The first time this happened was my junior year of high school. I was taking AP U.S. History. One of the parts of the test is where they give you a document and you write an essay based on your interpretations of the facts presented. The actual test was in the morning and our class happened to fall in the afternoon so we got to talk about the test. I remember vividly when everyone started to talk about the document section. It was a bunch of statistics over 10 years on who and what goods were being brought into the colonies. Everyone in the class starts talking about their interpretations which were all in line with each other. Then my heart dropped into my stomach. Not only had I not come remotely close to what they interpreted, it didn't even cross my mind to look at the facts that way.
The test was on a scale of 1-5. You needed a 4 or 5 in order to get the college credit. Mr. Johnson came around and asked all of us what we thought we were going to get. After that conversation, I said, "2 if I am really, really lucky." I ended up with a "C+" in the class and then over the summer we got our score. I got a "4" and only two of us in the class got that high. Everyone else got 2's and 3's. So...I guess I amused the graders of the test for my wildly different interpretation.
Flash forward to my discussion topic for this week. We had to look at three self portraits and discuss "How has the photographer (nameless, for now) combined form and narrative in these three self-portraits? What is this person trying to communicate or express? Are these images formally resolved?"
So I compose my answer and post it and then go back read everyone else's responses. And again...not even close to what they were all talking about. I try to cover my tracks by saying that my interpretation comes from the fact that they were self portraits instead of portraits and that is why I had a wildly different interpretation.
No one even commented on what I said...that is until the teacher chimes in with..."Katherine, I'm interested in what you suggested about her being comfortable being uncomfortable. Does anyone else perceive that? How does she convey that, visually?I'm curious too about the different interpretations regarding whether or not these are self-portraits. How does this distinction change the way we look at the images and what they are trying to tell us?"
There were 40 comments in addition to mine. Yet, I'm the one who got called out on it. Also, the jist of the response to the teacher's question of "Does anyone else perceive that?" was basically "Umm...no."
So yea. I love being the oddity for class. In the end, I guess as long as the teacher finds me amusing then I'm good. This is why I have a hard time hanging out with other artsy people. We don't see eye to eye at all. More like eye to elbow. They think I'm weird and I think they all need to stop looking at my elbow.