Okay, apparently people care about me sometime. Weird huh? Like what’s up with that? Stop it! You’ll ruin my record of feeling totally ignored like some child reality star from the 70’s and than I won’t be able to whine anymore and then what will I talk about? “Glee”? Jessica Simpson?
Three weeks ago, a mere four days before registration for college would be ending, I hauled my lazy ass up off the couch…..LIKE FINALLY…..its not easy in the winter, since its at the height of my depression and I’d much rather hibernate amid the thick layers of fur dispensed by my very furry room mate Guardcat. Anyways, I drove up to the college. It was like the first time the sun had been out in like 376 days and I was like, OMG, its a sign from Yahweh. I must leave my house, although let’s be honest, I also had to detach my hands from my computer keyboard and stop looking at Facebook updates from the entire universe including people who were mean to me in high school. Why did I say yes to their friend requests? Why??? Because suddenly it was 1976 again and they were being nice to witty and not making snotty remarks about her blue checkered polyester pantsuit she wore to Disneyland on Graduation Night.
(Hey, I wasn’t always cool and I may not be now. Delusions still abound in this thing I call my head).
Anyways, I walked up to the registration counter at the community college thinking it would be easy like on my new favorite TV show “Community College” , but instead I hit an instant brick wall.
First they said registration had already ended. I knew that wasn’t true, because I had looked it up on their website. I did a little pouty lip thing. That made them send me to another person down the mile long counter. She was a lot nicer. She looked up my account. As you might remember I was a registered student back in September until that little fucker called Cancer decided to make his unwelcome pitstop. So I was still officially on the books, as was my funding. So Nice Girl sent me back to the Registration Nazis and what do you think? They were unhelpful again. I mean I had already gone to the art department secretary who had sort of blown me off. All I was trying to do was get the frickin’ class numbers for a certain teacher’s class, since their names are not listed in the catalogue. But since I was so annoying, having interrupted a personal phone call, she gave me the info really fast and all I had was a post-it note to write 300 numbers on. And then back at the Registration Nazi’s counter, I was told I would not be “allowed” to take any of those classes because they were “ADVANCED” art classes and I’d have to take like “How to draw a circle” class first.
I very rarely Diva myself up in real life, but I sort of huffed out my chin slightly and might have said something kinda snarky like, “I probably don’t really need the “How to draw a circle class” since I’m already an artist.” And then the guy behind the counter, probably thinking, “Oh, one of those…” (rhymes with itch), started typing really furiously into his computer and then announced rather triumphantly “ALL ART CLASSES ARE FILLED, M’aam. Sorry. Next….”
Since its winter and I’m depressed, I pretty much backed down immediately. Diva-Girl too deflated immediately and I just sort of backed away, whispering thank you. Truth is I cried all the way home in my car. Not exactly being in cheerleader mode, I guess, I figured, that was it.
When I went to my drawing group the following Wednesday I told JS about my adventures at the Community College. He’s the one who drove me to the cancer center and had all the car trouble and was totally even-tempered about the whole thing. Most of my friends are wing-nuts (but it an entertaining way, mostly), so its nice to have at least one go-to guy when you’re needing help. I actually wasn’t asking for help that night. I was just recounting what happened.
Anyways, the next morning the phone rings. Its JS. He says, “You’re registered for your art class on Tuesday. And I just happened to bump into WP (the art teacher I wanted) on campus and she said she will let you in her second class. No problem!”
Guess I can’t use cancer to get out of this.
I was a little unnerved by what he did, since, in a way, I had settled in my head that school was perhaps, not meant to be. That’s my depression speaking however and since depression is an idiot, not to mention pretty lazy, not liking its minions to succeed, we”ll just ignore it or better yet, let it drive off a cliff and crash like Charlie Sheen’s Mercedes.
So I had to call the organization that is funding me and say “Surprise! I’m back! And yes, I know school starts in only 6 days, but can we get this thing rolling!” My counselor, I don’t think believed me nor wanted to make things easy, so the next week was pretty hellish and slow moving and stressful. Nothing got ok’d. I was without books or school supplies. I finally bought at least one sketch pad so I wouldn’t be doing tons of homework the night before the second week of classes.
So yeah, lets just say I’m almost old enough to be everyone’s grandmother in class. And so far no one has recognized me as a cool, older person who they might entrust their secrets with and ask 1970’s movie trivia questions of. I’m pretty much ignored. Hey! Kinda like real life!
I’m taking two classes. A basic drawing class and then some other more exotic class which really defies description. Our first assignment? Draw five viruses. Huh? Like Republicans? The other class just had us doing a basic still life. We also had to paint a color wheel of black fading to white.
I had done that assignment first. Painted as asked, a kind of avant guardcat style, Watercolory. Slop. Slop. Slop color wheel that would have made Van Gogh want to chop off his other ear. Definitely. That’s just how I roll. So as the teacher was walking around the class, she stopped and picked up my sketch pad and said, “Class…this is an example of what NOT to do.”
Sorry, just having a flashback to everything I ever showed my Mom growing up. I felt terrible, as in lets melt under the table. I told her I would re-do it. She said, “Yes, I know” or something equally encouraging.
(Editor’s note: At the age of 81, my mother has finally realized that when I ask her to look at my artwork, I’m not asking for her to look for its faults. Just to, hopefully see its beauty. Its been a real breakthrough).
Anyways, after that wondrous first encounter with the teacher I had pursued so relentlessly because of a previous good encounter at my art group’s conference, I suddenly felt like I wanted to go home.
Dear Brain: That is your depression speaking. It was just a stupid comment. You know you’re a good artist. Hang in there, witty. Love, witty’s angst department.
There was a brief 15 minute break between the two classes, so I ran over to the bookstore and fortunately the funding was finally ok’d for my two textbooks. My second class was the beginning drawing class. The one I supposedly couldn’t get in because I had to take something called like “How to draw a circle” first.
Ha, I say! Ha!
It was pretty obvious within seconds that I was over qualified for the class when the same teacher had us all put our work up on a wall. This was a still life I had drawn over the weekend.
I mean, its not a Rembrandt or anything, but it certainly wasn’t like most of the other one dimensional drawings of Nutella jars and football jerseys. And also for the first time, the teacher finally saw in me what she didn’t see in the first class…potential.
And I have to remember that too.