I Learned Geometry In Art Class

I learned geometry in art class.

Wood design, more specifically. My middles school decided that Algebra II and trig was more important than Pythagoras, so we pretty much skipped triangles and parallelograms entirely.

Late-teen me was no troublemaker; I colored within the lines and liked to draw them as straight as possible. So in the wood shop I thought, wouldn't a geometric table look awesomely symmetrical?

So 16-year-old me sneaks into the drawing and painting room after school and ripped off a large ream of large-size paper and snagged a 3-foot ruler on the way out (sorry Mr. Barry). 

And I get away with it too. Few expect the straight-edged sophomore to steal anything, and even fewer expect any kid to swipe a straight edge and feel bad about it years later.

Back to the wood shop I go, where I labor to add the degrees to 180—it takes a week and a half to figure out the right ratios. I prove the shop instructor wrong and finish the table without a hitch:

geometric table walnut and pine

The best learning comes from creating, not memorizing equations.

It's a marvel to contrast the perfect angles of the coffee table with the flowing trunks and foliage of prints today:

juniper bonsai large on wall

Same hand, different perspective. Different person in the past too.

How are you growing and how is that reflected in your life?


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