The Circle Game

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“If your house was on fire and you could save only one object, what would it be?” Juan answers, “My iPod.” Mary answers, “My flute.” Then it is my turn. We are rattling along a country road, playing the circle game to pass the time. The members of Venture Crew twist in their car seats, waiting somewhat impatiently for my answer. What would I save? My quilt? A book? My vintage records? I fumble with the zipper of my bag and pry into its pocket, searching for a piece of gum. And then it hits me. Quite literally, as my hand bumps into its corner. Grasping its metallic spine, I run my thumb along its soft, worn edges. “My sketchbook,” I respond. Colin nods approvingly while Mary notes, “Good choice”. They all think it’s a simple collection of my drawings. But it is more than that.

My sketchbook is a rough definition of my persona. For starters, it is composed of recycled paper. The cover is a little streaked with dirt, giving it character. Upon its sheets sprawl the best climbing trees in Austin, five-second sketches of grasshoppers (often unfinished, as grasshoppers tend to be very unreliable models), and studies of carnivorous plants. I bring it with me on all my escapades. An instructor from the UT Academy of Architecture once...

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