Friday, November 21, 2014

This Word "We" - It Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

So when you're a good little child, raised in a nice small town in SE Texas, you learn manners.

You learn to say sir and ma'am, speak when spoken to (I wasn't so hot at this as I sort of love the whole speaking process) you learn the difference between adults and children, and you respect the adult / child boundary.

I remember when my parents had parties, we had to be upstairs. Did we spy on them from the top of the stairs? Yes. But there was no mingling. They had their fun and we had ours.

We also learned that there were multiple authorities with control over us as children. Neighbor parents, for example. If a spanking was required, they were authorized - encouraged, even - to deliver it. Teachers and principals as well.

Custody of us was transferred each time we were within sight of another adult. This is a great system and should make a comeback.

But one day, in ninth grade, it all broke.

I remember quite distinctly the day that I learned that it was completely okay for me to tell people with a wide variety of experience/age differentials to stuff it.

It was the day that my biology II teacher, who, by the way, I really liked and respected, told the class we'd be dissecting cats.

Yeah, lady, I thought - you keep using this word "we" - I'm not sure it means what you think it means. I'm not your huckleberry there. There is no power in the universe that could make me do that. I wouldn't even do that at gunpoint.

Mind you - the whole class was horrified - not just me. But we were good kids. We didn't tell grownups to shove it.

Until I did.

I said - Sorry Mrs. Loving - I'm just not going to do that.

I left the class. And I was not summarily executed or forced to leave the planet. It was actually surprisingly uneventful.

I got an F. The very first and last F of my life, and the grade I am MOST proud of. I'd like a thousand more F's for situations just like that. Because you know what? I did fail. I EARNED THAT F LIKE A BOSS. I owned it. I didn't even try not to F. It was the perfect score. Any other grade would have been a travesty.

She was surprised and, I can't lie - mad - I think just because she really loved teaching, not because she felt disrespected, but she didn't duct tape me to my seat. She just watched me leave. And she told me I'd get a failing grade. Failing, as I remember thinking, was a wee bit relative in this particular situation. I'm pretty sure I won.

But it's good to find out that just because someone tells you you have to do something, doesn't mean you have to do it. You really don't have to do anything at all. And I'm not an anarchist. I just think that there are times in your life when you should say no thank you. Firmly. And not regret it. And embrace all the things that come with it.

I'd love to say that F had no impact on my life, but it did. It's something I earned, and it's something I think of and cherish every time I say no to something that just isn't quite right for me.

And Mrs. Loving, if you're out there - you were an awesome teacher. I loved the little maps we made when we were studying genetics. Maybe that's why I loved biology and hated chemistry - I remember biology being very visual, and chemistry being very math-y. Also, my chemistry teacher was no Walter White, but that's a horse of a different color.

Luckily, none of this interfered with my dream of NOT being a doctor or a medical examiner! Yay me!

Today's Mix-Ability challenge is hosted by Tiffany Johnson - and it's about FEATHERS!

I decided to try an experiment. For some reason when I do gelli printing, I can't bring myself to throw away the ugly mistakes. I don't know why - it's not like the process is expensive. I guess I keep thinking I'll print over them - I do love that you can fix a bad print a lot of times by printing on it again.  But sometimes I don't fix them and they just sit in a drawer. So today I decided to take an ugly print and use it for my feathers.

Here's the ugly print:

It's just awful. It had some cool shapes, but the colors weren't right. I realized when I used it today that what it needed was red or orange.

I stamped a few feathers from the Four Feathers bundle and die cut them. Then I used a skewer that was on my messy desk, dipped it in some Vat Orange Golden Fluid Acrylic and whacked the paint loaded stick against my finger to spatter it. It was just the right color.

I made circles in the background with a sponge dauber and yellow ink, added sequins from the Frosted Sequins collection, and stamped the greeting from Banner Blessings in black.

Pin It

Of course, if I hadn't wanted to do any of that, I could have just said no thank you. :)

Try it sometime!



  1. Ah, the good ole days, when kids respected the adult in their presence, no matter who it was. I distinctly remember the day a 5 yo told me, "You can't tell me what to do; you're not my mother."

    And I LOVE to keep failed art pieces to use as you did here. They're so pretty, and you'd never know of their humble beginnings.

  2. I like how your feathers turned out. I have several pieces that I'm saving to rework too. Ok more than just several. But I always think "I can fix this." I may just have to use one of mine to do feathers. That is if I WANT TO.

  3. I love your story and congratulations on your "F" and for standing up for what you believe in!...Your card is lovely too! LOL...that spot of red lights it right up!

  4. Great story! I love how you used the paper that didn't work at first but made it work.

  5. Nothing we do is a's just art waiting to happen. :)
    Love your card and the feathers. The little red speck of paint just sets them off.

    Interesting read about your biology class. I just happened to be sick that day. :/

  6. Heard about this post, and I love your beautiful card...but I especially love your story about just saying no, thank you! Hugs!

  7. Fabulous feathers - nothing rejectable about them! :D


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