Thursday, October 8, 2009


I asked some alumni and some current students too to tell their tale about their experience in the Lab. What about after the course? Does the work here resonate beyond the walls of the school into the future? Their choice of format. Their observations. Their perspective. Their words. Unedited.

We'll be posting these stories now and again. Reflection is an important part of what we do in life... or it should be.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard, USS. Enterprise. Star Trek, TNG

First up: Arianne, from the class of 2009.

Image from:

It was freshman year and everything was a new experience. Every new step that I took was on new ground, in this new school, Burr&Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont. As I looked at my new schedule on where to go next, I find that I have 'Tech Research.' I was told to take this from my friends that I had recently made that were a year older than me. I had transferred into this class a few weeks late because I did not want to be in Orchestra Instrument class or whatever it was that I chose because playing the trumpet wasn't really my thing.

As I venture into the basement of the Smith Center, only wild thoughts were traveling through my brain, as I wondered what the hell I did in Tech Research. I didn't know a thing about technology or computers at the time. I walk in and take a seat between two other students, both foreign exchange, and this was way back when the tables were arranged in rows. Where now it's tables around the room, in a much more friendly, comfortable setting. The lighting was dim and there was a single ray of light coming from the ceiling, coming down upon the man that introduced himself as Adam Provost. He started with “ "Good afternoon, my name is Adam Provost and I have a big head."” I wasn't sure how to take that. I mean I guess he was kind of right, it was slightly large, but I was surprised in the way he introduced himself into my life.

The memories fade as the years go on, but the time I spent in and out of the class, the first year I took it I even transferred out and took gym, but then the next year I gave it another chance, and so on I continued to take it. And I did this, not because ' oh you can do anything you want in that class, its like a free block' as I heard so many times. I took it because I had this man talk to me about things in the media, new technology, showing the class interesting videos from TED. And watching loved movies like Lord of the Rings. I listened to his stories about his life and the problems he faced and overcame, and all the while I was quite inspired. If he can get through all that and become this man I see now, then I know I can become someone too. Someone important, and someone loved.

The class assignments were rare, which was nice, but at the same time when we did have them, it took a lot of personal thought to respond on such topics like the movie Goodnight and Good Luck, or how we felt about taking college courses online, the list was small, and hard to remember, but I know that when I answered the questions he asked, I was being honest and thoughtful. And I did it because I wanted to. Not some bull that most students like to puke up on their paper to get a good grade and go on with their lives, I wanted to know what other people thought, and I wanted to let people know what I thought about those topics.

I learned Photoshop in that class which is one of the most important things in my life now, because that's kind of like the mainstream art, done in Photoshop and uploaded online. And it has made my art more lively and colorful, and if I didn't have it, I don't know what I would have done. I learned a lot in that. Also on how presentation is everything. If you come in to a work office looking for a job and you're wearing hobo clothes, there's a high chance that you are not going to get that job. When you speak publicly, you want to enunciate, and you want to speak loudly, make yourself the center of attention and let people know what's on your mind. And how could I forget how to get up in front of class and talk about random things that we all thought up for, for the impromptu speeches.

I am now a freshman in Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts, and almost every day during my classes, whether its drawing on paper, on a computer, or just listening to a teacher speak, I think of Tech Research and critique my day to day life. I think to myself ' wow that teacher should take some pointers from Provost on public speaking, she's not keeping my attention at all.' Silly things like that, I am reminded of all the things I learned in that class. It was on of the best things ever because I wasn't learning things that were to be thrown back up on paper and handed in and graded, I was learning things to use in the real world, and things that I will need to know and do.

I came out of that class, honestly, a person with a whole new perspective on life and how to think about it.

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