Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Second day of school. I'm left with a rather strange feeling: a content, almost blissful peace, not what you'd expect after eight hours of slouching in uncomfortable chairs until your neck hurts and your brain wishes to wash away the excess of words and instructions that you've semi-listened to all day.

Does that sentence make you think this is about a boy? Some nice guy who makes the slouching, invisible girl feel like the world? Well, it isn't. (And thank goodness for that. I'm such a fussy, perfectionist person that no one could live up to my standards. Sometimes I don't live up to them.)

No, what that sentence is about is photography, designing, literature, and creativity in general. Because, you see, last period on even days is Photo 1, or Photography for Beginners.

Photo 1, I figured out, sounds like the coolest class I could've signed up for. Because, this isn't digital-camera photography, where you can photoshop it; this is a class where I need an actual film camera. My teacher recommended one built in the '80s or '90s, because fun fact: cameras from that time were built of all metal components, making them more durable.

There is a dark room, with those big sinks and shallow containers for the chemicals to help develop the film, and where, when you're working, you keep all the lights off except for a single amber-colored light that barely illuminates. Even a special door, a cylinder with two openings -- one to go in, one to go out -- with an inner cylinder that allows you to switch between the two rooms without letting in any of the harmful flourescent light. (Flourescent light can ruin the film.)

Perhaps you might already know this "dark room." But I am a sheltered teenager, and this is an entirely new concept. The only thing I really know is the typical crowded classroom, my home and church and library; we rarely went on trips, back in elementary and middle schools, and I don't go out on my own. This dark room is an unexpected and curious break from my life.

Now, it's only the second day, of course. The teacher is going to have us begin at the beginning of photography -- making cameras out of oatmeal containers and tape -- and working up to the actual film camera, which we don't need to obtain until October. (This, by the way, is an AWESOME teaching technique, one that sadly is almost never used. To build the camera, to see how it works, BEFORE picking it up and applying it. If only they did that for say, math. Or government. To see where and how and why it works, and the history behind it? Providing context makes the concept pop.)

Educational rant aside, this class already seems epic. We even have field trips, come November. I haven't been on a field trip since... what, eighth grade? 2009-2010? Years of school where there are no break except for the occasional pep rally. *shudders* When I'm an adult, I should try and fix that. If I can. If I'm not some homeless, saddened, sick shell of a person.

I do apologize. I keep getting off topic. What I mean to say is, creativity comes in many forms, and I've discovered one today: photography. It's a lot more complicated than I thought it would be, but like writing, I find that I don't dread it; I look forward to learning and growing in the study.

Now, if only every other academic and creative study were posed in a way that makes me look forward to the next class.

Have a blessed day!

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