Art Class

My favorite class throughout high school was art. I was not particularly talented, but I did enjoy art class. By the afternoon of each school day, my sensory processing difficulties had already caused me considerable distress and frustration. All I wanted to do was scream, but I knew that doing that would only get me sent to the principal's office. Fortunately, I found my diversion in art, so I took the class every year. I discovered that it could relax me as little else could. Miss Thompson was the teacher, and she seemed to like me. She had pretty blonde hair and big glasses.

She had one idiosyncrasy: she objected to being called "Mrs." Nearly every class period, she would playfully threaten to shoot the first person to call her "Mrs.". I ordinarily take people literally, unless they tell me otherwise. Miss Thompson surely sounded serious to me, so I made sure I never made this mistake. I did, however, once call her "Mom" by accident. She just stared at me, her eyes blazing, for several seconds before going on to see what I needed.

Another reason I enjoyed art had to do with the intriguing worlds that I found I could experience vicariously by simply gazing at the paintings by the masters. There were so many odd cultures and time periods that I had often wondered about, but couldn't seem to visualize. One day, my teacher told us to look through some old magazines for ideas about what to paint. One picture, a pre-civil war type Southern mansion, especially appealed to me. I could just imagine plenty of Southern belles strolling about looking for pleasantly scented flowers.

Despite having no illusions about my talent, I found the very task of creating something of my own gratifying. Miss Thompson could be very creative in her assignments as well. One such task was to sketch a series of cartoons to make a fictional narrative.

The class I had following art was science. It really amazed me how anyone could make such an exciting subject so very boring, but the science teacher managed to do just that. It seems that one can get away with almost anything by sitting in the back, which is right where this teacher had placed me. Consequently, the art assignment took on the utmost urgency, even if some of it had to be done during science class, which immediately followed art.

I had always had an affinity for trees. The cartoon narrative reflects that and my own search for self-esteem.

          Once upon a time, there was a large forest. In the midst of a mass
          of enormous, ill-tempered trees was a small one. This little tree
          was caring and courteous too, unlike the antagonistic big trees
          all around it. The little tree tried to be nice and friendly to all
          of the huge trees surrounding it. In return, they would scoff at
          its small size. The small tree could not help that it was so little.
          It had trouble getting clear sunlight or adequate water because all
          the big trees were greedy. The big trees called it a weakling, and
          ridiculed it. The other trees did not even try to understand all
          the difficulties which this little tree was having.

          Then one day, a terrible lightning storm, with many tornadoes, came to
          the area. The big trees dared the storm to show its stuff. The storm
          became mad, and displayed its power. Lightning hit trees throughout the
          forest, and the tornadoes uprooted others. The storm, being proud of
          itself, left. Everything in the forest was dead, except for one very
          small tree. It had survived due to its small height. In time, the
          little tree became a large tree, and it replenished the forest with its
          seeds. It never forgot the lesson that it learned so early on in life -
          genuine leaders are always kind to others. The other, younger trees
          looked up to the Great Tree for guidance, and the forest flourished as
          never before.

A few days later, Miss Thompson walked over to my desk, flashing an easy smile. She told me that it must be my calling to be a children's story writer. This helped to increase my self- concept.

Other Memories

  • Rules
  • 1st Day Of School
  • Sensory Overload
  • Lawn
  • Reading Time
  • 6th Grade
  • Middle School
  • County Fair
  • Art Class
  • Band
  • Music Class
  • Chemistry Class
  • First Date
  • Social Studies
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