Leaving Cornish for the Open Road

In hindsight it was one of the most decisive moments in my life. I would count it right up there with deciding to have children. Your life changes. A fork in the path leads you to a different destination.

The decision I’m referring to is my decision to “bail out of college”. I had been doing great, and enjoying myself. And then just when you think you know what’s coming, a gust hits you broadside, and your world is turned upside down. For me that gust was a  change in faculty. With the hiring of a new director of the art department during my third year, all the faculty with whom I had a rapport, quit in protest over some new contract language or some issues surrounding policy or general rights and privileges.

Why did this make such a big difference to me? Because Cornish was set up for the fourth year to be a thesis year, where Fine Art majors worked closely with a single instructor as an advisor, toward a final show in the Cornish Gallery. With all the instructors who I would’ve chosen to guide my senior year project “out the door”, I chose to drop out.

It would not be the first time I had left a project half finished in my life, nor the last. I dropped out of high school in my senior year, only to return and finish up at community college years later. But this was big. I had no money. No income. Nowhere in mind to go. Some of  my classmates who chose similarly enrolled in other institutions, and I considered this. But in the end I chose a different path. I decided to travel.

I would see the great art of Europe. I would compliment my education with first hand experience of what I had been studying in Art History class. I had some romantic notion that I would hitch a ride on a freighter leaving out of the Canadian ports along the Great Lakes. This is where I pointed myself. And how was I going to get there? I would hop a boxcar, and ride the Canadian Pacific Railroad across Canada in the middle of winter.

Sound exciting? Stay tuned.

What was your life’s decisive moment? Leave a comment.

2 Replies to “Leaving Cornish for the Open Road”

  1. I’m 18 and don’t get out much, so I don’t exactly have alot of moments to choose from for your question. But, I think that my most decisive moment would have to be deciding to go to college. Two years ago, I started college, and I’ve learned so much since. It’s something I’m glad I decided to do, and I might continue my education at WGU once I’m done.

    (College assignment requirement part)
    Levi Taitano


    1. Hi Levi. Thanks for the comment. I’m glad your decision to enter college is feeling like the right decision to you. There is so much benefit from a higher education. I value my decision to enroll in college. I believe there are turning points in our lives that happen by design, and when we act on them we are greatly rewarded. Good for you for taking the initiative to start your college career. I wish you all the best.

      Kurt Thorson

      Liked by 1 person

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