It’s funny how something that happened when you were a child can jade you, well, for life. Teachers, are you reading this? You really can leave a lasting impression on your students (chances are, though, that you may not have left the impression you wanted).
Take, for example, the math teacher that made me rewrite my entire test in pencil instead of erasable pen, unless I wanted a zero. I forever thought he was an asshole (side note, there were no mistakes on the test so I really don’t understand why it mattered). His personal indiscretions certainly didn’t help me like him more, either.
Or the teacher that we made cry when we all knocked off our “egg-babies” from our desk simultaneously? I learned that common sense should always prevail: you had to be a really foolish to give 30 7th graders raw eggs to “parent” for a week. What the hell kind of skill is that anyway?
[Yes, my tales of school are wide and varied. Granted, I had some good ones, but man, I had a lot of crap.]
Back to the point: I was good at school. Nothing was that hard for me. Except art (and Physics II…that class was hard). I mean, I’m awesome at organizing poster or display boards and things like that — but the actual “art” part — the drawing, the sketching, etc? Just never came naturally to me.
To make it worse, the art teacher pretty much treated students who couldn’t draw as useless. No suggestions on how to improve or practice, just a wrinkled nose and a furrowed brow. I always wanted to say “yes, thank you, I know this sucks…but aren’t you an art teacher?” I probably wanted to say something meaner than that, like “I think your paintings hanging in the hallway are hideous.” But I didn’t. She was a nice lady, but just not nice to students who couldn’t draw “naturally.”
So I spent the rest of my adult life hating drawing, and truly envying those that could draw. It just looks so effortless to them and they can produce really amazing pictures. But many of them tell me they spend hours perfecting, erasing, and redrawing. For some drawing came easily, for others it didn’t always come so naturally. It took a ton of time. Sure, they likely were more adept than I to start, but doing basic sketching (not talking Picasso here) is also about practice.
Which further annoys me about my art teacher. Does she realize that I have forever hated to even try to sketch on a piece of scratch paper in college because she made me feel like a feral cat in art class every single Wednesday for the duration of my elementary school years? Like she was just waiting to get rid of me to math or science or history, but I just kept crawling back every week.
Long story short, DH asked me to do some sketches for something he is working on. And you know what? I’m going to give it a shot. Because it’s been 25 years since I was told I sucked at drawing, and I think a quarter century is long enough to stop feeling sorry for myself, flip that teacher the figurative middle finger, and carry-on with my life.
We’ll see how it goes, but at least I’m having fun trying…and ordering supplies on Amazon.