On first meeting, Margaret Wertheim impresses me as one who could keep a noncommittal face when confronted with surprising news – a demeanor useful to a poker player. Unlike can’t-keep-any-emotion-off-her-face me, who would make a terrible poker player were it not for the fact that I learned early in life to stay sober during a game.
Upon hearing me disclose that I do not fold, origami or otherwise (heck, I’d be hard pressed to fold a bedsheet to pass muster by anyone older than the age of five) Margaret’s reaction is a quick nod of acknowledgement, rather than the dismay or disappointment I might have expected. She immediately resumes the setting up that she apparently had been doing before I arrived.
I use the time to browse the art in the gallery’s collection, since she does not appear to need my assistance at this stage.
As I peruse, workshop participants begin to arrive in ones and twos. At some point we are all gathered around the table that appears to be our primary work-space-to-be. It is piled high with small pieces of heavyweight paper in 2”x3” business card shape and size. The gallery walls are lined with art sculptures made from these cards as well as other folded art objects and even some crocheted pieces.
Summoning my nerve I ask a few of the others if they fold.
“Oh yes,” effuses one of the two men in the room, “I’m just the driver, but my girlfriend folds every night.”
Mental note to self, “Okay, maybe the driver boyfriend will help me not be the lowliest folder of them all.”
A young woman to my right assures me that she is so enamored with spatial relationships and math that folding should be a breeze for her. Or, something to that effect.
Wouldn’t you know?
A mother and her 12 year old son are already seated and folding together. Where did they come from? Apparently the son had been there in another room for some other purpose, but decided to pop into our group and fold for a while before leaving.
Shown up by a folding 12 year old. Now I have a sense of how my computer illiterate friends feel. . . . continues Continue reading The “Folders” – Episode Two of My Afternoon at The Institute for Figuring with Margaret Wertheim and Other New Acquaintances