Thursday, November 4, 2010

Brush Stroke or Watercolor Class Cont...

You may be wondering… Why on earth would I return to a class with such a chaotic beginning?

A strong desire to learn to paint and a heavy dose of genes swimming in optimism convinced me to give it another try. During the down time of the last class, I also spent time walking among the students observing their paintings which were very impressive. So I thought maybe this guy has some artistic wisdom that outweighs his lack of teaching skills.

I arrived about ten minutes late. I was banking on the pace of the last class. My tardiness actually placed me ahead of schedule. I sat down next to the woman I befriended the previous week.

During our first encounter we had a lengthy conversation and discovered many similarities. We recently retired, taught first grade, and loved teaching literacy. So once I settled in with my painting board, paper, and paints, I was surprised when she turned to me and asked if I was retired. I paused. Is she kidding, I thought? Quickly I searched her face. It was obvious that she wasn’t. Then I smiled and repeated my response from the week before.
She commented, “Oh, you were a teacher too?
Then she proceeded to ask the same litany of questions as before and was equally surprised by each of my answers.
Hmmm I thought the “senior” in Senior University is becoming a reocurring staple.

Just as I began to resolve the fact that a lapse of memory is likely to be frequent among this population, the instructor stood up.

In the same booming voice, he called the class to order. Holding up the identical book from last week, he delivered the same speech. I was stunned as a moment of self doubt sunk. I began to think that perhaps I was in error and simply experiencing a case of déjà vu. While seeping deeper into confusion, the person on my left leaned toward me and whispered, “He already said that last week.” I stifled a giggle. After my head cleared, I nodded resolving to make this guy my new cam padre.

And  despite the quirkiness of the class environment I'll conclude with my first painting which is featured below.

Yeah, I know. But it's a start!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Retired On Course

I worried. I planned. I partied.  

And now I’m retired!

Am I having a blast? Well, a blast is not the coined phrase I would use. However, it is d*** delightful. Stress has nearly disappeared. I can awake each day at will. The freedom to structure my day at whim is exhilarating. And I often find myself bemused.

I signed up for a beginning watercolor course at the senior university. On the first day, I entered a room filled with people. I looked around but couldn’t see the instructor. For a moment, I thought I was in the wrong class. So I sat down. Thirty minutes later, a man stood up and called the beginners to the front of the room.
He wrote an illegible list of materials on a white board. A person n the back of the room shouted, “I can’t read it.” Then the instructor said he had a hand out but couldn’t find it. He paused, and scratched his head. Another person said they had a copy from a previous class. So he sent someone to make copies for us and began walking around the room talking with various students. Ten minutes later, he reappeared shouting for our attention and held up a book of illustrations. He gave us a history of his friendship with the author and some TMZ like tidbit that his mother in law had been a showgirl on one of the featured riverboats. This was followed by an announcement that if he suddenly left the room, not to take it personally. No one said a word. Finally he said he was incontinent and chuckled.

I sat stunned. Egad, I thought. I’ve taken a plunge down Alice’s rabbit hole. Is this what is meant by the “senior” in Senior University? Then I heard the words ring out, “Class dismissed.”

And so my retirement adventure’s begun…