Art Project – 15 Applied Learning

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Art Project – 15
Applied Learning

By Jessica C

Andrew’s attention deficit and getting away with things caught up with him… Designing a gown instead of a suit, unknowingly Andrew had the responsibility to model it… Andrea is now more visible; Andrew is set on being himself or Andrea as he chooses…


It is nice when I get home not to have makeup to remove. Mom knocks on the door to my room, “Honey, can you use Andrea’s apartment please, so you and us can both have some extra privacy?” When I mention not having to worry about my makeup. She says, “You still will be wise in cleansing and moisturizing your face and putting up your hair.”

I am awake in my bed just before 8:00 in the morning, ready to rollover. The apartment phone rings, it is Megan Hach the first college student I met when I came here. I choose to answer as Andrea, “Hello, how can I help you?”

“It’s Megan.” But it doesn’t sound like Megan Stuart and it is too early Sunday morning for my brain to be working.

“Megan who?” …She laughs, “Its Megan Hach. How many Megans do you have calling you on Sunday morning?

I confess, “I was out yesterday with a Megan, Megan Stuart. Not that it’s any of your business but I will see her again this afternoon to study.”

“Well I’m calling for Elle and me. Her sister Alaina is here and you said you’d be willing to be with her when she came. She’s hoping you, Andrea would go to breakfast with us this morning.”

“When would we be going; Andrew needs to be somewhere at 2:00 this afternoon. That would involve a full change over.”

“We could stop for you by nine or nine-fifteen, please be ready.” The call ends and I’m up getting ready, scooting into the shower with a fresh pair of panties and a bra ready.

Mom calls into the shower, “Your phone rang; you have a new message.”

“Mom can you see who it’s from?”

Mom soon says, “It is from Megan’s Mom.” …”Can you see what the message is?” …”She’s wondering if you’d mind coming as Andrea. She says, she and Megan want to talk about fashion. She says, that would be easier if it’s Andrea.”

I am rinsing out my hair. “That is actually better Megan and Elle want me, Andrea to go to breakfast with them and a sister Alaina who’s visiting.”

Mom says, “We’re planning to take you out. You should have known to leave time for us. I am your Mom!”


Mom’s calling Leah and then before I leave with Megan H., she is calling Heidi, my other sister.

It is nice to meet Alaina, and it has been a while since I’ve had a good visit with Megan and Elle. We go to a locally owned restaurant. Two guys had started a hole in the wall restaurant to make money to go to college. Since then the restaurant has expanded to the next vacant building. John and Mad Dog have only taken about ten courses in nine years. The waitresses and other cooks have taken more, other had graduated and moved on. John consistently tells them there is no future in working for them, except paying their way through. Dara is the exception as she’s been here five years and likes the Mad Dog.

Dara is our waitress today and most times. “Hey gals, who’s the young one?”

Alaina’s a little upset, “I’m older than Andrea!”

“Sorry, my name’s Dara. Anyone with these three are either my friends or have my condolences, usually both. Welcome and who might you be?”

Elle says, “This is my sister Alaina. She’s from North Carolina to look at our school.”

Alaina says, “What’s here that I can’t find at NC State?”

Dara says, “I’ll just take your orders and stay out of the recruitment business. But if you like fashions, we’re the only ones who have Andrew, Andrea and JC Harper. We’re not a big as NC State but we are smaller and probably the same quality programs.”

I order, “Bacon, eggs over easy and a good pastry with juice.” Megan and Elle order their usual and Alaina says, “I hear I need to order the hash brown potatoes with peppers, cheese and a little onion.” Dara asks, “Do you dare to have jalapenos?”

Alaina says, “If you have sweet banana peppers? I’ll have half them and half jalapenos and cheddar cheese. I’ll have a large orange juice and water with lemon.”

Dara compliments her order, “That is a good combination. And if it is okay I will throw on a light pastry. That’s free, on the house.”


Alaina turns to me, “Some say you’re also Andrew, is that so? The only reason I’d guess that isn’t true. Most our high schools would hesitate to have you. Elle says, this high school has a good number of gifted students. That it kind of caters to them.”

“That reminds me, I need to text someone, I will come as Andrea as they wish.” I quickly type it in and it’s sent.

