Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's an Addiction

This past Thursday I had a midterm in one of my art history classes. The exam was on modern architecture, and I spent much of the day before and morning of memorizing the dates, architects and locations of various important buildings around the world. Rob, my professor, is a teacher I have written exams with before, and he always follows the same format; a week before the exam, he will post a powerpoint with a variety of slides from lecture. They'll vary in different topics we discuss, and his students are expected to remember everyone. In the exam, he will choose a handful of those slides (this exam used 4 out of 14), ask you to name the details, and then write a small paper on it, which he usually likes to be around two and a bit pages.

It can be daunting, trying to memorize the details of that many slides when you know you will have to use so little, but by lunchtime Thursday, I was actually having a riot with it. My mom quizzed me and I was actually excited when I recited the use of catenaries in Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. I looked through the slides trying to guess which images he would use, but more for which ones I thought would be more fun to write about then to focus my studying.

Exam time rolled around, and when Rob put the first slide up, I started doing a little happy dance in my chair. This had been one of my top preferences for the exam. The following three were equally as pleasing. I was the last person out of the exam, not because I was slow but because I was having so much fun writing that exam, I didn't want it to end.

Before you write me off as a total geek, let me explain. Actually, the explanation will make me sound like more of a dork, so just write me off anyway. I get the strangest buzz from writing art history exams. It's like a sugar rush, or what I imagine caffeine highs would be like. After a bad week I left that exam feeling energized and excited. The whole world seemed more beautiful, and I just wanted to sing out loud and write about the artistry of terra cotta skyscrapers forever.

If only there were actual careers in art history. Then I could be this happy all the time.

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