168 and Burton Center for Arts and Technology

Dr. Fred Eichleman and John David Ware

I'm out of town this week (9/16-19/12) teaching in Salem, Virginia at the Burton Center for Arts and Technology, a vocational school designed to prepare students for immediate post-high school employment.

The school features four-year courses of study in Mass Communication: TV & radio production, print media, marketing, legal and ethics. If you prefer, they also offer performing arts such as choral, dance, musical theatre or speech communication.

Not your thing?  Try the school of Auto Service Technology (race car fabrication and all facets of the racing industry) Motorsports Technology, Engineering or Floral Design.  This is a fun school.

No, it's not a substitute for regular high school, it's an addition to it.  And yes, I'm a little jealous, but I am hiding it well.  The people here are very warm and friendly.

My hosts are Dr. Fred and Mrs. Carolyn Eichleman, rockstars of the blackboard.  They are retired, but they are very active in their 70's, publishing the Point North Tidings Newsletter among other things.  This tells the news of Christians in the arts who are making a difference.  Carolyn and Fred are big fans of the 168 Film Project and make great use of the 168 films for their weekly Bible study.

Their daughter Carol Webster is a drama teacher at the Burton School.

As you may have guessed, I am not here to teach their pit crew.  As the Burton Guest Artist, I am teaching a 3-day intensive on writing, production, acting, directing and everything else you might want to know about the business.

John David Ware Teaches at Burton Center for Arts & Technology

I humbly stand on the shoulders of friends from whom I have learned so much.  Special thanks go to Brian Bird, Derrick Warfel, Key Payton, Luke Schelhaas, Bruce Nahin and Kevin Sizemore.

Of course there is a dual purpose of recruiting students for the Write of Passage Screenwriting competition, BTW ONLY 2 WEEKS TO DEADLINE (Oct. 1).

I have been cramming their minds full of great info, which they are hungry for.  After the first day of three, one girl confessed to being so overloaded with ideas that she found it hard to concentrate.  "I can't shut off all of these ideas," she said excitedly.

So, I'm happy to be doing a reasonably good job.  My gift is exhortation, if nothing else and it is wildly satisfying to teach these young men and women and watch the lights go on.  Find (and fund) your gifts and give them away.


John David Ware