Last night was the first class of the semester for my textile class. I've taken this class several times, and in fact, for two semesters worked as the lab tech in the lower level one so that I could have free studio time.
The instructor and I have gotten close and so for those two semesters she invited me to come on Thursdays instead of going to open studio. Which is much more fun, because you get such good ideas from other people doing similar things, even if you're just working on independent projects.
But this semester I decided to just pay for the Thursday class. While not free, it is, as many say about blogging, cheaper than therapy. And you not only learn a lot about yourself, but it's such fun . And such a good way to stretch both mentally and physically.
Last night, however, was not super fun. I mean, it was wonderful to see the instructor again, and there are two people I really like taking the class again, so it felt like a little reunion.
One of the women does a lot of Photoshop work and prints her designs on fabric. She makes some exquisite things. The other absolutely refuses to measure anything. And most of the time her things turn out beautifully. She just refuses to get worked up over precision in this class.
We did a color mixing exercise using the primaries: red, yellow, and blue, both warm and cool, in different percentages. I've done this before, but this time we're weighing the dyes rather than measuring by teaspoon and tablespoon. It's more precise, and so you can control your color better.
I knew I wouldn't love this project, and I didn't have to participate, but I also knew it would behoove me to do it. Because spending one evening dyeing eight different colors, measured in metric beakers, means that in the next class, once we share, I'll wind up with 28 colors, or really 56, if you count both warm and cool colors.
I'll have two color pyramids to work from, and know the exact percentages if I want to mix a specific color. Which is a fabulous resource to have.
Me, though, I see math and I cringe. And avoid. I immediately assume it's going to be painful. And dreadfully dull.
The worst class I ever took in my life was this horrible probability and statistics class in college. I took it my freshman year, when everything was terrible anyway. Poor timing, poor choice. Although in the course catalog it basically said "math for the math retarded" - which describes me perfectly.
And I hated it so much. It was all, "If you have 45 green marbles and 32 white marbles and 97 red marbles all in separate barrels, and you deal 5 cards out of a 52-card deck to a deaf monkey, what's the likelihood that the coin you toss on a a speeding train heading east will come up heads?" Or something like that.
And instead of being all, oh, I should totally apply myself! I was more, oh my god this makes me want to spoon my eyes out and what the fuck is this and anyway I'm never going to be picking marbles out of barrels or give a damn what kind of cards the monkey has. And I'm much more about the Rock Paper Scissors than flipping coins. And have I said how much I hate this?
Needless to say, I did very poorly in the class.
But now when I have to deal with very concrete math and it actually relates to and makes sense in my real life, I realize how useful it is. Seriously, why the fuck couldn't they make any of it relevant somewhere along the way in school?