What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

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I’ve been in school since I was five. And though in two short weeks I’ll begin my 30th year of teaching, I’m still thrilled to be as much a student as when I walked into Mrs. Monday’s Head Start Class–minus the dog ears and knee socks. As I tell my kids, the purpose of education is to learn to critically think and to discover the joy of lifelong learning. Last summer while in Barcelona I fell in love with the architecture of Antoni Gaudi. This summer on a staycation stop encore, thanks to my daughter, Taylor, I fell in love with the photography of Richard Avedon. That’s the thing about classics–whether books, movies, music, or art–they never go out of style so their appeal is cross- generational. Like a fine wine they become more valuable when vintage. And when seen, shared, discussed with others we often see something new we missed the first time through.


I wrote last month about the Golden Age of Couture exhibit which I saw with friends on a Frist Friday. Today I went again with my mom, sister, and daughter. I knew Taylor would love the clothes given she plans to study fashion marketing this fall. But because she also has a huge interest in photography, she called me over to the photographs she really adored and told me they were all by Avedon.

After stalking him on the internet, I realized I’d fallen in love with some of his work long ago…like pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller and of John Jr. and Jackie O. I discovered new photos as well. Among the favorites below, my top pics are in the collection touring this year: The Kennedys: Portrait of a Family…as well as my boy Brando. Then there’s my second imaginary boyfriend, Elvis, who I fell for at the age of six (at five my first was Ringo Starr). Enjoy…

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Cindy McCain

A Southern Girl Gone Global, I flew from my empty Nashville nest in 2014 to land in Africa where I lived two years in magical Marrakesh, Morocco. Now I live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and continue sharing my journey--so far across 27 countries on 4 continents and the Caribbean. This travel/lifestyle blog is about letting go of fear, clinging to faith, and following your heart's desires. It's a celebration of beauty, adventure, relationship...roots and wings.

One comment

  • Hi Cindy,
    I found you via Michael Turner’s announcement about the Her Nashville article. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it.

    I so identify with living a life through literature. So much so, that I started writing and I can’t stop. I live through my characters and they’ve taken me to wondrous places I never would have gone.

    I wonder, might I “blogjack” your article and share it on my own personal blog…of course giving you full credit with a link to the article and your blog.

    Please email me at mizging at gmail dot com.

    P.S. I’ve contacted Volunteer State here in Gallatin, hoping I can be a guest in one of their Creative Writing classes to discuss the E-book explosion (publishing) and demonstrate the ease of reading on my netbook. Most of my work is also in print, but far more expensive than downloads.

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