Working with Strangers

Moving to somewhere new is frightening enough. Living with strangers is another and being surrounded by them on a daily basis is definitely scary. Although I'm happy to say that I sort of know my way round Carlisle, not so much the names of streets but I know how to get to certain places. E.g. The pub, wetherspoons and the corner shop. My flatmates are no longer strangers and I feel like we are becoming a family. A very weird family, as I once walked out of my room to find Beth doing a Miranda gallop down the hallway and I was awaken by Kylie who was listening to lion king sound track on full blare.

Working with strangers is by far the scariest. In my class there is about 20 of us, all different in age and in style. For me its scary and unnerving as you are surrounded by incredible artists and you can't help but feel small and out of your depth. That's how I feel most of the time and that is perfectly natural. On Tuesday we were in a lecture and I didn't know what the fuck the tutor was trying to say and then she picked on me. I did the cough, rub nose with hand, go red in the face, shrug and said, "Urm.... the two images are different?" I had no fucking clue what I was saying and I think the tutor understood that as she quickly moved along.

On Monday, Robert, our other tutor put us into groups of four. We had no say in our groups and I was put with Nicole, who is from South Africa, Feng who moved from China five years ago I think. And Scarlett who is a mature student with purple hair. I have never spoken to these people before and I was quite nervous about having to do a 4 day project with them where we would have to create a minimum of 2, one metre square drawings. We were given a destination and we set out to do drawings of our 'thing'. We had a memorial monument to recreate in the studio on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Monday and Tuesday we had heavy rain so the river had risen and blocked our path so we had to go the long way round to get there. We did drawings and at first we were all excited by this project as individuals but as a group we were a bit reserved. I told them a few funny stories to break the ice, including my dad seeing Spiderman on his bike ride. True story and how it breaks my heart every time I see a photo or a message from a relative telling me what they had for dinner. Roasts, burgers, takeaways. I'm just going to say it now. It's bang out of order! I'm a student who is having to budget everything. I've not had a takeaway for almost a month and honestly, I feel better, my skin is so much clearer but I don't need to see it on your bloody snapchat stories. Yes you know who you are.

Moving on, Wednesday we began to create our pieces, at which point we became a target as Robert kept picking on us and at one point he used me to demonstrate to the class. Why is it always me, GCSE, A-Level and sometimes foundation I always got picked. Do I have target written on my head? Not the point, as we worked we began to lose the will to live as a team, slowly wishing for it to end.

After dinner we began to make a 3D model of the monument out of cardboard. Scarlett was cutting cardboard while Nicole made tissue poppies and me and Feng made the details for the model out of masking tape. Scarlett swore that she would never look at cardboard ever again. We used masking tape to attach the pieces together and it was starting to look like the monument when Iain said it looked like a great lighthouse. After we all dead eyed him we asked what that noise was every time he spoke making us feel a bit better. At one point we thought it might be funny to cover the whole model in masking tape. We started off doing that and it was funny, until we got a third through when we were just sick of it and tired. Feng was literally falling asleep to our amusement and me and Scarlett kept on making jokes about the work, leaving us in fits of laughter, tears rolling down our cheeks. It was great fun, even if we went through 3 full rolls of masking tape.

Today we decided to do a collage of it. It worked out well but as we unrolled the paper it kept rolling back up so we taped it to the wall and as doing so the best thing happened. It literally put a smile on my face among the tiredness of this project. Me and Scarlett were talking about nonsense as she was sticking it to the wall, me holding it in place. I said, "Get back you bastard." In Max's voice from Phoenix Nights and she said, "I'll break your legs." If you have ever seen the program you'll understand. But never have I said that and someone who isn't my relative finished it off. It literally had me in tears of laughter and made me day.

In the end of the project we worked well. We had a great laugh, so much so that Abbie from the other group came over and told us that all she's heard from us is laughter. I guess we worked very well together, even if we felt like death. Joking! We just got sick of having to look at the bloody monument.

The lesson, always be open to working with new people, you never know you might have a laugh and make funny memories.

After all it was just another day in the life as the Yorkshire Bookworm,

Till next time,

Phoebe x

first group drawing. (Feng, Nicole, Scarlett, Phoebe)


3D model. (By Feng, Nicole, Scarlett, Phoebe)

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