Monday, March 22, 2010

The Lunch Quad

Nearly three years ago, having just declared my major as interior design, I was a newbie to the art department at UWG. And I was scared to death. Being an art major, everyone sees your work. Everyone. It’s not like being an English major. For the most part, the only person seeing your work in your English classes are your professors and yourself. Maybe, on occasion, you’d be required or you’d ask a classmate to read over a paper you’ve written. In the art department, it’s a whole other world. When you draw something, paint something, sculpt something, print something or photograph something, the whole class sees it. The whole class critiques it. The whole class, and the professors, knows your work, your style, basically everything about your life because your artwork, it usually reflects you. You’re forced to explain in detail why it is you did what you did. You have to have backup to your reasoning. And you have to crank out the work like you're a machine!!

And don’t even get me started on drawing naked people with a class full of strangers. The point is the art department is so much different than any other department on campus. We’re pretty much a family. But I guess maybe any department is like that. I’ve met so many amazing people, artists, been introduced to so many amazing things, and made some of the most awesome friends anyone could have over the past four years. But there are three that have made the biggest impact. Three that have stayed with me. Three that helped me survive. We call ourselves the “Lunch Quad” and we are comprised of Jennifer, Troupie, Tiffani and myself.

Braves Home Opener 2009

Jennifer; I’ve known Jennifer for as long as I can remember. But, we didn’t actually become friends until high school. And we’ve been friends ever since. It’s her fault. She’s the reason for my deciding interior design. I blame all the stress I’ve endured on her, haha. But seriously, I had NO idea what I wanted to be in life. And confession, I still haven’t a clue where I’ll end up. Jennifer was in her first semester as an ID major and she loved it. I’ve always been an artsy person and in talking to her about not knowing which major to declare, she talked me into looking into the art department. Literally, a handful of days before I was going to declare early childhood education (I'd already filled out the paperwork!), I chose interior design instead. This girl, and I can say this because she knows it, is the blondest person I know. She lived in Carrollton her whole life and could still manage to get lost on the square! No joke. And the time she fell not once but twice at the Braves game was probably the most I've ever laughed in my life. Us two, we've been through a lot together and I love her.

Troupie's about to go give her last presentation ever!!

Troupie; yes, Troupie is her real name. Everywhere we went she got asked about it. Everytime I say something about “my friend, Troupie,” I get asked about her name. It’s a family name. I forget how many generations of women in her family have the name, but it’s a few. And if you knew Troupie, you’d know this name fits her so well. This one, she was my rock her last semester at WestGa. It probably should’ve been the other way around since she was preparing to graduate, right? She is the only reason I survived that semester. It was rough. And without her, I don’t think I would’ve made it out alive. By the grace of God, we were lucky enough to draw all the same clients for our commercial class. We sat in the freezing cold at Fred O’Neal’s office, trembling out of fear and nervousness on our first office space presentations. We survived the restaurant assignment, Locavore, even though our clients weren’t very outspoken in their wants and needs and for whatever reason James decided to rip her presentation to pieces that day. And Lord, how we survived our retail space with Jackson’s Music store is beyond me. A short little 15 minute meeting with the client led to over an hour of us chasing him around the store, being forced to pretend we were sisters, and forced to pretend the client’s design choices he had previously made were wonderful. They were not. And then the presentation…let’s just say we got in Troupie's car and screamed when it was over. We called people and screamed that we had just finished our last presentations of the semester. And out of sheer excitement that we were done and would never have to walk in that store again.

4th of July 2009

Tiffani; I actually had my first drawing class with Tiffani. We chatted occasionally in the class, but didn’t actually become friends until our first ID class together. And I don't know what kept us from becoming friends before then! She is probably one of the most independent, and driven people I know. She knows what she wants and she won't stop until she gets it. She's assertive and isn't afraid of anything. This one, she's a force to be reckoned with!

Hiding in my car from Sangwon!! Love this picture so much!

So why the “Lunch Quad?” Well on the first day of class, Jennifer and I were sitting in the hall eating our lunch when out walked Tiffani asking if she could join us. Of course! Then came Troupie. We sat and talked and laughed and ate. And it became habit. We ate lunch together every Tuesday and Thursday between classes. And somewhere along the line, the “Lunch Quad” was born.

Our very last lunch together :(

We’ve been through so much together. We survived classes and professors from hell. We survived a trip to High Point, NC where we walked around and looked at an ungodly about of furniture and fabric and flooring and wallcoverings and lighting and accessories. We survived the leaving of our one and only ID professor and the consequential hiring of three new professors to fill in until a permanent replacement was found. We survived late nights at Jennifer’s finishing projects with fabric and paint swatches, and pictures of furniture and floorplans strewn all over the place. We survived countless presentations on little to no sleep. We survived going out on Thursday nights and going to class Friday morning in the same clothes we went out in the night before! We were there for each other through breakups and deaths and illnesses. And one by one we watched each other attain their goals and graduate.

Last class of Spring 2009 and Troupie's last undergrad class EVER!!!!

Troupie went first last May, followed by Jennifer in August and Tiffani in December. And then there was one; me. And if all goes as planned, I’ll be joining them in the real world in July. And it’s because of them that I’ve made it this far. Now, Jennifer is in Atlanta working for Bassett Furniture. Troupie is in Rome doing little home improvement projects on the side of keeping her four favorite little girls, and Tiffani is in Louisiana where she just got a job with Ethan Allen. And you all know where I am. We’re all in different parts of the state and Tiffani is in a whole other state all together, but we keep in touch. We try as much as we can to see each other. But our schedules, they’re crazy and we don’t see each other as much as I’d like.

Lunch Quad reunion in Rome last summer.

Tiffani was in town this week so we made it a point to get together over dinner, of course. Because a friendship that was built over food can only be brought together with food, right? Unfortunately, Troupie couldn't make the trek from Rome so only 1/3 of the quad was there. We missed her terribly but it was so great to be able to see Tiffani and catch up with her and her life in New Orleans. And even though Jenn lives in Atlanta, I don't see her that often either so it was great catching up with her too. We talked about the old times. We talked about where everyone else was and what they were doing. We talked about plans for the future and where we wanted to be.

And most importantly, we ate.

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