Thursday, June 28, 2007
A Walking Stick For Emphasis
Years ago, I taught a class where one of the students stayed perched on his chair for the entire period, like a bird ready to take flight. L (not his real initial) often wore a red cape to class and ate copious amounts of pixie sticks during my lectures, sometimes so fast he'd choke on the sugary powder and sputter like an engine in the water about to leave the harbor. I couldn't get mad despite the disruption -- a large part of my interest in the class rests on what L might do on any given day. Sometimes it got a little too interesting like when he started burning himself with cigarettes during break, prompting the other students to come in, yelling, L is burning himself with cigarettes. I walked out to see what I could do, but he'd already stopped and was prepared to resume his usual perched position. I saw the two angry marks on his arm, a testament to what I have no idea, and asked if I could do anything. Nope, he said, lining up his pixie sticks. I like to eat them in order, he said. All grape, all strawberry, and so on. I didn't know how he could stand the pain -- even I could smell the burning flesh from a distance.
Despite having a high capacity for drama and pain, L wasn't the greatest writer and opted to do a huge final presentation in hopes of raising his grade. He showed a video from PETA of a rabbit's vivisection which caused a student of mine who had recently lost his dog to a car accident to sob. The rest of the class tried not to heave as the minutes stretched out, one terrible thing after another happening to monkeys, bunnies, and other creatures. L had his cape on that day and had added a walking stick for emphasis, hitting the desk while defending animals. I didn't hear much of his speech given the general pandemonium in the classroom. But I kept my sights on his self-inflicted burn marks. They looked like eyes, the kind that belong on a doll that stares at you no matter where in the room you move.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life." Jean-Michel Basquiat
Drinking music suggestion: The Chronic Dr. Dre
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday! Thanks to my newest commenter on the kind words about the photographs! I'm not sure how it works -- I'm pretty new to photography, but I love it. Get a lot of inspiration from Dare Wright, the woman who wrote The Lonely Doll books.