Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Character, Fortitude and Incredibly Strong Shoulders

I was an art major in college for a couple of years. Why the heck I didn't stick with art and switched to business I will never know. But that isn't the point of this post. The point of this post is to reminisce about how incredibly tiring and hard on the shoulders and neck it is to be an art major.

As you may know, being an art major requires that you carry around some art supplies and some art work. And since an art major also needs to take non-art classes, you must also carry around a book bag consisting of about 140 pounds worth of text books.

It's also worth noting that where I went to college, the art classes were in the building farthest away from anything, across the campus, across some parking lots, across a road.

So, picture this, it's a cold and windy mid-winter day. Snow is flying at about 40 miles an hour. Art class is over and it's time to get to math. I pack my art supplies into my art box. I put on my heavy winter coat, my scarf, my mittens, my hat. I heave my 140 pounds of books over my shoulder (over one shoulder - I had to be cool). I pick up my art supply box in one hand. My other hand is reserved for my portfolio - an approximately 2 foot, by 3 foot leather-like suitcase for holding various art papers, art projects, drawings, paintings, etc. I heave that baby up and head out the door.

As soon as I step out into the wind, squinting as snow flakes sting my eyes and cheeks, my portfolio is almost yanked from my arms. The wind treats it like a sail as I struggle to maintain my grip. I slosh out into the snow. Despite the frigid temperatures, within minutes I'm soaked in sweat as I struggle to maintain control of the flapping portfolio. Of course, the book bag slips from my shoulder, but there is no getting it back into place.

My scarf comes loose, flapping in my face like a wild bird tethered to my neck. I slog across the slushy road, barely avoiding a shower from the cars flying past. I trudge through the parking lot as my arm threatens to pull free from the socket, my hands in a vice grip on the portfolio handle. My nose starts to drip forming icicles, my legs are frozen chunks, my feet are drenched, my hands - what hands? they are numb beyond feeling.

Finally I reach the shelter of the building and enter the warmth.

Aaahh! I will never forget those nice walks to and from the art building. They built character and fortitude. They built incredibly strong shoulders!


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