Three cool things happened yesterday:

While on a break from class I was walking to the Cab building, which is Evergreen's student union building, like the Wilkinson Center at BYU. To get to the cab from my class I have to walk across 'Red Square' which is Evergreen's quad (communist school).

As I approached Red Square I heard the sound of drums. I thought it might just be some dumb drum circle, but it wasn't! It was a Native American dance! It was great. I had entirely forgotten it was Columbus day. Instead of celebrating the 'discovery' of a continent that had been inhabited for thousands of years by a people who were subsequently raped and massacred by these 'discoverers' our school chose to celebrate the native people of this region. I appreciated the positive way this was dealt with. Rather than calling it 'Genocide day.' (which is still better than 'Columbus day') they celebrated the positive aspects of the people who had once dominated this land.

After I watched the dancers for a while, then ate lunch I was again crossing Red Square on my way to class when I was stopped by a girl who begun saying: 'Have you travelled somewhere?'
Me:'Ever in my life?'
Her: 'yeah, or recently'
Me: 'I've traveled a little bit but not recently' (I was thinking she had traveled recently and thought maybe she had seen me wherever it was she had travelled)
Her: 'Have you been to
Me: 'No'
Her: 'India?'
Me: 'No'
Her: 'You seem like you've been somewhere,
been affected by something. The way you dress... and your presence...is very
Me: 'Thank you very much, that is kind of you to say, I guess I
just got it in my bedroom'

It made me feel like a million bucks,
cooked inside of a pizza. Imagine eating a pizza and finding a $100
bill had been cooked into it. At first it would be gross cause $ is
dirty, but then cool cause you could buy seven more pizzas.

But it really did cause me to feel good. It made me think of one of my favorite quote by Ram Das:

-When you meet a being who is centered you always know it. You always feel a kind of calm emanation. It always touches you in that place where you feel calm. But you can't hustle it. You can't make-Believe you are calm when you're not. It never works. Everybody knows you know it's horrible inside you'

Her having said what she said to me gave me hope that perhaps I am successfully being the person I want to be.

I once put a slight variation of this quote on a ceramic tile, so I could keep it around and read it. It didn't turn out how I wanted. Those are the breaks with ceramics. Sometimes the colors end up totally different than you expected. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. This was for the bad. I don't hate it but it doesn't look like what I would like:

It also reminded me of how important it can be to express to others positive things about them. I make an effort to give compliments whenever I see an opportunity to sincerely compliment. But her comment reminded me of just how good an effective compliment can feel, even from a total stranger who stops you while walking, reminding me I should go out of my way to praise when praise is deserved. Now I will be like Will Farrell's character in Superstar, complimenting every single person who walks by me. (a joke)

Then, when I got back to class my teacher had a book for me. It is a book of artists she thought I would enjoy(looking through it, I appreciate the artists very much). It felt good knowing my teacher had thought of me, and took the effort to bring me a book she thought I would enjoy. I really like my teacher and feel she has a sincere desire to help her students achieve. She is willing to put in effort it takes to push, encourage and support us. I also like her as a person. Her and I have similar artistic sensibilities, which is a first for me when it comes to teachers. She is direct and firm, yet kind and understanding. She has good control of, and respect from the class. (the anti-thesis of my teacher last year who was very passive aggressive then would freak out about once every three weeks, and was not well respected by my class) She makes me think of Terri Gross. She has inspired me by showing how good and influential an art teacher can be. Because of this, and other reasons I will write about later, I have decided to pursue a graduate degree in art. Jean Mandeberg is her name. (Teaching art is her game. She is also on the Washington arts council, and so is an excellent contact to have. ) I will be graduating in april. I hope to start grad school this fall. Perhaps I will attend Risd, like my brother. Ricky. We will be two brothers who are also Risd alumni and art professors.

I snuck a photo of her in class yesterday.


max said...

Go, Geoducks, go!

Marissa N. Paolacci said...


isaac isak icekick said...

i told my dad about "genocide day" and he laughed. He told me about an old Navajo medicine man he knew who said, "white people are funny, they say they discover something the first of their kind sees it, never considering that others have eyes...the eagle has seen it, the snake has slithered over it all before ..."

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