Hey Acting Manitou community! It’s crazy that camp ended two months ago! Life has been a whirlwind of surprises and changes lately—never a dull moment I suppose! I hope everyone else has settled back into their non-camp lives. I know that for me, even though I seem to be back in the swing of things, I find myself continually longing to be back at camp—just a few minutes ago I was complaining to a friend about how much I miss it. I think one of the main reasons (Maine reasons haha, I’m punny) is that I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life. Everything around me seems so transient so I don’t have anything solid to hang onto.
For instance, I just started my practicum teaching as an elementary art teacher this past week. Going into it, I was super nervous, but getting to know the kids and actually working with them has been a blast—but that’s just the thing—I’ll only be in their classes one more time and then I move on to another school. For someone like me who feels sort of lost and confused, this has been really difficult to cope with. However, with that being said, it can all be looked at from a different angle. By this I mean, life and all of its craziness, is a work in progress.
Now, if you know me, you know that I’m one of those artsy-fartsy-type people. And if you’ve ever watched me work, you may have found out that I get really anxious when people watch me work on something, especially in the very beginning stages. I get worried when people see my works in progress because they are exactly that—in progress, incomplete.
Today, in the painting class that I’m taking this semester the teaching assistant for the class approached me with an interesting conversation. He came up and was watching me paint, which automatically made me want to freeze up and stop painting, but I kept going. From behind me he says “it’s done, right?” and I look back at him and laugh because he and I both know that I don’t think it’s even close. Upon saying that to him, he kept asking me why. My answer wasn’t really elaborate; it just wasn’t done in my eyes. Now, to give some context, he is a painting graduate student who works primarily with abstract works, and I am an art education major who works primarily with realism drawing. After I gave my poor explanation for it not being done, he said “This is your painting, so it’s up to you when the piece is done, but in my eyes, this could be a finished work—and an impressive one at that.” He went on to point out things in my painting that I hadn’t noticed, or he showed me how to look at theses details from a new perspective. Even with his explanations, it was hard to see what he was seeing at first, but with a little more time and thought I began to understand what he was saying. In just a few minutes, he showed me how to appreciate the “unfinished.”
Now, I’m not saying I think I’m always going to appreciate the works-in-progress in life, art or non-art, but it did show me that it’s very possible. I know that this post has been completely devoid of theater references (oops), but I know that we all have a lot more in common than that. I hope that if you ever feel lost, incomplete, confused, or anything of the sort, that you can step back for a second and take a different perspective.
I miss you all and I can’t wait to see you all again soon.
*The picture is my view in my painting class today with my work-in-progress painting*
Stay cool Manitou fam,