Generations are watching

Dad’s new binoculars © Jim Korpi

“It takes three generations to make a musician,” cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s father Ma Xiao-Jun would say. “The first to leave poverty, the second to go to school, and the third to master an instrument.”

Pressure from relatives to succeed in life is often subconscious, but it exists. Why should it not?

My grandfather owned a farm now turned subdivision. Another grandfather went from running a service station to owning a farm in New Hampshire that eventually went bankrupt. The third worked in the mills after fighting in World War II.

Yesterday I presented my master’s project to a committee of professors in order to defend the year of work I’ve spent on it. I passed. I will soon have a Master’s degree in photography.

Whether I will ever become a “master” of photography is questionable, but I’m now keenly aware of those from the past who have carried me on their tired shoulders and allowed me the opportunity and time to pursuit my dreams.

It may also take three generations to make a photographer.

Posted March 3rd, 2010 in Uncategorized.


  1. Rebekah:

    Sweet Jim!!! Wow–you have worked really hard and I’m so happy for you! What an awesome accomplishment, truly, especially since you are able to pursue something you love. Miss you both! Thanks for being a great brother in law and for your amazing hospitality and kindness.

  2. James:

    Congratulations Jim!

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