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Norm Schureman

(I am reposting my thoughts about Norm on this page so I can get back to putting my artwork on the main page. I wanted to keep him here on my blog, though).

Early Sunday morning March 21, a mentor, teacher, and friend of mine, Norm Schureman, was murdered. I miss him terribly.

Our last interaction was on Friday, when I stopped by his class to ask him if he would write me a letter of recommendation for an internship this summer. He happily agreed. As always, he gave me a big smile and a hug when he saw me. He showed me his glasses, which were from a new eyewear line he'd just launched. He was clearly proud of them, and rightfully so; they were elegant, beautiful, and well-made. He had just returned from Italy. He had a tan and looked healthy and happy. We made plans for me to show him my updated portfolio this coming week. I will never get to.

This sounds selfish when so many people are grieving for him, but I hate that he doesn't get to see my grad wall. He taught me so much at Art Center, and I wanted him to see it. He died thinking that my best work was what I showed him over a year ago, but through applying his warmup techniques and the lessons he taught me, I am a much better artist now than I was then. I'd want him to see what his teaching can do. I hope he was proud of me.

We spent a fair amount of time together over the semesters that I TA'd for him and worked on an independent study with him. He bought me lunch dozens of times, always cheerfully refusing when I offered to contribute. We had the same taste in movies and comedy; he gave me a DVD of "Airplane!" at the end of one semester. We had a lot to talk about; politics, school, art, design, sushi, nature, and science. He had a great laugh, and great taste in glasses. He genuinely loved animals--his face always lit up when he got to interact with them. He was fascinated by insects and always referred to them as "like little products." He brought his tarantula to class.

I hate that he doesn't get to see his children grow up. He doesn't get to retire from Art Center with a huge party (which you know he would have had). I don't get to keep in touch with him over the course of my career after school. I am angry at the person who took his life. I am angry about the loss. But mostly I am somewhere between sad and numb. I miss you, Norm. I can't believe your big, cluttered car won't be in the parking lot tomorrow. I can't believe your beautiful drawings won't materialize on the blackboards of Room 203 anymore. Your life was well spent. I just wish more than anything that it wasn't cut short.