Tornado Girls

| March 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

When you go into the MFA with a sketchbook, my AR193 teacher warned us, you can’t be shy. People will stop to peek at your work. Some of them will be old women who walk slowly (very, very slowly) around you, looking at your page out of the corner of their eyes. Some of them will be middle aged men who nod very seriously at your drawings like they’re part of the gallery and then move on to the next piece. Some of them will be teenagers who approach in intimidatingly big groups and then scatter when you make eye contact with them.

And some of them will be little girls named Micaela.

Micaela is seven years old and goes to the MFA with her grandpa some weekends for the kids art programs. She likes horseback riding and drawing. When I asked her if she wanted to be an artist when she grew up, she informed me that, no, she wants to be a horse trainer and a chef (horse trainer in the morning, chef in the evening, and she’ll have plenty of time to sleep since restaurants aren’t open all night, silly).

Micaela plopped down next to me while I was in the middle of copying a painting for class. She asked her grandpa for her drawing pad, picked the painting next to me, and started copying, too. She never actually ended up finishing that drawing, because she got bored of it and started asking me questions instead.tumblr_inline_p38nuedxhS1r7e5k7_400

Her grandpa tried to apologize for her and get her to stop bothering me, but I wouldn’t have it. Micaela was very blunt and a little rude and completely fantastic. After getting bored of her painting, she sat down on my other side and started drawing one of the statues instead, gleefully announcing to her poor grandpa that she was going to draw the penis on it. She would have nothing of his attempts at censorship and drew it in a fit of protest. Then, she got up and told grandpa that she was going to do something alone. When he tried to argue that she needed someone to go with her because she was just a kid, she whispered (not very quietly at all), “Stay with her then! She’s a child.”

I’m twenty.

Grandpa, apparently just as in awe of this tornado of a girl as I was, silently babysat me while Micaela flounced off to the other side of the room, drawing pad in hand. When he finally put his foot down and announced that it was time to go to grandma’s, Micaela came back and, strangely shyly, put a folded up piece of paper in my lap. Apparently, she’d run off to make me a present. She was gone, like the whirlwind she was, before I could even make a quick doodle in return. Which was probably a good thing, considering I don’t know how to draw a horse.

Micaela occupied one hour of my life with her big presence, infinitely more interesting than any of the pieces in the gallery. As a former loud girl who got worn down by years of weird looks and eye rolls, her energy made something in me fiercely proud. I hope she never lets anyone turn down her noise.

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Category: East by West by T, featured

Isabella Amorim

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Isabella "Izzy" Amorim's hobbies include writing for Culture Shock, spending inordinate amounts of time in BU dining halls, and purchasing children's tickets at movie theaters with her baby face. Play the system, kids.

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