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Field Notes 4/22

Florian's picture

Friday, 4/22, was my last day at the Center. The art instructor, upon hearing this, apologized for not having more for me to do. I told him not to apologize, because I felt that I had done a lot, even if a lot of the help involved more talking to people and cleaning up rather than hands-on help with the physical act of making art. And the day provided me more opportunities to do so. “Dorothy” was crocheting a scarf, and when I expressed interest in what she was doing, she tried teaching me- I wasn’t very successful, but I tried, and she seemed happy with what I was able to do. Then “Rebecca” came over to us and asked us if we could help her write an e-mail to her bus driver. She took out a yellow notebook she had that was full of e-mail addresses, and we went over to the studio space’s computer, which I had never even noticed on previous visits. It was already logged in to Rebecca’s email, so all I had to do was type as she dictated e-mails to her bus driver and her aide, as well as responding to an e-mail from her brother, who had sent her a photo of her niece and nephew. Dorothy provided suggestions for which emoticons we should use. Rebecca asked me to put my e-mail address in her book so that she could keep in touch after I had left, so I did. Then Dorothy wanted me to help me with her e-mail, but she couldn’t remember her password, so she went back to making her scarf. I changed the paint water for some people who were painting together, and had conversations with “Ryan” and “Usmail”, who I had conversed with about art materials and inspiration on previous visits to the Center. “Hope” came over, too, and asked me if I still liked Pink Floyd (something we had talked about on my first day there). I told her that I did, and she told me that she didn’t, she liked rap music- again, another callback to our first conversation. I told her that it was my last day there, and she repeated again and again, “I’m gonna miss you”. I told her that I had enjoyed our conversations, and that I would remember her. This is a promise I can keep. While I may not have been doing the type of art assistance I had imagined doing there, I think that I gained a deeper understanding of what helping can look like, and a perspective on people and on creativity that will stay with me.