I've gotta admit I'm missing the days of buying notebooks, text books, and organizing myself for school time... perhaps I should just follow her example and buy organizational tools anyway.
So, without further ado, the lovely Cat...
Last week, I stopped in Walgreens to buy cat litter, shoe inserts and tampons. What started as just another Tuesday turned magical when I turned down the center aisle and was met with row after row of Promise and Possibility.
I’m talking, of course, about Back-to-School supplies.
Composition books with unbroken spines, pristine pink pearl erasers, row after row of pencils, pens, highlighters in all the colors in all the double rainbows – And trapper keepers! Oh god the trapper keepers... Quick, someone hand me a Lisa Frank steno pad, I need to fan myself.
|Ours is a love that will last the ages|
School supplies = School’s coming. And I love school. I have always loved school.
Cry ‘geek’ if you wish, but I love learning. I love book-smell, new pencil smell, waxed floor smell. Most of all (after milk time, anyway, MILK TIME FTW!) I loved the reassurance of a schedule - neat blocks of time, set up like new chalk. Some were easier than others, some definitely more interesting than others, but each one was always where it should be, like a September locker- all color coded binders next to color-coded folders, each one straight and contained, it’s own ordered microcosm in the larger realm of peace that is academia.
An April locker, like an April brain, is an entirely different story. Nearly three quarters of a year spent in confinement and all faculties have begun to rebel. By April, I still love learning and books, but have remembered I also hate math. And busy-work, And unreasonable rules governing everything, right down to my own bodily functions and the timing thereof. Notebooks have become doodle books (Or rather, doodle book as all others have been lost to the infinite chaos that is the endless locker bottom). And worst of all, those beautifully clear containers of time have become downright inadequate. Some feel way to big and empty and rattley, filled with only the barest minimum of tasks to do while others crack from the strain of trying to fit so much thought into such a small space. The system has failed- School at this point has gone from Oz himself, to a great big sweaty behemoth, just lying in the middle of the yellow-brick road, making socially awkward non sequiturs in too loud a voice, and dropping used Kleenex like he owns the fucking place.
It was at this point each year that summer started to call to me as a chance to get away from school and finally do all the things that had become more interesting/important. In middle school this meant finally reading all those books I couldn’t manage to hide under my desk during math class and staying up late drawing Harry Potter fan art. In high school this meant finishing college apps in one fell swoop, writing what I would later learn was awful poetry, and still more drawing – This time of my own mythical creations. Even in college,which, for the record, knocked the SOCKS off of all other school,) - even in college where a good 90% of my classes were directly related to the love of my life (art.,) I still started every summer thinking “Thank goodness, now I can finally try this drawing” or “try those watercolor experiments” or “finally read all those books I couldn’t manage to hide under my desk during math.”
Just as with school (and nearly everything else in the history of my ever), the outcomes were vastly different from my expectations, and almost always for the better. I might not have written the next fantasy best-seller, but I did almost get thrown out of Walmart for playing hide-and-go seek tag.) Most importantly, every summer I managed to soak up enough sun tea, vitamin D and self-directed creative endeavors to push ‘reset’ on my brain. Where four months earlier the sight of even one modest pencil cap eraser would be enough to sent me into fits, I would once again feel beckoned by the supply aisle.
This is only my second summer as a Grown Up (read: not in any sort of school system), and really my first without school at either end of Summer, and it’s been weird. Probably the strangest part about it is knowing that it’s infinite. There is no school start date by which I have to have all my projects done. I can keep making and making and reading (around work, of course). This lack of boundries, which would’ve terrified poor little crazy 10 yr old Cat, is still a bit daunting, but mostly just Fun.
(Still, though, on a bad day I’d sell my kidney for a trapper keeper…)
Cat Lynch is an multidisciplinary artist living in Columbus, Ohio, where she divides time between making things, reading things, crushin on Kevin Sorbo and working as an Art Facillitator/Habilitation Coordinator at Open Door Art Studio. If you enjoy art, adventure, social awkwardness and/or the Midwest, check out her blog at http://sheepgomoo.wordpress.com