“Sorry Alaina, I don’t directly answer that, but if you’re here for a few days you’ll get your understanding. It will likely be correct.”

“Who is going to school with you tomorrow,” Alaina asks? “I’m hoping I can go to school with you?”

I tell her, “Tomorrow, I have a full day at the high school. Then I have an art class at North State University. I’m not sure if my Mom will still be here or not. Sometimes my sister Leah stays and gives me a ride back from the university. Other times I take the University bus back to the apartments.”

Alaina says, “If you’re making it, why are you taking public transit. You should have your own car and chauffer if needed.” I laugh as does Megan, but Elle’s waiting for my reply with Alaina.

“I’ve just been doing this barely six months. I’m just now making better money. Part of that is being reinvested into buying the apartment buildings. May be a car when I can drive. Right now I still have to establish enough of a fashion line to cover the different seasons, special occasions and new offerings every season.”

“How many designers are helping to do your line?” The food is now here and we get back to just visiting. We finish eating and our talking there. We go next to Jo-Ann’s Fabrics as Alaina wants to see how I design something. There’s a deep green with black etched throughout the cloth. A color person says works for Alaina. I buy gold tooling to go over it. Then red, black fabric for tops and finally a winter print fabric. Enough make a top and more to make a full dress. Alaina picks out a thin gold belt to buy before we get back to the apartments. I use only Andrea’s apartment, though Elle tells her the apartment next door is mine and that they connect.

We place the fabric down near my design table that has sketches and work on and around it. I seek to push them out. I allow Alaina to stay with me. But I’m in my room stripping down to change. Alaina calls in asking, “What would be a short skirt or dress that you’re comfortable wearing.”

I have more than enough time that I pull out a nice dress like she’s talking about and change into it. I open the door and call Alaina in. She says, “You can’t be a boy and get away with wearing that.”

I already have out the outfit I’ll wear and I can use the same makeup for both. I sit in front of a mirror and table doing my makeup. What I had on is off and cleared away. I use a foundation, but no concealer is needed. I outline my lips, my regular makeup is light in the amount and in complexion. The color of my eyes is simple and subtle. Alaina has picked up my brush and is brushing out my hair.

Alaina and I agree the short dress looks good on me. It is 1:15 and I should be changing to the other outfit. However, the door buzzer for the outer door announces someone is here. Whoever is rung in from Andrew’s apartment and Mom comes through my connecting door.

She says, “Megan Stuart has come to pick you up.”

“But she’s thirty minutes early, I need to change outfits.” Mom and Alaina agree, what I have on works nicely. Megan Stuart knocks at the door and I let her in saying, “You’re early, I still need to change my outfit.”

Meg looks at me, “My dad might not agree, thinking it is too short. My Mom and I will be amazed Andrew can be hidden in there.”

Alaina says, “You’re saying Andrew is in there as Andrea?”

Megan says, “I heard there are those thinking you’re two people, but one in your apartment surprises me.” “Hey Andrea, my mother has family coming early this evening so we need to go and get home now.”

My mom hands me a button down wrap and helps push me through the door. She says on my way out, “I’m hear through tomorrow night. Please save some time for us together.”


I am doing double duty as we ride with Mr. Stuart to their house. I’m reviewing notes for a quiz tomorrow in my head as we visit. I have to do that as I need to work on designs when I get back. I know three I can draw them on paper. I might even draw one or two onto pattern paper using JC’s computer program. Mr. Stuart asks, “What are you thinking, you’re like Megan.”

I giggle, “I’m not that intelligent, I need to use my time wisely. I am sorry I shouldn’t be bad company. What do you do Mr. Stuart?”

He says, “I’m the administrator for a group of seven hospitals.”

“That’s a pretty big job then.”

“Not big enough, others with twenty to thirty are bidding to take us over.”

Megan, “Daddy, I told you that’s not the answer. You need to align with other small groups or independents and work together.”

I ask, “Is that a possibility?”

He says, “Yes, but I think it is in vain.”

I say, “But your medical center is tied to a research center; couldn’t that make you invaluable to the group Megan’s talking about. I’d think you might end up less important to the other groups.” …Logan Stuart says, “That’s the thing that has held me back. I’m holding back for assurances and funding.”

