Lessons I Learn In School #1

In case you missed it, I’m a special education aide; a Behavior Specialist Assistant to be precise. I work with high functioning middle and high school kids who are working towards transitioning back into typical schools. I love it.

Today, we had our Art ‘elective’. The actual assignment itself was nothing spectacular, however our amazing instructor said something that spoke right to my soul.

“If you need to fix something, you don’t want to wait until the final product to try.”

He was, of course, talking about how the kids needed to sketch out their concepts on grid paper before beginning to paint on canvas. Pencil on paper is much easier to correct than paint on canvas! I thought about how when I learned photography, we were taught to do as much ‘in camera’ as we could, and not to rely on Photoshop to fix things that didn’t need to be a problem to begin with.

Shouldn’t the same concept apply to our everyday lives? We’d use the colloquialism “nipping it in the bud” to explain most things, but how often do we actually do that? How many things could we change or avoid if we simply made sure we sketched it out before we threw down some really permanent paint?

It also made me think about how oftentimes what we struggle with was right in front of our faces even before we made the first brushstroke. And we paint over it like maybe, juuuust maybe, the sketch was wrong and the paint will cover it. How many times does that bandaid work? How frequently do we see something and go “oof, could have caught that issue earlier if I had tried/looked/listened.”

This all takes a whole lot of practice and a whole lot of letting go of all our pride. Totally easy, right? Well if it is for you, please teach me your ways, because I am a stubborn mule-lady of a human who holds on to things with Hulk-like strength. Things that, in retrospect, I definitely saw in the sketchbook before I lathered up my fingerpaints. I’ll keep encouraging y’all though, because I know I have to try and fix my sketches first too.



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