There we were, all working hard on our individual projects. Everyone had their designated spots where they were permanently set-up, complete with an untold dollar amount of art supplies, Diet Coke, coffee, tea, cigarettes, chew, whatever. The studio was always a great place to be. It was our ‘Cheers’. Even if no one was talking, everyone shared a common goal: make significant progress on whatever it is you were working on and produce the most flawless deliverable possible by 9:00am the following day.
If by ‘crit’ day your work was non-existent, incomplete, or of substandard quality, you would definitely hear about it from the instructor. The idea that perhaps you would be overlooked, or let-down-easy, or anything of the sort was a fantasy. It would happen, and it would happen harshly without fail.
We were in our groove, and well into the midnight hour just listening to some loud, but not blaring, music. Sometimes everyone would break out in some quirky dance for an entire song and just be plain ol’ tired-as-heck goofy together. Who cares if we got enough sleep for the next day’s presentation. We always came through. There was no positive alternative.
My Mom would sometimes tell me ‘You shouldn’t drink so much tea’ or ‘You need to get more sleep every night’. My snarky response always went something like this: ‘Mom, if I don’t drink all this tea then I will get tired. If I get tired, then I will become sleepy. If I become sleepy, then I will fall asleep. If I fall asleep, then I won’t complete my project. If I don’t complete my project, then I will receive a bad grade. If I receive a bad grade, then I will be put on probation. If I don’t get out of probation, then I will be kicked out of Art Center. If I get kicked out of Art Center, then all your money will have been wasted because I didn’t get my degree.’
That mantra was clearly memorized because it was always the same. It had to be. That’s just how it was, at Art Center.
While consumed in our group’s silly and life-is-good goofiness, Lex spouted an unexpected comment, “Who wants an Oreo cookie?”
Me! I want an Oreo cookie! Actually I would like more than one Oreo cookie! I was so excited at the prospect of being just steps away from some delicious sugary treat. Yum, yum, go inside and get them now please! Lexi’s reply, “I don’t have any.”
What?!?, she just asked everyone if we wanted Oreo cookies only to find out she didn’t even have any. Who does that?!
But Lex had a plan. We could all go and get the cookies together! This meant everyone piling into a small red-colored Volkswagon Scirocco, sitting on one another like a litter of puppies. No one cared, that’s what our group did, with carefree joy. No one thought that leaving the house at an ungodly hour, just to head-off anywhere that was open and then purchase cookies was odd. At that moment, it was the only thing that mattered.
I don’t recall, but it is doubtful that anyone waited to get back to the studio at the Pasadena house. Quite possibly, they were well enjoyed on our return trip. Ahh, now we were happy and content. And our all-night homework party continued. The kids were now satiated with sugary goodness resulting from the late-night cookie caper impulse run.