November 6, 2009

I had a weird moment with The Boy last weekend while visiting Binkles at BGSU. And it wasn’t feeling like a couple of codgers at the college party he invited us to – but that was actually pretty awkward, even if it was genuinely-intended.

My brother is currently finishing his art degree, and taking glassblowing and ceramics (I think his concentration and passion is glassblowing). I started out at AU as an art major, but burned out midway through my junior year. AU had drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, computer art (sort of), printmaking, and photography (sort of). There weren’t textiles, glassblowing, jewelry-making, animation, imaging, or interactive multimedia courses.

Bitter? Why yes, why do you ask?

At any rate, things turned out for the best, and I have a Business Administration degree and am currently working on my MBA. I’m very supportive of the arts, still, and very much hope that part of my life’s work is devoted to the arts in some way.

Walking through the massive halls of the art building at BG, I casually mentioned to The Boy, “I’m really glad that things worked out the way they did. If I thought I’d floundered at AU, I would have epically failed at BG.”

After a few moments, The Boy took a breath and said, “Yeah, you do kind of benefit when you have metaphorical ‘horse blinders’ on.”

At the time, I thought it was an odd comparison to make, but I think that ultimately he’s right – he saw me through all of those agonizing years in art classes, and is able to make that statement with authority. I cannot take the overwhelming distraction of frenetic creative activity: I get sensory overload and I shut down. I cannot function with too many options, and BG just offered way too many options in a field of study I wasn’t meant to master.

I, myself, am still turning this idea over in my head, musing all of the underlying implications of this statement, and how to asses and apply it for the future. Time, I’m sure, will reveal a lot of what it means to operate best with “horse blinders” on – and how to use this skill (if it is a skill) to my advantage.