Recession Mama

{August 25, 2009}   Back To Square One

By Heather

Since I have no talent for drawing, let me start by creating a picture with words. I’m sitting in a classroom full of people (most of whom are half my age) trying to draw squares. Not just any kind of squares, but two-point perspectives from observed reality. (kinda like a 3-D square)

drafting table

We’re all perched on our stools, hovering over drafting tables and paper. Our T-squared rulers and triangles are lining up with our vanishing points, as we make light marks with our “HB” pencils. I manage to get the line on the drafting paper and I feel like shouting Ta-Dum! (but I don’t) Instead I silently congratulate myself on following the teacher’s instructions correctly.

I line up more angles and draw lines, but pretty soon my square looks  like a Rubik’s Cube. I feel like shouting &*%&! (but I don’t) Instead I comment to the girl on my left that my square looks like an iconic 80’s toy.

“You’re probably too young to remember Rubik’s Cubes.” I tell her.

“No I know about them. They’re  retro,” she says.

(Retro is a nice way of saying something is old, but still cool.)

Rubik’s Cube girl tries to help me as does the artist sitting to my right. But I’m like Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory. I can’t keep up with everyone else, so I just want to spew obscenities, scream and eat my drafting paper.

2 min 57 sec – Aug 4, 2006 –


Rated 4.9 out of 5.0

Last week, I was so energized about starting another degree, feeling good about expanding my resume, possibly contributing to the family funds one day and reaching a goal. But now I feel deflated, because I LITERALLY CAN’T GET PAST SQUARE ONE.

I finally raise my hand and confess that I’m clueless and can’t  make this friggin’ square look right. The teacher is so nice a patient with me. I try again. But soon I’m frustrated… and distracted by a conversation between two classmates.

“Dude. He is so hot. Beautiful hot. Dude it’s weird how pretty he is.”

“I know. Where are we going to party Friday dude.”

“Dude. I don’t know.”

I’m trying to concentrate, but I seriously can’t stop wondering when 18-year-old girls started calling each other “dude.”

Back to the squares. Or rather me, the square.

I’ve always had a problem with following instructions. I listen, but I usually interpret them the wrong way. I’m just not wired right I suppose.

Case in point, my 5th grade book report. We were told to make shadow boxes using a scene from our book. I read the “Palomino Pony.” I put dirt in a boot box, put in real grass, tin foil for water and sawed a horse off of a trophy. I also made little bails of hay and spelled out “Palomino Pony” in yarn. I dragged my creation to school the next day feeling really proud. I just knew Mr. McCall would love it and give me an excellent grade! (Keep in mind this is the teacher who gave me licks in third grade over a book report.)

But praise and accolades were not to be had. Mr. McCall took one look at my shadow box and said “You’ll have to do this over. You didn’t do it right.”

Back to present day. My drafting paper has become such a mess that my instructor finally tells me to start over. But then she, plus Rubik’s cube girl and artist guy, guide me through it. I manage to get three squares done correctly. Just SIX more to go! grrrr..

“Dude. Where ARE we going to party Friday.”

“I don’t know dude, but your line is all screwed up.”

“I know dude. (laughing) #$%!”

Hmmm.. she took the words right out of my mouth.

architect tools

By the way… when class was over (four hours later)…about six or eight people were still working on the squares. The instructor told us that “creative people always have a hard time with drafting at first.” I hope this means I’m creative… and not just hopeless.



Katy says:

Of course you’re creative, Heather! And eventually, you’ll get to the point that the assignment is easy and fun! The foundation/basics are always the hardest. If you didn’t have any struggles, you wouldn’t have to be in school, right? I’m really proud of you, mama! Or shall I say, dude?

Heather says:

Like thanks dude!

jennifer says:

Dude, you are so totally creative that you can’t draw the box (square) because you think soooo far outside of the box : ) Hang in there!!

recessionmama says:

HAAA! I’ve been working on the squares and I’m getting better. I can do the two-point ones, but the one point needs work.

jennifer says:

Maybe you can get your son who is in kinder to give you a hand, they learn to draw squares!

Carla says:

You rock for giving his a go, H. You’re gonna do great…it’s just probably tough getting back into the groove of the school thing. I mean, it’s a whole different world. Anyway, dude, did you find out where we’re partying Friday night?

Heather says:

I don’t think I’m invited to “party” on Friday dude. I’ll be reading to the kids instead.
Very funny Jennifer. But I bet my son could draw squares better than I.

craig says:

Heather, you are so funny. I admire you so much for admitting mistakes. Me not so good with criticism. I have a past tenant who is in his 3rd year and would not mind giving you some pointers. I think he might have painted had your house one time or another. Let me know and I will hook you all up.


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