This month I designed a baby card for a friend I met in Rome. She also happens to be the daughter of the woman who taught me my profession while I was in college and who encouraged me to become a professor. Honestly, I had never been good at presenting. I had famously destroyed a presentation on Napoleon and Francisco Goya in my Spanish Cultural History class, to the point where the teacher assigned presentations again the following year to give me a second chance. I nailed the second one, refusing to admit defeat. But this professor was wonderful. She was enthusiastic, intelligent, kind, and most importantly, was genuinely interested in her students. I gave a presentation in her class on the medieval sculptures of the Church of La Madeleine in Vezelay, France, and tried to channel her enthusiasm. I had learned from her that I could incorporate anecdotes that would make a lesson seem like a story. Indeed, I still teach like that today. After the presentation, she asked me if I had ever considered becoming a professor. In God's honest truth, I had never once considered it. I was an art major. Within the year I was a dual major in art and art history, and the rest is, well, art history, I suppose.
I had the good fortune to meet her daughter who was a few years my senior during my year abroad in Rome. We had a really nice, rustic Roman meal and enjoyed some outdoor cafes and late-night art. How pleased I was that she now has asked me to design a baby card for her. She wanted elephants as a theme for her baby boy, who is due in the coming weeks. I incorporated two textiles that she had in her home from her travels, and added a bit of my own flair as well. It will be printed into cards on lovely cotton tree-free stock for her to use as thank yous for all of the sweet gifts her little bambino will receive to welcome him to this world.