We’re at Megan’s and walking in. Laura, her Mom, greets me at the door, wow Andrew; I’m impressed.”

Megan says, “Mom, when like this she’s Andrea! She wants you to refer to her as Andrea.”

I say, “I like that she recognizes I’m Andrew. Yes, Andrew’s here.”

Mr. Stuart is off talking on his phone. Megan and I go with her Mom. There’s another woman and we help get the last of the meal done and the table set. I thinly chop three apples, add raisins and a gooey white sauce mixed together. The other woman says, “I could use you here more often.”

Laura’s parents arrive and we eat. I am not sure the Denka’s know who I am and I don’t want to upset them. Suzanne sits and joins us for dinner. Mr. Denka is rushing not wanting to miss much of a football game at half-time. Logan Stuart’s mind is somewhere else. I comment on the lace window hangings, being dainty and well done like a wedding dress.

We are off discussing lace and things not quite being replicated by mass manufacturing. Mrs. Denka and Laura Stuart are part of a group, “Not So Royal Ladies”. JC even belongs to them though she makes less than half their gatherings.

We work to clean-up and put things away after dinner. I am interested in keeping Suzanne in the group. We’re interrupted by Logan Stuart again. “I wanted you to know Megan. I liked your idea. Talking to the larger groups was to keep their pressuring us at bay. Tomorrow or later this week, we’re likely to have a surprising announcement.” Megan is first afraid, but relaxes seeing the smile of her dad’s face. She gives him a hug instead.

I ask the women, “Would you be interested in investing some finances and time to create a cottage industry?” Mrs. Denka likes the idea, but is sure many in their group would complicate attempts to get it off the ground.

The coming year would be one of gathering information and samples of material for preservation and study. Suzanne and friends would use their sewing and creative talents to recreate what they could. They’d also find sources for thread and creating fabrics as desired. No, this didn’t all happen today, but it did begin here. JC and I would direct 5% of each of our earnings into our part of the investment.


Back from the Stuarts, I’m wound up, even getting down my new designs on paper and in design form is going slowly. Mom interrupts me and insists I take time with her. I thought she was being inconsiderate. We go out for tea, we eat salads instead of pie. Well we did splurge and share a piece of pie, when Leah and Samantha came to finish our time there.

Two different people stopped at our table on the way out: a man saying how he likes seeing women in dresses. Only I was in a dress, but we all had skirts. The woman who stopped heard Sam’s comments that Andrea’s Threads helps to make it enjoyable.

The woman, Audrey, says, “One wishes, they had her foresight, but I guess it is as much her eye for design. Leah introduces me; the woman says, “I heard you went to school here and I thought I saw you once before. But you act too normal, I thought you couldn’t be her.” I give her a card to befriend me on the internet.

When we went back I was able to become productive and worked until one in the morning.


I call over to Elle and Megan’s, “Is Alaina up and getting ready, if she’s going to school with me?”

Megan asks, “I want to make sure it is alright with you and that you’re going as Andrea?”

“It’s too much effort to change over to Andrew this morning. Having Alaina along should be fun; if not she’ll be back here before noon.”

I have Jean Claude Cozier after high school, which should be interesting if Alaina comes along. I decide to wear another short dress though not as short as yesterday. Alaina enjoys German 2 with Frau. Schneider and with me in my German persona. I continue on with a German accent into History class and Alaina too is acting as a German-American who might have recently immigrated.

Friends and classmate enjoy meeting Alaina with her southern accent from North Carolina. I have Chemistry and lab with Megan. It is the first time I see Alaina speechless and not knowing something more than the other person. She is an intelligent enough student, but she’s mostly A’s, not a gifted student by any stretch.

Megan and my friend Debbie speak of Professor Cozier and it interests Alaina enough she wants to go with me to the university. The other students in the university class are sophomores, who meet Alaina, tell her not to take personal any attacks on me from the professor.

The class starts out well with mid-term papers being returned. The grade on my paper was visibly changed from an A to a B and at break I will ask why. The class is interesting but not as much as usual. He’s covering information we’ve already received. It is like he’s trying information from a new paper or book on us. He quotes people he’s mentioned before with people who agree with what he’s telling us.

