“Wow, isn’t this beautiful,” Linda said, staring at a piece of artwork in the museum. This place had become a sort of second home for the aspiring artist, filling her with inspiration to one day become like her idol, Edgar Degas.
“Yes, it is nice,” Linda’s mother said impatiently.
“I bet I can create something just as beautiful…if I went to art school,” Linda replied grinning at her mother.
“Linda, why can’t you think in terms of getting a REAL education for a REAL job, like a nurse, or a lawyer?”
Linda turned around, obviously exhausted with this ongoing battle, “Mom, why can’t YOU accept the fact that I love art. I want to draw. I want to paint. I want to someday have my own art show here.”
“Look, we’ll finish this when I get home later. I have to get to a business meeting. You still need a ride home?”
“Nah, I’ll walk.”
“Fine,” Linda’s mother said in exasperation.
Coming home from the museum, Linda tried to think of ways to convince her mother of her talent. As she was walking, Linda passed a comic shop where something caught her eye.
“Whoa! Wait a sec. A comic art contest? I drew some comics before, but, I want to be an art-eest,” she finished with her eyes closed and her hand in the air.
“But it could be a start,” a little voice inside her said. “Plus, if you enter, and maybe win this thing, Mom will finally see that you deserve to go to art school.”
“Yeah, that’s true . Let’s go for it,” Linda replied and went into the store to enter the contest. Walking out again, she felt a rush of adrenaline as she read the prize for the winner.
“A year’s worth of art supplies? Oh, I can really use that.” And with that, Linda set out to convince her mother.
Linda spent the rest of the week creating her entry into the contest: a mural collage of a young woman (herself) in school. One scene showed her entering the school’s main entrance with her portfolio in one hand. Another scene showed Linda in the school library while she was daydreaming of her own art show; she called her piece, “A Dream Deferred.” Linda finally finished her entry early Saturday morning, the day of the contest. After a shower and quick breakfast, Linda gathered her things and began to head to the museum where the contest was to be held.
“Mom, I’m leaving for the museum, will you be there later?”
“Yeah. I don’t know why you’re so bent on my being there, though.”
“It’s a surprise.”
When Linda arrived at the museum, she unpacked her things and set up her entry. “I hope I win this thing, but I really hope my mom comes and is so blown away, she’d have no choice BUT to let me go to art school,” Linda thought.
The three judges began walking around all the entries and marking notes down.
“Very illustrative. Captures the essence of the moment,” said one judge.
“Nice detail. The emotions of this image seem to jump out of the canvas,” remarked another judge looking at a different entry.
While all the judging was taking place, spectators, too, were walking around looking at the contestants’ drawings. One person, in particular, was amazed at the attention Linda’s drawing was getting from the spectators. She, too, was enthralled by Linda’s entry.
When the third judge came to Linda’s entry, she remarked, “Not overdone, very realistic images.”
The third judge then walked toward the other judges who had finished their walkthroughs. As the judges went to the podium to make their announcement, Linda began to wring her hands.
“Oh, please let me win, please let me win,” she chanted.
“This was a very competitive contest, with plenty of entries worthy of the top prize,” said one of the judges, “but the winner today is….’Life’s a Beach’.”
When Linda heard the winner announced, she immediately sat down on a nearby bench and began to cry.
“But I worked soo hard…”
“I know you did,” said Linda’s earlier admirer.
Linda turned around. “Mom! I wanted to win this competition so that you could see that I could really do this, and maybe, let me go to art school,” Linda said, looking up at her mother.
“You didn’t have to win for me to see how special you are. You DO have an incredible talent, and if your grades are good enough, and you get accepted, I have no problem with you going to art school.”
“Well, if she takes care of the grades, I can take care of her acceptance,” said the third judge, “I couldn’t help but overhear. Hi, my name is Ellen Porter. I’m Dean of Admissions at the School of Art and Design. Although your entry didn’t win, it showed remarkable talent.”
“Really? You mean I can study at the school,” Linda asked, with an ever-increasing smile on her face.
“As long as you have the grades, yes,” replied Ms. Porter extending her hand, “What do you say?”
Linda looked at her mother who immediately nodded toward Ms. Porter and said, “Well, what’re you waiting for?”
“You got a deal,” Linda said, shaking Ms. Porter’s hand vigorously.
The rest of the evening, Linda pranced around the house like a ballerina.
“You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear you got accepted to dance school, not art school,” Linda’s mother said.
“Oh, Mom,” Linda said as she gave her mother a bear hug from behind and a kiss, “I love you.”
“I love you too, dear.”