Missed Opportunity

Sometimes I look back on portions of my life with remorse, the old, "if only I knew then what I know now" thing. The following describes one of my first big regrets.

About a month before my high-school graduation, cartoons starring the teachers started appearing. Carefully circulated, they were timely and hilarious. For example, if a teacher hit one of us (a Catholic school in the 70's), a comic would soon appear where that teacher was depicted as a superhero who went around kicking dogs and beating up old ladies. The artwork was exceptional - professional quality.

The artist told me he had no natural talent but had been practicing for years during school hours. While everyone else was bored, daydreaming, he was drawing. Nothing special - simple things like the teacher's desk, the books on that desk, an eraser, the back of a student's head, anything. Over the years, he kept getting better, and eventually, as previously stated, extremely good.

I asked how he got away with it and he said it depended on the teacher. Most didn't notice or mind. A few teachers, dedicated to the principle that nothing worthwhile should ever happen in a classroom, watched him carefully and made sure he didn't do it. They would confiscate his drawings, and if he persisted, send him to detention. But it was worth it, a small sacrifice that enabled him to become one of the few to graduate with a useful skill.

During our conversation, I realized I could have done the same. I too could have developed artistic skill, but never thought of doing it. That revelation was instant and felt terrible. Like most students, I needlessly wasted my school years by sitting passively, bored silly, while the teachers drone on about useless crap.

Although I could learn to draw now, I won't. It would be great to know how to draw, but I'm not interested enough to schedule the necessary time. I have too many other priorities. Still, I wish I did learn when the time and opportunity existed.

I regret that I didn't learn to draw many years ago, but that's the past and there's nothing I can do about it now - except stop thinking about it. Time is precious and regret is a waste of time. - COB

There will be a new post every... Oh I don't know. Let's say every two weeks.