Some of you have noticed by now that I have not been at the studio much this summer. I don't expect to be for several more weeks still. I decided in January to take the time off from teaching so I could focus on my own work. That has not happened. In late February Paul was diagnosed with prostate cancer and after a fair amount of talking with doctors and making decisions, he began treatment in late April and is currently in New Orleans through August 21st having radiation treatments. While he has said I can let you all know what is going on, it is only because it is affecting my ability to work at the school. When you see him, please respect his choice to not discuss his cancer at all. If you have any questions about how he's doing or anything cancer related, please ask me, otherwise, he'd like it if you act as if you are uninformed until he brings it up himself.
That said, his prognosis is excellent! We just have to get through the next several months. Ochsner has some of the latest equipment and excellent doctors. The cancer center has just partnered with MD Anderson to be an outpost hospital of theirs, a very comforting bit of news. Treatment includes a whole person approach with access to everything from diet to exercise to etc to help patients. The cancer has not spread and the radiation machine they are using has about a 2 minute exposure time because it is extremely precise so other tissue is not exposed to needless radiation. When he is finished with this, he should be cancer free shortly and not require further treatment. Again, please direct anything concerning his cancer to me, he really does not want to talk about it at all. Respect that.
This has obviously affected my available energy to devote to the school. Travel, tests, decisions, treatment plans, scheduling and going to appointments, etc are exhausting and all consuming. It was important to him to keep this private until it was going to affect his work and he was going to be gone (and that noticed) so I respected that decision and that is why I did not let anyone know anything was amiss.
Christy has been doing firings which I appreciate. However, if you have anything that requires anything special- to be fired on stilts or a bead rack or anything else- please hold off on that and keep it on your shelf until I am back over there regularly. I am sorry for anything that got messed up, I know a few things did. I was not paying attention to her firings and thought she was only firing for her classes until I saw a couple of things that were supposed to be treated differently. Just hang on for a few more weeks and let me know if you need something special in the meantime and I'll get over there to take care of that for you! When she wraps up with camp and her classes she will be working in the Concordia Parish school system, having taken a job with them beginning very soon! I hope those of you in her classes have enjoyed it! It's been nice having her jump in and I think she has enjoyed it.
I will resume after school classes after Labor Day this year, I will be hosting an in person registration day August 3rd if anyone knows of anyone who would like to register for after school classes this fall, please send them the info for that! Little things like that seem a monumental task these days, so helping to get the word out for me is greatly appreciated. I'm inviting current students to come first, followed by new students, then online registration will open for both. https://www.msfolkart.org/childrensclasses has everything listed that has been planned so far. I am working on lining up someone to teach clay classes, I hope to have that information (if it works out) soon. Otherwise we will figure out kids' clay as we can going forward! Christy will not know how available her time will be when she begins working and will not be committing to anything outside of teaching right now. At this point I plan to schedule a wheel 101 class starting late September or early October. Just need to look at when I can commit my time for that!
Class registrations have been changed. We are going from a "store" format to an "event" format. Membership, clay sales, etc are not being changed. All classes are being moved to the new format as soon as I can finish that. This will make gathering info much easier! If you have a child in the after school program, you can test the new system by RSVP'ing to registration day!
I will be in and out of town a fair bit the next few weeks. If you need anything or have any concerns, let me know so I can take care of it for you.
That's how I've been feeling lately! Thanks for your patience and understanding!