Tuesday, April 30, 2013

moving on

My new blog is here: charlottakratz.com/blog. I've also created a homepage for photography: charlottakratz.com. It's been great, blogger.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

what you will remember is not the words of your enemies, but the silence of your friends*

After class was over yesterday one of my students sat crying at her desk. When I walked over she handed me her phone and said, "Can you read this?". So I read.

What she wanted me to read was a message from a friend of hers who is studying abroad in Eastern Europe right now. The friend had taken a trip with some other friends to see one of the Nazi concentration camps in Poland. And at that site, the very spot where thousands of people were murdered, the young Americans had played. They had enacting killings. For example, they had pretended to cut each others' throats.

American juniors (third year students at four year universities) are 20-21 years old. Current juniors were born around 1992.

My student is Jewish. And, according to her friend, so were some of the young Americans playing at the concentration camp.

It took 70 years, but we let it happen. We let it happen that they didn't learn.

*quote by dr King, as I remember it

Monday, March 04, 2013

it's work, this life

An old friend told me the other day that she was totally expendable. There was nothing she did, she said, that couldn't be carried out by someone else instead. I'm sure my face signaled surprise at that point, because she looked at me and said, "And the same goes for you".

No one has ever told me anything similar before.

My friend is a middle-aged woman just as I am. But she lives in Sweden, not in the US. And I think her, in my mind, depressing outlook stems from the fact that you get "old" earlier in Sweden than you do here. No one will hire you if you're over 50, the saying goes. At least not if you are a woman.

I've taught at a Jesuit university for almost exactly 13 years. The Jesuits are big on vocation - the idea that as a person in the world part of your job is to find the place where "your greatest talent meets the world's greatest need."

I am sure there are hundreds of people who can teach my classes or take my photos. But I don't think of my work that way. Instead I tell myself that where ever I am at any given point, that's exactly where I'm supposed to be. I, no one else. And: Wherever I am, I have to stay open and sensitive to my surroundings so that I can see clearly what it is that I'm needed to do.

Friday, February 08, 2013

this girl, whoever she is, was in a hurry

I've made plans to go to New York for the opening of the show where I, surprisingly, will have a photo on the wall. I don't know what's more exciting, the opening or the prospect of taking pics in the big city.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

the wanderers

I was in bed with a migraine most of today. Twice I woke up, checked my phone, and had really good news. First I learned that one of my photos had gotten an honorable mention in the landscapes category in the Mobile Photography Awards. The next time I woke up I learned that the same photo had gotten second place in the black and white category! This means the image will be printed and framed, and part of a traveling show that opens in New York on February 22. Excited? You bet.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

with three hours to go, I couldn't resist

you really should know better

I had to have a minor medical procedure done yesterday, and had been told I needed to have someone drive me home because of the local anesthesia that would be required. Dan promised to take me there, and drive me home. I had to give his name to several nurses, and I wrote it on forms, including what he was wearing so they'd find him in the waiting room when it would be time to leave.

So, when I was done, lucid, and dressed, the recovery room nurse went to get Dan. She came back, twice, and said he wasn't there. The second time she came back without having found him I got the slightest bit irritated, repeated the information I had written down (black fleece jacket), and added "Mexican-American, in his 40s". She looked startled.

Not that she admitted it, but it was obvious that she had been looking for a white "Dan". Because I'm white. He had been sitting there the entire time. He told me later that she hadn't even bothered to say his name out loud. Or mine. So sure was she that he wasn't there.