college as a photography intern in Kenya and obviously did not waste the opportunity to capture incredible moments while studying abroad in Spain. Recently, she returned from a service trip to Mexico with some extraordinary photographs, too.
Imagining the world? Yes, indeed. I imagine there is more to come.
Hillary has not become a photographer by trade—yet, at least—and considers it a hobby, but unlike her proud dad, she knows what she is doing. I like taking pictures, but Hillary enjoys photography.
On Display in the Spanish Department (Seattle University)
Posted in Original Essays, Pictures
Tagged cecily breeding, fiesta de la trashumancia, imagination, kenya, kinsey gallery, malibu high school, photography, seattle university, spain, world
It is a big day. My office sits in the heart of Pepperdine University’s main campus in Malibu, and today is the first day of classes for undergraduate students. Next door to my office is Pepperdine’s high-tech, newly-renovated Payson Library complete with a full-functioning Starbucks, and you can feel the highly-caffeinated energy in the air.
My youngest daughter attends a different university that runs on a different calendar, but because she is studying abroad in Spain this semester and her plane is scheduled to touch down right about now it feels like the first day for her, too. It simply feels like a big day at every turn in my world.
Last week had a different feel. I was honored to be invited to attend a retreat high in the San Bernardino Mountains with fifty or sixty rising Pepperdine sophomores as they prepared for a brand new year. It was such a tranquil setting. The view by day featured a beautiful lake and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and the night featured actual bear sightings and a sky so full of stars that I had to remind myself that it was real.
But I decided to go for a run one afternoon because that is the sort of thing I do, and though stunning, I wouldn’t snag the word “tranquil” to describe it. For one, we were a mile above sea level, and let’s just say that my lungs noticed. For two, although the temperature was nowhere near extreme, maybe it seemed so hot because we were that much closer to the sun. And for three, there was nothing flat in sight. It surely wasn’t my easiest rave run.
We went on this retreat to get away and find focus for the year to come. Peace and tranquility are good for such things, but on reflection I think that difficult run was pretty good preparation, too. In fact, my major take-away on the retreat was that I need to remember how to choose to do without. And that run surely reminded me what it felt like to do without, oh, let’s say, air.
So here we go. The year ahead looks full and awesome and slightly terrifying, but good. I’m ready for it. Let’s run this race.
Posted in Original Essays
Tagged bears, california, college, elevation, focus, malibu, payson library, peace, pepperdine, retreat, running, san bernardino mountains, spain, starbucks, stars, study abroad, tranquility