Creating a plaster cast this weekend turned out to be a very entertaining experience. When I first heard of this Week 1 class project, it sounded like an arbitrary burden that should be saved for later in the semester, when everyone was more settled into their new schedules. But instead, the plaster cast project was a perfect introduction to the course and provided a glimpse into the fun, creative activities of Art 110.
After getting to the beach, I was kind of overwhelmed and had no idea how to start. My friend had to cancel meeting me there because she suddenly remembered the night before that there was all-day sorority recruitment. So instead of asking another friend to join me, I figured that I would wing it and just do it myself. Big mistake. It was only after standing by the edge of the waves that I realized someone needed to pour several buckets full of sand onto my hand while I sat there. A little boy who was passing by kicked a soccer ball my way, and I reluctantly kicked it back. I almost asked him for help, but the age gap made me too prideful. Luckily he came back and wanted to see what I was doing. First lesson — never be too good to ask for help, even from a little kid if you need it. His cousin came over to help as well and was about the same age, 11 or 12. They actually dug up the sand and got the water for me to mix the plaster. I could tell they were really excited to talk to an older teenager, which put my age in a perspective I hadn’t thought about in a long time. Technically, we are all “mature adults” and working with kids is a healthy reminder to be a role model.
The two boys both had younger siblings that wandered over once the casts were almost dry. It was funny to see how the kids that helped me were now the older ones, like a raising-the-bar scenario. They were super excited at this point, because we just dug out the first visible finger. I told them that I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, so when it started to resemble my actual hand they flipped out. I even had enough plaster to pour them their own hand when we started.
I had a great time making these plaster casts because of these little kids, but I’m more proud that I could give them a fun memory of the time they helped that college guy. I also let them keep my hand.