I’ve heard a lot of complaints from my friends that some of the classes our kids are required to take at high school are useless. Seeing my older son Justin spend so much time on humanity reading assignments and world geography projects, I understand their complaints. But, are those classes really useless? I have to say that my whole family is benefiting from the classes Justin is taking. Because of his classes we all become more aware of local cultural events, concert, opera, or art show. I am more tuned to the information relating to those events while listening to the radio or scanning through websites. And we had some first time experiences over the past couple of years. He, during this period, becomes more aware of the world around him.
His latest project is an oil painting project. He needs to create a painting using impressionist style. He had almost no training in this, the strokes of his paint brush couldn’t quite convey the style. So I suggested he study some of the examples we have at home and work out his strokes first. While watching him, I couldn’t help myself from grabbing a brush and trying out. Just like learning everything else, it’s kind of fun to explore, be creative, and simply try to figure out your way. I found myself enjoying it. So I took an extra canvas and started to paint on the pristinely white canvas. This was my first time ever painting on a canvas. The effect of the paint and strokes was totally different. After some trial and errors I started to get a hang of it. Since the two of us were painting together, we exchanged tips and helped each other along. It took a lot of patience to mix the right color and cover the canvas with paints, but I felt it quite relaxing.
The rewarding part is when the rest of the family saw the two canvases they could tell right away which one is the impressionist style. I was giddy like a kid. I wish I had this kind of classes when I was in high school. This kind of classes enriches our lives, makes us better human beings. Learning is always fun and it is always useful. Sooner or later we will appreciate.