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"Of Dragon-sized Proportions"


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        You want to do what?" Responded my high-school English teacher upon my senior-project proposal to paint a mural. Most other students in my class chose projects resembling their ideal occupations. As you can imagine, a muralist among the masses of future doctors and lawyers was not exactly typical. I thought my teacher’s approval would be the hardest part of my project, but I discovered a greater challenge once I sized up the wall. Fifteen feet wide by twenty feet tall, I thought my giant cement canvas might swallow me whole, paintbrushes and all. Size was not the only extreme factor involved in this project, however. Distance posed a problem as well, as my wall waited for me in a warehouse three hours from home instead of three feet from my bed. Thus, Christmas vacation found me on a scaffold in the warehouse, covered from head to toe in paint. With just a week’s time to finish my mural, I stopped painting only to sleep- and to eat Christmas dinner, of course. By the third day of painting, I thought my arm might fall off. By the fourth day, I was sure I had hypothermia (as hundred-year-old warehouses are not equipped with heaters); and by the seventh day, I wanted nothing more than to return to my normal seventeen-year-old life. Exhausted, I scrawled my signature on the wall beneath the wizard’s cape; relieved I had completed my senior project. A few weeks later, as I picked the last remnants of paint from my fingernails, I knew I had only begun a much larger project. The endless blank walls of the warehouse meant many more murals for me!