University of Washington
How Clay Changed My Attitude
When I read through my first semester schedule, my face glowed with happiness when I saw Ceramics as my first period class. On the first day of school, I walked into the classroom with a smirk. I pitied the freshmen and sophomores for listening so attentively to our teacher. What is so hard about making a vase? Mr. Helle sat in front of the potter wheel and began to center a small ball of soft clay. Quickly, it turned into a perfect cylinder spinning right in the middle of the wheel. Seconds later, it transformed into a beautiful vase with a flawless curve. It was too easy! Next, it was my turn. For some strange reason, I struggled just to force the clay onto the center of the wheel before it became lopsided again and splashed mud all over my clean shirt. I paid no attention to posture, speed, and details. Looking embarrassed, I asked Mr. Helle to give me the whole lecture again. My hubristic attitude tricked me. I spend the next hour just trying to center. I could not even begin to think how difficult it would be to make a vase.
While I succeeded in AP classes, I made little progress in mastering the necessary skills to make a vase. The next day, I wore a completely different expression. Those students who had practiced...
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