I can’t tell you how much I learned this week.
On Monday night, I went to a talk by eminent French archaeologist Dr. Jean Clotte about the oldest paintings in the world, the 30,000-year-old art in Chauvet Cave.
I was so enchantée that I signed up for Dr. Clotte’s four-sessionIntroduction to World Rock Art and at six thirty Tuesday night, I slid into a lecture theatre for the first class along with dozens of anthropology undergrads and Paleontology groupies.
On Wednesday, I got a refill for my pen and arrived early for the second class.
Thursday I had to miss the symbolism of animals, humans and geometric shapes in ancient rock art to meet a friend for Managing the Middle-Aged Brain, a one-off lecture we’d signed up for, ever-so-hopefully, months ago.
Friday night I was back with Dr. Clotte for more techniques of Paleolithic artists and theories of Structuralism, Totemism and Shamanism.
Saturday I went to an all-day Romance Writers of America workshop where Lee McKenzie talked about creating characters with archetypes the way Hollywood does; agent Sally Harding described six strategies even unpublished authors can use to boost our profile with publishers; and Susan Lyons explained the pros, cons, and how-tos of critique groups.
And I can’t tell you what I learned because, like a big old Corningware percolator, it takes me a while to process and filter baskets of fresh-ground information.
As I review my notes and reflect on what I’ve heard, I’m sure I will have more to say, but for now I feel like one of Gary Larson’s characters.
A student sits in a classroom, thrusting his hand into the air to get the teacher’s attention. “May I please be excused?” he says. “My brain is full.”
The Far Side cartoon is a masterpiece, but my brain…? I’ll let you know when I figure it out.