Just about a week ago, I flew to San Francisco for the day. The Academy of Art flew me out to visit their spring graduation show. I had no idea what to expect, and everything that did happen was, of course, completely unexpected.
I arrived in Oakland and was picked up by a school representative who drove me to their campus downtown San Francisco. It’s pretty insane as the school owns 24 buildings downtown SF and has its own bus system. Anyway, a very nice chinese guy called Tom was assigned to be my personal guide for the day. That might have been the first time that I had a personal guide.
Our first stop was the Advertising department. All the students’ work was set up museum style. The work was great, but I was beginning to wonder how I could spend four hours looking at it. I wandered around and talked to different faculty members, who were rather curious about me. Apparently was the first visitor. Little did I know that I ended up being the only one. After talking to faculty members for about an hour, Tom came up to me and said:
“Mr. Schul…, the students are ready to see you.”
Mm, that sounded a little suspicious. And it was. I walked into a room, packed full with students. As I made first eye contact with the crowd, everybody started clapping vehemently. Again, not only was I the first guest, I was also the only one. I spent the next 5 hours, meeting with each and every student to critique their portfolio books. Which is something that I really hadn’t done before.
At some point, Tom pulled me out of the student mass and brought me to some fancy dinner reception. I met all kinds of celebrity artists and actors, got interviewed by the local TV station and was offered a part time faculty position to teach a course on “online strategy.”
At the airport, I managed to lose my belt going through security. You know how they make you take off your belt and shoes at that darn metal scanner. Well, I put my shoes back on, but forgot the belt. Needless to be said, my suit pants looked quite goofy for the rest of the night.