2/7/16 – Medford/Somerville, MA – CAPTION poses for a headshot on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (Evan Sayles / The Tufts Daily)

Jumbo Steps: Drawing attention

The hallway walls leading into my and my roommate’s room has been recently adorned with two new masterpieces. We can’t really tell if the portraits we drew of each other look Picasso-esque, or if they seem like the product of a three-year-old’s after-school art project.

But that’s precisely we drew each other in the first place: we needed a laugh.

The Registration Gods somehow favored me over him, and I got to choose my Fall 2016 courses substantially earlier than him. It was tough knowing I’d enrolled in every class I wanted except one, while he got arguably the shortest end of the stick possible.

I wanted to distract him from SIS and its wretched Enrollment Calendar, so I busted out my drawing pad. I told him to hold the pad such that its cover lay atop his hand and pen, obscuring his view of the paper and his drawing.

Then I told him to draw my face.

After he did, I took the pad from him and tore out the paper without looking at it. Now, it was my turn.

Once I was done, we exchanged drawings, and laughter.

Oh, what an interesting sight it was. Our finished products — half-caricature, half-alien — were such drastic versions of ourselves that we couldn’t help but chuckle.

Ah, mission accomplished: he laughed!

I agree, it was probably quite random to have asked him to drop what he was doing for a mini art session. But, having lived with me for almost a year, I think he’s gotten used to my randomness.

In hindsight, however, I don’t think it was really that random.

Growing up, art was my primary therapeutic outlet. So, it makes sense that I reverted to implementing an activity that made me de-stress while attempting to de-stress him.

Which led me to question the extent to which art still serves as that outlet for me.

I didn’t like my answer. The most drawing I’d done in the recent past was a quarter-long stint last semester, when I took Intermediate Drawing. But I dropped that class. Before that, I hadn’t touched HB pencils or soft charcoal since sophomore year.

I’ve been depriving myself of my core source of happiness and tranquility — all because those seemingly more important things, like academic and social life, put drawing on the back-burner.

I invite you to ponder about those activities which bring forth genuine serenity and bliss to you and question how prevalent those activities still are in your life.

If they continue to be an important part of your life, I laud you on your tenacity to engage with them, despite the distractions of school, family and social life.

And, if they seemed to have vanished from your line of site for one reason or another, it may be time to reconsider what is more important in your life.

Love, someone who will be taking an art class next semester.

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