1. Scalpels are like Xacto knives
It’s 1999. It’s 5 o’clock in the morning. I change from my street clothes into some light blue scrubs. Hospitals are cold. The surgeon tells his team, “This is Mason, he’s a pre-med student.” Actually, I’m a pre-pre-med high school student.
Seven hours. I stand, I listen, I watch. I see a laparoscopic spleen removal, first one in Utah. I see a hernia repaired. I see cancer removed. I see careful artists, carefully executing a creative and imaginative procedure. I am captivated by the intensity, the precision, and the improvisation. I want to be a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon. I want to cut with a scalpel.
2. I write like my Dad
It’s my first year of Junior High. Last year we had to write in cursive. Always. We were graded on it. I hate cursive. I just don’t have the knack. So, I decide to write in all caps. Girls think I have nicer handwriting than they do. I get asked to handprint lots of stuff.
My dad went to school to be an architect. But, I don’t want to be an architect; I want to be a surgeon. Surgeons are notorious for terrible handwriting. In college, my dad learned how to scribe drafts with that special “blueprint font.” He spent days copying text, like a monk copying the Bible. He mastered it. The professors thought he had nicer handwriting than they did. He gets asked to handprint lots of stuff.
3. Playing Nintendo is like riding in a car
It’s late in the day, when the sun floods the sky with pink. I’m on a family vacation. I notice out the window of our family van that the mountains pass by slower than the fences; the fences go by slower than the road. I am fascinated by the physiology of this visual depth of field.
Later, I am back at home and playing Nintendo, I notice as I play that the mountains go by slower than the fences, the fences go by slower than the road. Just like in the van. This time however, my visual landscape is the two dimensional electric plane of the TV. A flat screen with just layers, shifting.
It’s right now. You’re reading this, my artist’s statement. I escaped from biology but kept my love for scalpels, except now I say X-Acto knife. I stayed in the family business, sort of, but not as an architect. My Nintendo has been replaced by an Apple computer, which I still play way too much. And I am fascinated by intensity, improvisation, and precision. Also, by just layers, shifting.