|Summer SCAD Girls
My time in Savannah was a cluster of freeing moments in the fourth year of the 21st century. The air was hot with humidity bringing out extremely large cockroaches at twilight, but my mind couldn’t have been bothered with thoughts of my curls creeping up on my artificially straightened hair. I was too busy learning how to move freely. Savannah would be the place that set me on the path to finding confidences.
While my parents were driving me down from my small hometown in North Georgia to the coast, Savannah was calling me for a whole week. A whole week I was going to be free from everything and everyone. Although at that point “everything” was very little if anything at all, “everyone” was a group of former friends of mine. This group of friends was elitist and anything outside of their norm was very hard for them to understand. There were girls and boys dying to be in there mix, of course because we were heading into our senior year of high school, there would be no older students for them to suck up to. New minions were welcome since they were losing “friends” with their unrelenting bullying and undermining of other’s self values. For a whole beautiful week, I wouldn’t have to deal with any of them. My mind was beginning to feel free and charged with excitement.
Once my parents helped me check in and dropped my bags off at my dorm room, I was very much ready for them to leave. This adventure was starting to take place and I didn’t want to miss it. Finally, with my parents gone and my new found freedom, I couldn’t be held up in my room. I started walking the hallway. That’s when I spotted a girl named Kristy who seemed to be feeling the same happiness and curiosity. We wanted to hang out and meet new people right away, which we did until dinner time.
My first class was my mini fashion course. My teacher was a sweet British woman with light brown hair. When she informed us that we would be making our own outfits, I thought I was dying! I had no idea how to sew. “This was supposed to be a course on fashion, not creating fashion”, was my first young thought. The girl sitting next to me had gone to costume making camp the summer before. “They even have costume making camps” my brain was screaming?!?! Everything seemed to be moving in a whirlwind, but I made one kick ass emery board. At least I could do that.
My feelings for my mini film making course were those of confidence. I had this in the bag, for I had a small desire to be just like Sofia Coppola, who has a knack at creating golden moody feminine films, like The Virgin Suicides. For our final project we would be writing, story boarding, directing and filming a short film. Heaven, it felt like.
During our down time I was getting to know the amazing girls in my group, who I had things in common with. Especially, a girl named Noel, we seemed to be very much alike, except she had the confidence in herself that I craved and was learning about. We became like two peas in a pod that week. She was teaching me to be secure with myself and to not be so stiff. Loosen up, go with the flow, and don’t worry so much.
My fashion course was becoming a bit overwhelming, even with screaming calls to my mother about how I had no idea how to sew. We made a trip to the local Salvation Army store to get together everything we needed to make our outfits. Luckily, I found a dress that was a cream top and a navy skirt. My idea was to change the bottom, sleeves and add a belt with purple tool. I did not realize how hard it would be to sew tool. In turn the tool was creating a bigger problem for me. My sweet British teacher helped me after a certain point. I was just not getting it, even though I was trying my damnedest. She seemed to have great patience for me and was able to really tap into what I personally found interesting. Caleb, my friend, sitting next to me, informed me how attractive he found my teacher to be. She had a slight drop in her eye, confusing me, because I had yet to understand that imperfections could be attractive. Caleb was your typical male artist with a dark tan and chocolate brown curls driving girls mad with desire, giving them the attention that they craved. While his well off parents wanted him to be an architect, he seemed to want nothing more than to be an artist lover expressing himself in other ways.
While my fashion class seemed daunting at times, my film class was moving fast at times, making it impossible for me to pay real attention. I was very happy socializing about what we all loved and had interests in. Looking back, we probably drove our teacher nuts but I could have cared less then. As a group we came up with the idea for a short story about a cowboy being followed by a bowl of grits and having a show down at the very end. While we were shooting the short, we were learning how to use a camera, a boom, and a light meter. When we started learning about the light meter, that is when I remembering mentally shutting down. We had to use math to determine how much light was being processed threw the camera. Math is a fear of mine that I’m just now coming to be okay with and to understand a little better.
Suddenly, our week had come to an end. We had finished our projects and had them on display for our parents to view. Everything in my body was screaming for this week not to come to an end. I didn’t want to say goodbye, didn’t want to have to go back to deal with the same “friends” again, and I didn’t want to lose those moments. I remember my parents walking around the display room and my feeling was of angry because that meant it was time to go back to my other life. Everything had changed for me that week. That experience gave me courage, hope, an understanding of what I wanted, and a new found happiness.
Of course, once the week had ended I was on my way home balling my eyes out like a baby. We all made promises to keep in touch, but slowly over time those promises fade with life changes. At that time I needed those people to come into my life. There were some us that needed each other more than others did. Mollie Dry (one of the girls in my group) and I stayed very close after that summer. She even came down for my 19th birthday party. When it was time for us to finally go away to college, we all had made our choices on where we were going. We tried to stay in close touch with each other but over time there was less and less communication until none at all. Everyone that one week played some part whether big or small in helping shape me as a confident person to this day. For that they will always have a special place in my heart.
|Mollie Dry & I