For Art's Sake
by Eric Miller
wondered what on earth made him choose Hinterland
College, the prestigious, all male bastion
ensconced on a hill in the middle of nowhere. Not
only was he not having any fun, but he was
sweating bullets to fulfill the sciences he
needed to get into medical school. Running after
fruit flies in the genetics lab, peering through
a microscope in histology, inhaling noxious fumes
in chemistry, and fumbling with physics was
wearing him down. Moreover, he had to fulfill
Hinterlands own curriculum distribution
that The History of Art was a
guaranteed easy A, he signed his name on the
dotted line and headed off to Professor Paul
Grosses class. The sizeable professor was
known among the students as Paul Gargantuan,
or just Big Paul. Harte
discovered quickly that the class was no more
than viewing slides projected on the wall.
Confident that he could learn them as easily as
histology slides, just by studying an art atlas,
he stopped attending lectures so he could devote
more time to fudging his experiments, which never
seemed to turn out as they were expected.
On the last
day of class, Harte showed up to take the final
exam. He easily identified the slides flashed
before the class, but he was taken aback by the
following questions Big Paul then dictated:
What is my favorite bistro around the
corner from Musée du Louvre? What is my favorite
pub across the street from the National Gallery?
What color are the wall tiles at my favorite
tapas bar next to Museo del Prado? What London
musical did I see after viewing my first Turner?
Harte knew he
was between the proverbial palette and canvas. It
was clear to him that these questions were meant
to identify those students who did not extend the
courtesy of their attendance. A large shadow fell
over his desk, as his gargantuan professor
hovered over him.
deflating sensation, isnt it Mr. Harte,
Big Pauls voice mocked. Remember
young man, respect will get you more than hubris.
realized what Churchill meant by blood,
sweat, and tears, because that is the ink
he used to pen his response to the Big Pauls
the paintings, artists, and venues, but this
course was not about bistro and pub menus. The
color of the tapas tiles was not true, as the
lighting changed its natural hue. Sunday in
the Park was the show it had to be, as
George Seurats pointillism was a must see.
from his desk and walked to the front of the room,
where he handed his test paper to the hulking
professor, who took it brusquely from his hand.
take heart. Youre a very bright fellow, but
a little too bright for your own good. Although
you will not get an A in this course, you will
not fail it. Your grade will reflect that you
passed this course by a paint brush hair.