I just received an email from a former colleague at Stetson University, reminding me of what once was but can never be again. Stetson is a Central Florida institution, comprising mainly three undergraduate colleges (liberal arts, music, and business), plus a law school. I attended Stetson from 1960-64, and taught there for most of my academic career, retiring in 2009.
For some reason I have always remembered my first semester French class, and one particular poem. The poem was written by François Villon, and the line that sticks is “Mais ou sont les neiges d’antan.” “Where are the snows of years past?”
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Digression: My spell-checker turned the French verb sont into “sony.” Yeah. Changed the “t” to a “y,” but didn’t capitalize the “s.” Has to be some kind of lesson there.
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I wandered the Stetson campus yesterday afternoon, taking photos and reflecting. Ha! Some kind of slip there, Freudian or not. Why? Because some of the photos I took were self-portraits, my image reflected from various windows or doors on campus. I’ll include a couple of those images. The shots were all taken from the outside looking in. And in many of them I chose an angle that would hide or disguise my face, suggesting visually what I feel.
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Yes, this is indeed a self-portrait. I took the shot while standing in front of an outside door that provides access to a hallway. The “blobs” at the very top of the photo are the overhead lights inside the hall, converging toward the vanishing point. My own likeness is almost completely effaced by the large yellow and blue paste-on signs.
This image was shot on the other side of the same building, this time in a window. I washed my hair yesterday morning, and let it hang loose. Looking to the viewer’s right, one can see how the afternoon was a tad breezy.