For our prompt of “School Supplies” today, my mind traveled way back in time to when I was a little kid and the very idea of getting fresh new supplies was the best thing in the world. Indeed, today as school starts in the middle of a pandemic, things have changed quite a lot. And my heart goes out to kids and teachers everywhere on this very exceptional year. As a kid, I was actually thrilled to go back to school because I really loved to learn new things. But, I was equally a little shy and nervous about meeting new people and all of the other new bits that came along with the experience. In grade school, it was a new teacher each year, so I was just hoping that we’d like each other. This was the case most of the time, but my first grade teacher was a horror show and I didn’t like her one bit. After that, my teachers not only improved, they were like rock stars. They were the coolest people on the planet to me. And, as I hugged my fresh new notebook, ready to till it with that year’s assignments, doodles and ideas, I feel that beautiful thrill that only comes from starting a grand new adventure.
There was always a little list of school supplies that were required for each grade. I was such a nerd for notebooks and pencils it was always like someone had taken the liberty to write a holiday wish list for me and then let me have everything early. One thing I remember, though, was that crayons and colored pencils were on the list when I was young and then disappeared as I got a little older. Pens and notebooks were the main thing, and later even calculators. It’s like it was okay to doodle and color when I was very young, but growing up just meant more math. I’ve never used anything beyond basic math in my life, but thankfully, I found those other classes. As I got older, these were called “electives,” which meant they were not essential. Art was never considered essential, yet I’ve used more of the problem solving I learned in art classes as I grew up than anything I ever learned in Algebra. For something considered “elective” that’s rather amazing.
These days, I don’t have a curriculum to follow, so I choose to take all elective classes. Indeed, even back then, I figured out a way around the system to take all of the classes in the arts that I could. Yes, they were all deemed non-essential, which still jumbles my brain a bit. Learning the skills to turn a blank sheet of paper into an idea or channel another person’s life on stage, is not something small. It’s everything really. It’s what makes us human and not just a computer database. Indeed, it’s these “fuzzy” skills that will make future generations valuable as computers become more advanced. Nobody really wants to find themselves competing with a robot, after all. Some of the issues with these classifications comes from the fact that those elective classes just seem too fun. One can’t possibly learn anything of real value when having a blast, right? That’s super wrong, of course! We learn the most while we’re having fun! It’s the kind of knowledge that becomes experience and sticks to our hearts, so our minds just have to concede to remember it. Also, I still remember my love of all of my wonderful teachers who helped make me the man I am today. And, I think they’d be happy to know that I’m still learning and creating and treating each day like that first day of school!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!