Letter: Reflecting on why art matters in life

Posted 5/12/21

I once heard a college professor say that education is just a job factory. He seemed a bit disgruntled at the time. Maybe he was having a bad day. It stuck with me though. Really? Just a job factory. …

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Letter: Reflecting on why art matters in life

Posted

I once heard a college professor say that education is just a job factory. He seemed a bit disgruntled at the time. Maybe he was having a bad day. It stuck with me though. Really? Just a job factory. Nothing else?

Looking back on a work history of at least 50 years … Paper carrier, janitor, dishwasher, offshore fisherman, tugboat deckhand, pipefitter, ferry boat captain, shellfish diver, physical therapist, and woodworker … I think that, for me, the connecting thread through all of those “jobs” was a need to reduce each task to its most efficient and elemental performance — a work of art (or at least artisanship).

That perspective made every “job” interesting and instructive.

I tend to believe the studies that point to art as an integral part of a well-rounded education. That it fosters new and innovative thinking and to view things in creative and critical ways. It helps give us a sense of purpose and ownership. It helps to make our daily lives enjoyable. Art helps make life meaningful.

My children benefitted greatly from the excellent teachers in the Bristol Warren school system, not least of which were the music and theater faculty.

I am hoping that our town’s educational system can find a way to continue providing an excellent arts component to future generations of children.

Timothy Brassard
Bristol

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.