i have had some fantastic teachers. one of them was dan bowden, my poetry and a.p. english teacher. he probably considers himself an eccentric, but i prefer to describe him as a goof. he was the kind of teacher who would fall to the floor when the bell rang or burst spontaneously into shakespeare. he had an edge to him but, for the most part, he seemed delighted with life. his classes were fun and unpredictable.
after our class ignored instructions on several quizzes, mister bowden distributed an exemplary midterm. my classmates and i would need as much time as possible to answer the many essay questions. students attacked their papers. i remembered mister bowden's frustration though. i remembered how purple his face was when he told us that "directions should not be ignored!" i remembered the spittle that flew from his lip.
"read directions carefully," i read the directions carefully, "write your name on the top of this test. deliver it to the front desk when you are done." that's it? i was puzzled. i looked at mister bowden. i looked around the room. my classmates were writing furiously. i read the directions again. "write your name on the top of this test." i wrote my name. "deliver it to the front desk when you are done." i mustered my courage. i delivered the test to the front desk. not a single question was answered. mister bowden smiled as i left the room. i got an A.
ten years later...
this portrait was meant to satisfy assignment #49 of miranda july's art experiment, Learning to Love You More: draw a picture of your friend's friend. Andrea Scher is a friend of my sweetheart, christine. they are members of a casual group of girlfriends who are creative and supportive of each other. this portrait was drawn from a photo that christine brought home from their winter retreat.
unfortunately, i didn't read assignment #49 very carefully. i was supposed to draw from my imagination. i was supposed to use a red colored pencil. yuri at learningtoloveyoumore.com wrote to confirm that, no, it's true, directions are important.
i'm sorry, mister bowden. you'd think i would've learned that lesson.