Old People Actually Know Stuff

(pictures of work in progress at the end)

As a full-time student starting a second career I tend to see things much differently from my classmates.  Many of them are in college for the first time and trying to plan the rest of their lives.  My life drawing teacher, Mr. Storms, was attempting to tell one student in particular how stringent the requirements are for his first choice college, Cal Arts.  Since Mr. Storms knows both the student and the requirements for Cal Arts, you would think the student would have been taking notes.  Instead, he was basically blowing it off, nodding vacantly and interrupting – but clearly not listening.  Even worse, he hadn’t even started the application process, which is time-consuming to say the least.

In a separate incident, the same teacher was telling us about an art gallery opening featuring an artist whose work fetches up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  He was trying to get us to visualize where we want our careers to end up.  Immediately the girl next to me rolled her eyes, made a dismissive noise and blew it off.  “You need to be realistic” was her only response, under her breath of course.  The odd thing is that the teacher was being realistic – he was giving us a real-life example.  The “reality”, though, is that this girl’s mindset will always make her play small. Negativity prevents people from even formulating a dream, let alone achieving it.

How many times do we do this in life?  We are so focused on our own perceptions of reality that we miss the gifts and opportunities that are right in front of us.  I think it’s important to take time out regularly to give thanks for what we have, which includes the wisdom of the people around us.  This may come from age and experience, but I have learned that old people actually know what they’re talking about.  Go figure!

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