The semester was coming to an end. History of Japanese Arts was another fantastic class. High school history lessons touched statues, scrolls, and the architecture of different eras, but they were a relatively small portion of the vast information we had to memorize. The lecture at Oxy equipped me with eyes to take in the aestheticism of each object and analyze its unique features in a context with the time in history. The skill enriched my experience at museums regardless of the origin of the arts in the coming years, when I lived in close proximity to the world’s best arts.
When I scored 98/100 in the final exam, it was not only because of my base knowledge of history. I genuinely loved and enjoyed the lecture, so I spent time preparing for the exam. Mark and I studied it together, which was great fun. We sat on the grass of his house’s front yard, and we laughed and kissed while giving each other quizzes. Mark scored lower than I did but only by a few points. When he congratulated me, it was my natural habit to discount my achievement. I told him I had already studied the history part in the past. It was true, though I also worked hard. Mark said, “well, that makes me feel better.”