14 March 2010
Here we go again!
(Photographs copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)
Ok, it's an aaaaaaawwwwwwwwww moment! Meet the newest addition to the Messy household. I give you Charlie (as in Parker...the Bird....). He's 15 weeks old and stinkin' cute. Also, he's as tall as our adult cats and yes, I know what that could mean. He's doing all of the obligatory cute stuff and so far doesn't seem to be afraid of the older cats. I suspect there will be some - er - leveling before we're done here.
But that's not why I'm here. No, I have a conundrum, and I'm going to ask....everyone else for advice. Oh, I know what I SHOULD do, and I know what I'd tell OTHER PEOPLE to do, but I'm asking anyway. Ready?
As some of you know, I'm what The Boy calls a stay-at-home-mom-with-no-kids. What I've been doing for the past few years is working on things that I love to do, but never had the time for, one of which is take clay classes. By way of explanation, I don't make functional things. Ever. If something I make looks like it might become a vessel of some sort, I poke a hole in it. It's just my "thing". I don't throw pots on a wheel either, I hand build everything. A fair number of people work that way now, but not many did when I started. I'm regarded as somewhat radical because of this.
So. We moved here, I found a new place to take classes, and a new teacher is a good thing. I've learned a lot from my first teacher, so I figured I'd take an advanced course. As luck would have it, there's a resident artist from Japan working at the studio for a year or so and I signed up for her class. She's a terrific instructor. I've learned a lot.
Here's the "but". This is an advanced class, and it attracts a different sort of student. Now you have to keep in mind that clay folk are a mellow bunch. "Instruction" is pretty much like herding cats. Generally, teachers work with the first-timers and there are various assignments given to teach the basics. Those who have already done that sign up for class and pretty much do their own thing, asking for help if necessary.
There's a student there who is younger than me by about a decade. She has an MFA, which is as far as you can go in educational terms, and never lets anyone forget it. She doesn't have the time of day for anyone but a friend of hers and the instructor. In fact, she's so busy telling the instructor (patient and kind soul that she is) what she's done that if anyone DOES want to ask a question it's generally not happening. I find this student VERY irritating, because as far as she's concerned, the rest of us shouldn't even be there. We aren't as "important" as she is and are therefore beneath her notice.
I am battling an intense desire to smack this person. She seems to have an issue with me personally and because I don't play those games, she's getting more pointed. Last week, for example, I went to class tired (we had got back into town late, after a LONG travel day) and I know my patience was thinner than usual. I started dumping out tools on the table to get to work, said hello to the instructor and went to get a cup of tea. When I got back with it, I walked up to the instructor with a finished piece to ask a question about glazes, and this broad shouldered me aside (!?) with a question of her own. She then addressed the air, saying, "I don't know why some people bother taking this class."
I left. I figured that I was too tired to deal with that kind of crap and I'd probably put my foot in it within a millisecond if I stayed. Besides, we'd been gone for a week and I needed to hit the grocery store.
I know I'm going to have to suck this up to some extent. There are a LOT of things I'd LIKE to say, but I won't - at least not where anyone else can hear me, if you get my drift. Clay classes, after all, tend to attract a pretty eclectic group. There's an older man in the class that I absolutely adore. He's a sweetheart, and his wife is a lucky lady. There's another "artiste" that spends a lot of time staring into space. The usual.
So, how patient should I be, everyone? It's not like they can fire me..... I just don't get why it is that some people are so freakin' competitive that they feel compelled to deride everyone around them who isn't a True Believer in their greatness. So tell me. Can I let'er rip?
Betcha never thought Messy would be asking for advice, right? Right?