Today's Blogtember challenge is to talk about a memory you would love to relive.

While I have a million and a half memories that have been amazing, there is actually only one time in my life, while not perfect, that is something that I would simply love to do again.

Right before my senior year of college, I had been told that in order to graduate with my class as a studio art major, I would need to take summer classes to get caught up. I had decided on my major in my junior year of college setting me back a semester or so from graduating on time. The small private school I was attending did not offer summer courses that would benefit me, so I started looking elsewhere using the cross-registration process that my school (and most schools in Georgia) offer. i applied for and was accepted to UGA for the summer of 2007, and thus began the best summer of my life.

During summer school, I was signed up for sculpture, black and white photography 101, art history, and ballroom dance lessons. Every morning I would wake up before anyone else, watch a little bit of tv while eating breakfast, and head to class super early as the sun was rising. I would spend the full day in Athens going to classes and occasionally visiting the local coffee shop for an Italian soda or taking a gander through Plato's Closet when I had a bit of free time. One of the best parts of my day was often sitting under some trees outside near the library reading a good book while eating a "picnic" lunch. Occasionally I'd get to talk to friends on the phone, but that was rare since Georgia summers are hot and phones held next to your face forever tend to get hot as well.

That particular summer there were at least two projects I found truly stimulating and one class that changed my life forever.

The first was a project working on some metal roses. First of all, I never even imagined that I would get the opportunity to create something metal. Truly thrilling.

For at least a month, every day the teacher would pull out dental tools and we would begin sculpting clay and molding it. We started a few projects that way, but one particular project I did that summer mostly began as a creative exercise. I starting molding some flowers out of clay just enjoying the way it felt in my hands to ball up and smooth out. One flower became two… then three… Finally, I decided that 12 would be my number. I had Justin help me sculpt a gun. (Y'know… Guns & Roses. Why not?) The next step was to create a sand mold. We covered our projects in sand and waited for them to harden before opening the sand mold, removing our clay pieces, and filling the hole left in the sand mold with molten metal. Granted this process is not at all perfect and a good portion of my work did not survive the process, but what did survive I was able to share with friends and family over the year. I only kept 3 of my roses and wrapped them with a ribbon I wore as a child that is my favorite color.

I love looking at the flowers for their imperfections and simple beauty. I loved the process that went into making these flowers, and I am grateful for the memories that they hold.

When I wasn't working in the sculpture studio, I often found myself in the darkroom developing pictures. By no stretch of the imagination was I the first one to class every day, but I was definitely the last one to leave working an extra two or three hours a day developing pictures. Of course, this does not account for any time spent out taking pictures to develop! Every week the teacher would give us a new series of topics that we would photograph. Come Friday we would have a classroom critique and go around the room not only looking at one another's images but also providing feedback. This class helped me to shape my photography and gave me something to aim for.

I can't and won't say much about my art history class, but my ballroom class that summer took me by surprise. I was nervous about taking a class that involved so much physical contact with the opposite sex without having Justin around, but I knew I loved ballroom dancing so I was willing to give it a try. With approximately 50 students of each sex, we were guaranteed to dance with someone we didn't know at least once. Half of the students were amazing dancers and picked up on technique fast, and half were not so good. It just so happens that I got to dance with a fairly good dancer doing the waltz, and from that point on I was in love. (With the dance, not the guy!) When you let go and allow yourself to be taken into the moment, that is when dancing is truly worth the time and effort to learn.

I am finding myself particularly grateful for the moments in my life when I'm able to spend so much time and energy doing what I love to do. Those moments have done more to shape who I am than any other time in my life.

1 comment:

  1. I love this memory for Blogtember!!
    LINK UP on my blog today too!! Xoxo


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