While scrolling through my computer to find a random photo to write about for this final assignment, I came across this picture. Brought back a couple of memories.
This is me three years ago when I was a freshman here at UMW, home for my first fall break. I had brought my roommate back since she lived out-of-state and we had become quick (yet volatile) best friends. Out of some odd desire I decided to take her to my elementary school. We spent an hour or so walking around and hanging on the jungle gym sets. As we walked past a small garden area I saw it: the student mural put up in fifth grade. Now, I’m (still) quite proud of this mural because it started a tradition with each fifth grade class where they would decorate something of the school. My sister’s class, two years after me, painted ceiling tiles. But my class, because we were the first, got the best placing. It’s a large tile mural in the shape of a postcard with students’ self-portraits outlining the card. This photo is of 18-year-old me looking at how my ten-year-old self thought what I looked like. There are some false notions in this piece. My hair was light then but I wasn’t blonde and I didn’t really have that prominent of freckles either, though I desperately wished for that to be the case (still do). I remember I had just gotten glasses and had trouble getting used to how my face looked with them on. In an effort to come to terms with my changed appearance, I included the glasses though I wish I hadn’t because god they just throw off the whole portrait and my eyes (I’m quite sure I did the glasses first then the eyes—what an amateur mistake). I also remember layering the paint on and on because the skin tone was not quite right, clearly forgetting everything darkens in the kiln. So I ended up with a portrait that makes me as red as a lobster. I know the specific cross necklace depicted in the painting as well because I wore it in my fifth grade school picture and nearly every day of that year. It’s small and gold, given to me by my mom.
It should be noted—since it’s not clear in this picture that I had to sneak into this area to take the photo. I squeezed myself through the small gap between the chain-link door and fence, technically trespassing but hey, it was sort of worth it?