This is a long overdue appreciation post for a craft that I love dearly and a person who helped me reach my potential in it.
Senior year of high school was tough for me. I had no idea where I wanted to attend college, I didn’t feel very motivated in my classes, and I was tired of the K-12 public school system. Knowing who I was, I wasn’t worried about doing poorly in my classes…I was just anxious about entering into a huge transitional period of my life, and adjusting to things such as this has never been my strength. I felt like a zombie.
Entering the school year, I saw a class on my schedule that the school had randomly put me in. It would be Sociology in the Fall and Anthropology in the Spring. I really did not want to take these classes so I worked with my counselor to switch into something else. Even though I hadn’t taken art at my high school before, I managed to get in the Pre-AP 2 class. I was so excited because art is an activity I have enjoyed since childhood. I remember when starting the class I had revealed to my teacher that I actually didn’t have the prerequisite of Art 1 and she was hesitant about me being in the class. But I was so thankful that she let me stay because being in art was my salvation from the boredom and anxiety of senior year. She even let me join the AP Art class in the spring! That was such a dream come true (especially because that meant two hours of art every day!). I had the opportunity to develop a portfolio and let out the stress of this strange transition between high school and college. The best part of all of it was the never-ending support from my teacher. She always encouraged me (and still does to this day) to push the boundaries of my creativity and thinking.
For awhile, I became too busy at college to even think about art. It wasn’t until I visited my art teacher back at my high school that I was reminded how good it was for me (especially my mental health) and that there are people out there like her who believe in my ability (in art and life).
Now, I try to find time to work on something, either when I’m feeling low or when inspiration hits me. It is always satisfying to channel that creativity to start something, make progress, and eventually finish it; and in front of you lies your soul. You can either display your soul in your home, or maybe give a part of it as a gift to someone else who needs help. That’s the beauty in art, the way it can be shared with so many.
So I wanted to thank that teacher for what she did for me and probably so many other students.
Thank you for providing me an outlet during my senior year and for what I now use as a form of self-care. I’m so fortunate to have been in your classes my last year of high school. You will continue to be an amazing educator!