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Re: A laugh for Friday...


From: linda (lwoods_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 09 2002 - 07:42:14 PST

This is a true story, Carolyn....I understand how insignificant you must
have felt at that moment...

I used paint by numbers as a kid, colored in coloring books, never
received any real art instruction all the way through school. In high
school, I sat next to a girl named Stephanie who could draw
anything....amazingly talented. I mareled at her and sat next to her in
the back row.She sat in the back row to not be noticed much so that she
could work in peace. I sat in the back row as I had no self confidence in
those days, and I wanted to watch Stephanie. My teacher sat behind a desk
at the front of the room. We did REALLY exciting projects (NOT!!!) like
still lifes with wine bottles and apples. Very traditional, very dull. I
don't think the teacher ever made it to the back row. I don't remember
learning anything. It was truly a "draw what you feel" type of
instruction. One day, I took a drawing home that Stephanie gave me. It
was a WONDERFUL drawing. My mom found it in my backpack, with no name on
it, and assumed that I had done it! This is the same mom who never saved
ANYTHING I did as a child. How could she have thought that I did THAT
DRAWING??? I'll never know, but it felt so good to have someone even THINK
I could do something like that, that I said I did it just to see how it
felt. I never told her until much later that I didn't do it. ANyway, the
reason that THIS story fits as a response to your post is due to what
happened later in my life. I lived behind a friend later who was majoring
in interior design at UH Houston. SHe taught me how to do mechanical
drawing, and I loved it. I found out that I could draw. I understood it
quickly, and decided at the age of 27 to change my major to art. My
family (all except my writer husband) nearly croaked. YOU?? AN ARTIST???
I was pretty scared, actually, but I did it anyway, as I knew it was
something I really wanted to be all my life, but I'd never had the
instruction. Once I get into art school, surrounded by other creative
people and TEACHERS WHO REALLY TAUGHT ME, I realized that I had a LOT of
talent buried REALLY BURIED inside of me. Doors flung open, Creative
breezes blew in, and I was fully alive and thriving in my new endeavor. I
felt so great. I was shocking myself every day with what I could do. I
swear this is all true...up until college art, I copied drawings that
other people did, I knew nothing about value or contrast, or balance, or
unity, or any of that stuff. I made macrame purses and gimpy little
wooden decoupage purses and bead jewelry, but that was about it. The
semester I graduated with a degree in ceramics, I also was taking what
SHOULD have been my freshman art history seminar. Here's where fate and
karma and all that other stuff starts to happen. My teacher and I became
friends as we walked to the parking lot together after class nearly every
night. SHe worked part time at St. John's and part time at UH. She told
me two weeks before I graduated that there was an opening at St. Johns in
the art department. Now, I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was going to do
with my degree in ceramics, I had just followed my heart and soul into
that one, but all of a sudden, teaching sounded GREAT!!! I went to the UH
bookstore to the art ed section, put my hand on Frank Wachowiak's
"Emphasis Art" (TRUE FATE), went home to read it, wrote a resume, had an
interview, and was actually hired by my great school! I have been there
23 years. I worked with a wonderful teacher the first 6 years who
essentially was my mentor. Fortunately, I was a natural at teaching art
to children, but Wachowiak was my bible my whole first year. THIS IS
WHERE IT REALLY GETS WEIRD>>>>> The first parent's night, a parent came
into my room to meet me. We started talking and she told me she used to
be an art teacher. She asked me where I went to school. I told her
Westchester HS, and she looked kinda of surprised. She said that she used
to TEACH at Westchester. I didn't remember her, and she didn't remember
me, but we put the pieces together and she WAS my art teacher!!!! FREAKED
ME OUT! Well, to make an already weird story even weirder, she was a very
talented person who ended up being a sub for me from time to time. Who
knows what was going on in her life at the time I was in HS and she was so
disinterested, uninvolved, etc. COuld have been anything. But she was
different by the time we met up again. I even taught her kids. She
thought I was a great teacher! lol. I know you are NOT an uninvolved
teacher, and I sure don't want anyone to get the idea that I responded by
comparing you to this woman. To back that up, let me say that I have
another story to tell that puts the shoe on the other foot for me this
year. And this is a freaky story, too. I had a young man walk into my
room and greet me like we were long lost buddies. He claimed to have been
my student, but I could not remember him at all. I acted like I did,
though, as I fumbled through my brain trying to make a connection. I
asked him what year he graduated, and what year he had come to SJS. He
claims that I taught 8th grade art to him. I was feeling really crazy.
Later I sat down and put the pieces together on paper with some math and
talked to another teacher about it....I DID NOT TEACH THIS KID!! I knew I
didnt! But HE THINKS I DID! Another teacher, whom I confirmed this with
said that SHE had taught him. HOW HILARIOUS! So, this kid went away
thinking that we had reconnected after so many years. He told me his
whole adult life story as I stood there thinking my alzheimers was REALLY
kicking in. THANK GOD, later I discovered I really DID NOT KNOW HIM!!!
How funny. We can't remember every thing....think how many kids we've
taught by the time we get to be our ages. After teaching 23 years, I have
trouble with learning new names now. It's really hard. ANyway, your
story made me laugh and dredge up this long winded response that I hope
makes others laugh.