Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How I learned to attend classes in college.

When I was in college, I was not famous for making it to classes. Especially not classes that were at 8am.  I learned, eventually, not to schedule my classes before noon.. fine, before 3pm... but I had an unfortunate semester where I had scheduled a Non-Western Art History class at 8am and my teacher was boring, and a jerk, and  I was suffering from allergy-induced panic attacks.  It turns out that they were a reaction to a medicine I took every night at 10 pm, though no one realized it was an "allergy" until well after I had failed a bunch of classes. And since I would take the pill at 10 pm, it would kick off a panic attack a few hours later once it got nice and cozy in my blood stream, so I would have a full blown panic attack at 2 am where I would call my sister, crying hysterically, like the one time I called telling her I thought I might actually be dead.

 "Well, how are you calling me if you're dead?" 
       "I don't know how it works! I'm freaking out, I think it is logical that I might be dead!"
 "You're not dead... go take your meds."

But the meds they prescribed at the college health clinic were Xanax (which only made the attacks worse) and Ambien (which knocked me out, hard), so the one time I recall making it to class, I was pretty much a drooling zombie, which ties back into the whole "already dead" thing ( but I assure you I am not a zombie now, so I may have been wrong on that count- although, if I were that would be pretty cool. Imagine that! You would be reading a blarg written by a zombie right now, a very articulate and funny zombie. You'd totally let me eat your brains if that was the case, right?!).

None of this is the point of what I am writing, though.  The point is, I missed A LOT of that Non-Western History class, and that kinda sucked, because it was required for me to graduate. In actuality, I only remember going to class a total of about 6 times. One of those times was for the final.

Now, I had taken A LOT of art history up until then, having gone to art schools for the preceding 6 years, so I thought that MAYBE I could wing it and get enough right to get a C- in the class so I wouldn't have to take it again, but then, I got the final in front of me, and I looked up at the slides that Professor Jerkhole was showing, and while they were certainly beautiful works of art, I didn't know a damned thing about them.  Well no, I recognized the works by Hokusai, who did those beautiful Japanese iconic prints of Tsunami waves in front of Mt. Fuji.

 And I recognized another Japanese wash painting by Ekaku of the Bodhidharma who had cut off his eyelids to meditate without falling asleep,

and the Terracotta soldiers of the Qin Dynasty (the ones that are featured in the latest Mummy movie).

But otherwise it was a bunch of pretty vases and raku cups and if you don't know anything about art history, none of this means anything to you, I know.  And it didn't mean much to me since I needed to know the artist, the title, the date, the historical period, and the materials of each piece of art.

And then this image came up:

And I looked down at the question on the test that went with the slide and the question read, I shit you not:

And I thought, "Well, shit, I imagine I would know that if I had ever gone to class... um... Buddha?" which was not the right answer.  I was wrong on about 85% of the questions, in fact... and I failed the class and had to take it again at which point I managed to actually go to class and pass.

But even taking the class over, I never found out who made that damned bowl.

UPDATED: 12/13/12 1:52 am- I FOUND THE BOWL! OMG! This is it. It was made by Ogata Kenzan, and his brother was the painter Ogata Korin! I cannot tell you how absolutely exciting finding this was! I found it at the following link FINALLY by searching "famous Japanese pottery." The internet is a wonderful place!


  1. That's the weirdest fucking question ever. Who gives a shit who the BROTHER of the artist/sculptor/whatever is? That's like asking what Napoleon's sister's name was. Who cares? Did she fuck up at Waterloo? No? Then she's not important.

  2. That is why higher education is worth every penny.

  3. I hope I don't go to sleep wondering who the damn brother was, but I probably will.

  4. @Kim- Well, he may have been VERY important, and I suppose he is, but since I don't know who he was, I have no way of knowing.

    @Jelli- I graduated almost 14 years about it and I still don't freaking know and it STILL bothers me.

  5. Well darn it...I want to know who made it too.

  6. That brother of the artist really makes art history...he made it well unanswered, that until now people still guessing who make that bowl...

  7. Help! Your "safecount" ad makes it impossible to read you blog! And it's way annoying, but I like your blog, so I tried to read it anyway, but that didn't work.

  8. ACK! I will look into it, but according to BlogHer, the ads only bother people once... and I told them not to do ads that bother people. =S

    Thank you for letting me know!

  9. you are making me look forward to my college years...

  10. I love the drawings in your blog! How do you do those?

  11. At first glance I thought the question was "What was the name of the brother-man who made this bowl?" Thought maybe it was a drug-induced interpretation or some such nonsense. Your way is less creepy.

  12. @Larry- I use the program Corel Painter and I basically draw the lines and then make another layer and color underneath the lines. I do this using a wacom bamboo tablet (so I can draw right into the computer, instead of using a mouse).

  13. This is such a very naughty blog...with twist and turns...


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