A couple days ago during a meeting, I looked up and met the smiling gaze of the instructor.
“Good, I’m glad to see that you are taking notes.”
But I wasn’t taking notes… oh, I am such a horrible person!
In 1st ,2nd, all the way till high school, it was considered wrong. A distraction. Getting caught meant a blood red name up on the board displayed for the entire class to see. A destiny that involved staying in for recess. Drawing during class was such a rebel thing to do.
“Did you say you want us to draw on the table?”
I remember how surprised we were the first day of class as college freshmen.
“Yes, they’ve been covered with white paper so you may draw freely in class while listening to the lecture.”
No way. Finally someone understood. Within a matter of days, the tables were covered ink. Nope, they weren’t just doodles, they were professional grade sketches. Fragments of comics, storyboards, self portraits – you name it.
You can imagine the grief experienced by students the day we came in to find that the tables had been replenished with new white paper. It was horrible. Everything , all that brain storming, all those hours in class- gone!
Little by little, the white paper came back to life. Fashion sketches, zentangles, the human anatomy. When class was over and the chairs were up, the students walked out with one last glace. How long would their sketches survive?
Ok fine, I have to admit that back in elementary school we did have an exception to the rule. There was a designated drawing time. Our 1st grade teacher said that we could art during story time because it would help us focus. She was right – I just wish that it would have been enforced during all lessons!
Sophomore year in college, I bought myself a sketchbook. It just kinda goes everywhere. I draw during class, church or just randomly as inspiration hits. In case anyone decides to evaluate the ‘distractivity’ of doodling – well, wondering thoughts would be worse, don’t you think?
Artistic expression should not be forbidden.