Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing—Benjamin Franklin

Guilty as charged

The guilt pot has been a joke for a long time in my life. I just re-purposed the poor thing and laughed all over again at my little pot. 

It started in high school when I took a pottery class. I think it is safe to say that I am the worst potter ever. No really... EVER. I couldn't make a pot or even a bowl to save my soul. I spent the first half of the semester making terrible deformed little blobs that in no way resembled anything usable, or even artistic for that matter. It was either laugh or cry, so me and some of the other students in the class ended up laughing for the most part at all of my terrible creations (I can see now why the teacher may have thought I was doing this on purpose, but even he tried to help me several times to no avail). Seeing that I was a hopeless case and not wanting the torture to continue for either me or my teacher, I applied to get out of the class halfway through the semester and take something different. Of course to do that, I had to have said teacher's* signature and that is where the major trouble started. Upon asking him to sign the form, he announced that he was going to give me a few days to reconsider and think about my actions. I told him that I had fully pondered and was ready then, but he insisted. If you are going to do something so life changing as drop a high school pottery class, it must be fully digested before proceeding. I gave it a few days and came back with the same plea, so he (under much duress) finally signed the thing announcing that he was teaching life and by failing at pottery I was "failing at life" (insert dramatic sigh of regret at the failure that was to be my life). I had a week or so left before my half semester was up, so every day when I entered the class he would heave the same sigh and watch me solemnly take my seat before announcing to the class that one of our number was to be--against his will and the laws of humanity--leaving the class. He never mentioned a name, but as the only other person leaving besides myself was one of his favorite students, there wasn't much mystery as he lectured on the merits of ceramics and the life choices connected with the art as to who this poor sad soul was. 
The day before I left he paused in the middle of class to present a special token to a certain student, a reminder of the eternal consequences of her actions... in short... a guilt pot. And thus the poor pot was named. It had stuck with me through apartments and marriage and all sorts of adventures. It has been used as a rubberband holder, a decoration, a temporary fish habitat... At one point my roommates and I would write whatever we felt guilty about (eating too much ice cream, not finishing a paper in time, etc.) on a little piece of paper and submit it to the guilt pot so that we could burn them later. That is probably as close as the pot has made it to fulfilling it's intended purpose. Right now it is housing quarters for laundry. I suppose the fact that the poor pot still makes me giggle would support my teacher's hypothesis that I am indeed a hopeless case, but ten years later, though I still wish I could make a pot, I don't see the terrible repercussions of my actions. Hmmm... Maybe in another ten years?

*Note that the teacher was really quite good and took an interest in the lives of his students, which makes him a fantastic teacher in my estimation, so despite the fact that I laugh at my experience with him, I still think he was great.


hosander said...

He had the best intentions for you, I'm sure. I'm glad he gave you a guilt pot, my favorite use was the roommates putting in their guilty secrets. You and Bryce should do that. OR turn it into a Suggestion Pot, all suggestions are to be read at Sunday Dinner.

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