In what seems to be the new theme in my life lately, I was cleaning out a bookcase in my room today. I’m redoing my room, so the intent was to de-clutter and get rid of as much unused stuff as reasonably possible. After all, “Out with the old, in with the new!” seems like a wise motto for me at the moment. Of course, such a good intention can never be that simple, since de-cluttering often means sitting on my bedroom floor for hours shuffling through papers that I forgot even existed.
There were about 20 different journals full of random notes and lists, a notebook which my best friends and I wrote entries in and passed on to each other (a la Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which after spending 3 years living in England now sounds really dirty), old marching band set sheets, a binder full of sketches based on the Harry Potter series which I drew during summer vacation when I was 12, and several old assignments from my world history and English classes my junior year of high school.
Junior year English was the class that made me begin reading again; through it I began my love of American literature. I remember thoroughly discussing and loving almost every single book we read, and I still keep many of my copies in my own personal library. The assignments, on the other hand, really left something to be desired.
It’s safe to say I remember only the most tedious ones, the persuasive argument presentation we had to write demonstrating our knowledge of ethos, logos and pathos; the “alternative ending” paper to Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, the only book in the class I loathed, and the “research” paper which I put almost no effort into and still managed a handy B.
There was also, apparently, an assignment where we had to make our own comic book story. Maybe the reason I completely forgot about it was because it was the epitome of busywork; more likely it was because I probably did it the night before it was due. Anyway, the only reason I know it exists is because I found it in the Massive Pile of Crap that was the bottom shelf of my bookcase. My comic was the original definition of IRL- I chose to write it about my experience preparing for a solo performance with my youth orchestra at the Meyerhoff. I really did hit my flute twice on the piano during the audition.
As you can see, I was not destined to be a visual artist of any kind. It’s funny looking back and remembering that I really did have a lot of anxiety about that performance. As crude as it is though, I’ll wager a guess that this was actually the beginning of my constant attempt to get people to understand what performing and auditioning is really like. Luckily I have a blog for that now…