What I most missed about studying was that feeling of completing an assignment. The feeling of slowly becoming an expert on something.
I didn't miss that feeling of complete inadequacy. Of listening to someone who feels like they are endlessly superior to you. Simply because they have a phd, because someone asked them to teach the class. I live with a phd candidate. I happen to know that if you want one, you can get one, and even then, you're not a real doctor anyway, and even if you were, I'd demand your respect anyway. So just shut up.
I sit in class and feel guilty for not having done the readings, for not being prepared, for day-dreaming, for not having an academic background in Art History. When my daughter squeals with delight after not seeing me for 2 hours those feelings melt away.
I was suprised to find that everyone in the classroom was around my age. It's been so long since I've been in a room with people my age. I feel part of another generation entirely. Apart from a few smiles, everyone is intent and focused on the task at hand. All are completing the master in one year. I will be lucky if I do it in 2. They all go home and sit in front of the computer. Organise the enormous amount of reading and work they have to do. More than double my workload. They probably procrastinate on facebook. Get up, make tea. Sit back down. Clean their room. Go to bed late. Sleep in. Go back to their computer. Stay in their pyjamas until they have to go to class. That's what I used to do.
I rush outside in the breaks to breastfeed my 7 month old. Salva has to drive to Salamanca and hover around the classroom with her. Until we move there that is. We've found a house.
I like the subject. It warms me up inside. I am preparing a presentation on abstract expressionism and looking at lots of beautiful splashes.
A part of me is the person that makes those paintings. Bare feet on wooden floor boards, dirty bed hair still clinging in last weeks style, coloured grit under fingernails, coffee turned stone cold as I work on a canvas as tall as I am. I love the style because there is little that separates me from those bohemians of post-war New York.
No rules. No meaning. No value given to estetic outcome? Expression. Don't get it? Me neither.
There is another part of me that is wearing delicious overpriced drapey fabrics and a pair of glasses I don't need, surrounded by these canvases in room with high ceilings and white walls, writing wanky descriptions of those paintings. Don't get it? Poor you.
That's the person I'm nurturing with this course, which is a good thing. She is a good person with an awesome apartment who sends her daughter to a steiner school and thinks about colours all day. I love it. I just love thinking about paintings and the painters that paint them.
I wish there were time to nurture all the people in me. There is the business woman. The teacher. There is my musician self, with 2 instruments to learn, an album to help launch, a world tour to take. There is even my summer self, the hippy that sold you that beaded necklace and talks late into the night with her partner about journeying from Spain to Australia with a vespa and side-cart. There is my zen self that wants to meditate daily, and spend an hour preparing a meal at night. The mother, with another child or two yet to birth. My pomegranate self.
Yes. I really will be lucky to finish this in 2 years...