Flora Carter               Personal




I was born in New York, lived in the metropolitan area, and moved to Germany (where I went to school and  traveled in Europe with my family), until it was time for college.  I attended universities in Rochester, N.Y., Washington, D.C., and California, and I have also lived in mid-Atlantic states and the Midwest. 

Starting in elementary school, I took music and dance lessons, and explored making art and writing.  In college, my favorite subjects were art history, literature, and philosophy.  I worked at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. as an art researcher, and eventually became a curator of 20th century American art.  Moving out west, I coordinated arts and humanities programs for the city of Boulder, Colorado.

It was in the San Joaquin Valley that I taught for the first time, first at California State University, Stanislaus, where I earned a second Master’s degree, then at Modesto Junior College, which has been my teaching home since 1996. I have taught art history and humanities classes here. The interdisciplinary character of humanities links my interests in the arts with my many questions about life, people, philosophy, history, art, cultural values, and criticism.

Some of my great pleasures are traveling, camping with my family, and visiting natural and cultural sites, and art museums.  I traveled in China to places of art and natural beauty, and to Cuernavaca, Mexico, on an MJC-sponsored study trip.  In 2007 I joined a few instructors and students to visit great cities and sites in Turkey, Greece and Italy. Other years I’ve camped and hiked in the American Southwest, photographing ancient Native American sites and petroglyphs. During July of 2011, I was a visiting scholar at the India Summer Institute, “The Cultural and Historical Development of Modern India,” in New Delhi, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2014, I traveled to great European cities, museums, and historical sites in Holland, Italy, Spain, France, and England.

Being familiar with several areas of art and the world has helped me teach from experience.  It is  rewarding to create contexts where students can develop and share their skills, knowledge and talents, like my teachers did for me.  Attending cultural events, joining in class learning and discussion, combining imagination, knowledge and critical thinking--all of these, I have found, can help us gain more from our experiences, increase our abilities to express ourselves, and discover what we want to make of our lives.