I sat in the tiny London classroom, shoddily sketching out the details of that deep blue woven couch situated in my mother’s living room. The one that, like it or not, I would be returning to once my semester abroad drew to a close and the time came for me to head back to the States. I anxiously looked around the room. Luckily all of my classmates were doing the same, either focused on their sketches or darting their eyes around the room to see what others were drawing.
I usually arrived at my Art in London class on Monday mornings in a state of disarray thanks to a heavy night of drinking the evening prior. During this particular class, my fellow students and I had been instructed by an acclaimed but thoroughly eclectic British artist to draw a “transformative moment in our lives.” It was one of those exercises where you knew things were going to get deep quickly, whether you liked it or not. I was relieved to keep a habitual spot in the middle of the class’s tiny semicircle, as I had a moment to collect myself before it was time for me to share my story. In this downtime, I could gauge the feel of the room, their receptiveness, and the intensity of the stories that were being shared.