MY SHORT ACADEMIC CAREER, MY LOVE LIFE, AND MY THOUGHTS ON APPRECIATING ART. (PLUS SOME CLARIFICATIONS ABOUT MY ABILITY TO SEE COLOR)
ELLA FITZGERALD POWELL
Age seven and seven months. Lover of contemporary art. Contemplating applying to PhD programs.
Hi, everyone. Ella writing here. Currently on a flight to Tokyo. Hoping that some of Julia’s younger followers will enjoy this post. First, let’s clear up some misconceptions. One, I write all of my posts and handle all of my correspondence. The idea that Julia edits anything is preposterous! She is too busy and I am often lecturing in other countries so we aren’t even in the same place! You might say, “But Ella, you are a golden retriever, you don’t have fingers or opposable thumbs! How can you type this out?” Well, obviously I have an iPaw™ which allows me to communicate in this digital universe of ours. It’s like a gigantic keyboard, and it allows me to type using my four paws. It’s a delicate dance prancing about to string together words and sentences, but then again writing itself is a delicate dance. I do agility exercises (such as jumping up to kitchen counters when there’s like a roast chicken up there, or, say, sautéed fish with lemon and herbs, or a grilled rib eye that has just been … wait, I am getting distracted here) to improve my dexterity. And anyone who knows me knows I am an excellent dancer. I am pretty sure one of Beyonce’s people was trying to contact one of my people to see if I could be a backup dancer for one of her tours. But alas the negotiations got too complex. Beyonce and I are still friends though.
Let’s see what else? Oh, for all of you asking, no I am not single. I am flattered by all of the attention but I have to be honest with you. I have had two long time companions since I was little. They are both smaller and darker than me. One is a half lab/half retriever and one is a black curly-haired mutt. The boy is named Rugby, the girl is named Lola. I love that they play tag with me and don’t resent my success. We try to be active politically and currently we are organizing a petition to allow dogs to vote. Sometimes when we see what politicians you humans are electing we think it’s crazy that we aren’t allowed to vote but you are. I have some advice for those of you old enough to vote: care about the environment, care about your fellow humans, care about animals, and try to be kind every day. And for those of you who can’t vote yet: the second you can vote, make sure you do!
Another misconception is that because I am a dog, I can’t see color. Colorblind doesn’t mean dogs can’t see color. I see blues and purples and violets and greens and yellows. I do not see reds and oranges, they appear sort of greyish to me. But Julia doesn’t use a lot of red and orange (obviously for my benefit) so it doesn’t matter.
You might not know this, but just like Julia, I am self-taught. I didn’t even graduate from puppy kindergarten because the entire dog training center closed down in the middle of my class. The owner lady had a falling out with the trainer lady. I would like to say that I was a top student but the truth is, I was middle of the road. We had a midterm exam and I completely bombed it. We had to walk through this obstacle course and follow commands given to us by our human owners. So Julia would say things like “sit” “wait” “come” and “down” and I guess I was supposed to do those things. But here’s the thing: at every twist and turn in the exercise, there was food. Bacon bits, slices of cheese, even carrot sticks (which I avoided at all costs). I guess the point of the exam was to do all the commands and not eat any of the bacon and cheese. But that seems like a silly exam, doesn’t it? Absolutely no fun at all! So I raced through (super fast, I might add, I was probably the fastest in the class) and ate every single piece of cheese and bacon I could find. I vaguely remember in the background Julia yelling “no, Ella, no!” but I had to find every treat I could quickly and some were hidden! Eventually the trainer lady ran into the obstacle course and yanked my collar and pulled me out. She told Julia I had to do that exercise again or I couldn’t pass the class. But then the entire training center closed. So that’s basically a summary of my school experience.
In my opinion, which on the scale of opinions is very important (in my opinion), I don’t think you need a lot of education to appreciate art. Art is about a feeling inside you. Does something make you happy or sad, calm or energized, thoughtful or cleared of all thoughts? People write to Julia all the time and say, almost like they are ashamed or embarrassed, “I don’t know anything about art but I like your art”. Look, you can still appreciate what you appreciate even if you don’t know everything about art. My aunt Hadley is an art advisor (http://www.powellfineartadvisory.com) and she knows more about art than anyone I know. But she is always like “Ella, you like what you like, it’s okay that you didn’t graduate from college with a degree in art history and then work at Christie’s in New York. It’s okay. You do you Ella.” I think someday she and I might lecture together. If our schedules align and all.
That’s all for today folks. I’m currently reading a research paper about quantum mechanics and I have to focus on it because some of it is a bit complicated. I’m also wondering what to eat for second lunch. But I’ll figure it out, guys, don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.
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