Continuing Education – it can either send a signal of dismal obligation or the promise of an exciting new territory of learning in a field about which you are already interested. Today the latter was surely the case. The obligatory CEU’s required to maintain/renew state licenses in Interior Design sneak up every year about this time.
I started out for Santa Fe, a direct 50 minute ride north, up the freeway. The traffic has started to gather at 6:45. It’s funny how when you do not customarily hit the road at that hour that you discover that so many others do! As the sun peeked intermittently over the mountain and the terrain dipped and rose to the east, the glow back-lit the charcoal-blue undulating peaks and burst forth blindingly as the landscape flattened to grassy fields of the high desert. Once up, it is invigorating to see the sunrise and be on the road starting off on an early day – it’s the getting up that is the struggle!
The class was scheduled to start at 8:00 and I had started out at 7:05 – cutting it a little close with no contingency for delays. The freeway was a ribbon of fast moving cars, marked for 75, most were zipping along at 84 – I included. As I entered the city limits and navigated the exit winding my way along the curving streets past golden chamisa and sun-baked adobes, clusters of lanky black-eyed susans and residues of old-fashioned hollyhock stalks punctuated with tired pink blossoms
leftover from the mid-summer floral explosions so fabulous in the cooler mountain air that is Santa Fe. Descending into the “City Different,” I wanted to enjoy the scene but was pressed for time.
Scooting around the corner and climbing up the sloped street in front of the La Fonda toward the Plaza, I turned right only to find that – as I had expected – the parking lot in the hotel was full. More minutes spent turning right again in front of the majestic Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi,
I screamed into the other open lot, paid for the day and raced on foot, in my new sensible Tom’s flats, along the sidewalk back to La Fonda. The doorman proudly held the door open with a smile and I dashed inside just as the towering church bells rang 8 o’clock. Whew…I swiftly crossed the busy lobby of eclectic travelers and made my way to the private room in which the class had assembled – in the nick of time. I grabbed a coffee, signed the sheet and took my seat at the front of the room and began a day of total immersion into the world of wood, concrete, cork, leather and composite materials such as terrazzo and engineered stone.
Inasmuch as one might not find this terribly stimulating, the instructor, Fred Jackson, was animated, enthusiastic and extremely well informed. He fielded numerous questions without a hitch, had excellent presentation materials, hand-outs and visual aids. It was informative, interactive, illuminating and fascinating. It was creatively inspiring and helpful. After 8 hours, I feel that I know so much – so very much about the characteristics, applications, strengths and weaknesses, sustainability, fragility and renewable and recyclable resources of all of these various natural and manipulated materials that I am now well armed and quite dangerous.