John Hancock

Courage leads to…. the Art Appreciation Professor’s signature.


I got to the class early and made a point not to sit in the front or aisle seats. I’m not a front row sitter anyway. I watched naive students walk in, sit in the front row, and hold on to their add/drop slips with their pens ready. I giggled inside and was so glad I knew what to expect.


The teacher walked into class tonight at 6 pm… and just as I expected he said, “It looks like there’s too many people in here. Anyone who is trying to add this class, leave. Anywhere, just go.”

About four people left. I didn’t budge.

He left for a minute and walked back in and said, “There’s still too many. Who didn’t leave?”

I raised my hand and said, “Question! There is one space left in here and I’m next on the waitlist….”
“They lie! I told you to leave!”
“But there’s still one spot!”
“Let’s count,” he says. There were over 20 students.
Somehow I convinced him and he said, “Do you have the add form? Do you have a pen?”
“Yes” (Thankfully I was prepared.)
“Come down here.”
Before he signed, he said, “My signature is worth 1,000 on Antique’s Roadshow. Ahhh I’m so tired of signing my name.”
He finally did. And said, “When I tell my dog to go away, it goes away.”

Sigh of relief

He didn’t even pick on me the rest of the night, which surprised me.

This guy is extremely difficult to put into words. He said, “You’ll never meet anyone like me.” That’s a good way to put it.

He started off by taking roll, asking each person if they knew what their name meant and where they were from. Most didn’t know the meaning. He asked if people were Native American and most said no. He said they actually are because they are “native to America.” He said we should know things like this, and that’s what he’s going to teach us in the class.

Mainly, he talked about “finding our aesthetic.” The beauty in life, the beauty in us. He said we are all beauties. He talked about things like God, the universe, death, love, art, being institutionalized (schooling) and how it steals your creativity and trains you, and more in the 2 hours we were there. It was supposed to be almost 3 hours, but he let us leave early.

Next week is cancelled we have a “reading assignment at home”…the front cover & index page of the required, 80-something-dollar textbook we are not supposed to buy. “Because each page is costs 12 cents and they probably had to cut down a lot of trees to make it.” But if we want to learn more about artists, we can buy the book and should “cut out the pictures and hang them up to admire.”

Someone’s cell phone rang and he said, “There’s music going off in someone’s pants. I don’t have a cell phone and don’t want one. That’s my aesthetic.”

There’s so much more he said, but those are things that stick out in my head. I’m sure that’s not the last you’ll hear of this class as the semester moves along….

What an experience.

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