Friday, May 8, 2009

My First Open Letter

I've been told that writing letters can be therapeutic, so i gave it a try. it helped a little, i think.

To LPPAC, Governor Rendell, and whomever else it may concern,

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to spend a few weeks of one of my last youthful summers surrounded by my young artist peers, and the chance to take free classes in art and the many different aspects of it, to learn new things, make friends, and have a ridiculously fun time. I had a lot of fun just preparing, stressing out over the deadline, taking pride in my portfolio and kissing it good-bye before it went off to be judged.

Mr. Rendell, you have a special place in my heart since the moment you ripped the rug out from under my hopeful feet and the funding out from all eight of the governor's school programs. I didn't know it until a week or so later, but all the waiting I'd done, the excitement of simply being judged in this first round, had me floating. All for naught. I'm sorry I didn't get around to writing you this letter until so many months after the fact. I was just too blown away by the fact that my wonderful summer had dissipated, because you couldn't spare 4 million bucks, half for now half for next year. Where else is that money going to go? Standardized testing? Expect another angry letter if my sister has to take more than the current state-mandated tests when she hits my level in high school.

And, oh! Sweet, generous LPPAC. I'm sorry I giggled at your name, but when your share it with that of a pop punk rock band, it's hard not to snicker. Thanks for picking me up and stringing me along another month and a half, for inspiring me to drag my mother and sister to two FedEx Kinko's at nine on a Friday night, in the rain, to rip my precious handiwork out of its comfortable mats, to scan and send for one hundred and thirty something dollars. It was a worthwhile investment. And after my dip in hope over my summer vacation, it was refreshing to be able to leave the store and know that I still had a chance. I even kissed it goodbye again, knowing that this would be the last time I saw those copies. And most of all, thank you very much for waiting to tell me another 3 weeks that my chance was not redeemable; not even store credit.

Now I'm sitting here and all my friends have made other plans, and I'm back to square one. No Otakon ( though I'm not sure how keen I am/was on going again) no free art classes, no 'get-out-of-another-mind-fracturing-family-vacation-free' card, no single thing to do. I'm down to volunteering at my mom's hospital ( again, just a different one) finding a job (as if), and college searching. If I'm lucky my parents will take pity and send me to classes at Moore again.

I don't regret the time and effort put into my art for you; some college may welcome it with arms wide open, someday soon. And the first feelings of accomplishment and excitement I'll always cherish, and maybe even look to replicate. There are scholarships and contests, and as the PSEA show reassured me, the flaws I perceive in my own work are invisible to some others. i guess you weren't some others, but I'll be over you soon enough.

I may not know what I'm going to do now; things can fall into place on their own, but right now I'd like to think I'll be doing something to force them into a shape that is aesthetically pleasing.