The break comes and we go to the hallway, most looking for water, coffee or something else with caffeine. An art student complains, “He does this too much, next we’ll have grad assistants to finish out the classes.” Several students like me were told when we registered that wouldn’t happen.

I go back in early to find Professor Jean Claude Cozier to ask a critique on my report. His voice swiftly raises, “How dare you question my grade. A good Grad-Assistant graded it but she was way too lenient on you. I just corrected that.”

I say, “Yes, but you haven’t shown my mistakes. I don’t know what I need to work on.”

He looks around, “I see you dressed today as that sweet boy that you are. Maybe we could meet somewhere and I could even review your paper. I might bring your grade up.” I observed his hands and nails had attention been paid to them. The nails were longer and nicely buffed; I suspect after polish was removed.

“Should Andrew be the one to come?” He says, no and suggests a place the other side of the city away from the university.”

I suggest he come in femme so I’m not alone. He’s offended, “How dare you think that or set conditions?”

“Well I did, I can’t afford being vulnerable alone. So take it or leave it.”

“Wednesday, at the Flowery Saddle; you be there by eight. I’ll be there shortly after that.” …I agree, but reiterate I’ll be walking out if Jeanne’s not there.”

I go to get Alaina and we sit for the remainder of the class. She and much of the class notice the Professor is different. He is off of this prepared lesson. The good news is he’s sharing new material on designs and placing art in a setting. When class ends close to the three hours scheduled, the class applauds and I’m amongst them.

Leah has waited, but was just getting ready to leave when we come out of class. It has been a long day; I’d like to stop and eat but feel a need to get back to my Mom. Leah calls and mom’s making her goulash, which will be great on a cool fall night. Alaina chooses to get back to her sister.

Mom went home Tuesday and Alaina’s spending time with her sister at the university. Leah knows I’m meeting Professor Cozier tonight. She and Sam will go into the place before me. I go in five minutes later as some people have come and gone. Two gay guys are to come and ask me and any guest to dance.

I don’t wait long and a long haired woman from another table comes and greets me. I am ready to rudely send her away as she doesn’t take my hints to be alone. Then I recognize her to be Jeanne Cozier, though her name is Nicolle. She apologizes for being offensive to me, she seems to want to be close friends. “Our secret” she calls it.

Marv and Stevie have come in and they’re sitting in a table not far from us. Marv selects some music and his device plays it. Terra who owns the place takes the music and begins playing over her system. Several couples or friends are soon up and dancing before Stevie and Marv approach us to dance. I turn to Nicolle saying, I’m up to it but I’m not dancing alone. Nicolle feels the need to make sure they’re not from the university. Comfortable enough she takes Stevie’s hand and I’m with Marv.

The music moves into a slow dance and Nicolle continues, while I’m interrupted by Terra. “Proof of age or you need to be out of here?” I ask her, what exceptions there are. “You need to be accompanied by your parent, a guardian or be an owner and I know you’re not that.”

I ask, “And how much would it cost to buy in?”

Terra lightly laughs, “It just so happens, I’m running a special for $25,000.” I let her escort me out as she says, “I thought not.” Once outside I say, “I’ll be getting back to you; my accountant will need to run some numbers.”

Once outside and back in our SUV, I wait for Leah and Sam. Unfortunately it took them another dance before they noticed I was gone. On our way home, I enlighten Leah about my brainstorm of owning a part in the pub. She smiles, “You know it has possibilities and could make its own profit.” Sam asks, “Will I be welcome if your sister and I aren’t an item?” I look to Leah and she shakes her head yes.

I get a call from Marv, “I’m out of there but Stevie’s still with the skirt.”

I tell him, “I don’t want to know anymore but thanks. I owe you.” Marv says, “I enjoyed it, maybe we could enjoy a time together if Stevie moves away.”

“Please remember I’m a minor and not interested.”

He says, “Sixteen is on the fence, but don’t worry you’re too young for my tastes.”

I say, “Thankfully” as I end the call. Leah says, “He may have heard you; I’m not sure you were disconnected yet.”


Once we’re back, Samantha’s back to her place and my sister follows up to my apartment. My shoes are kicked off and we’re both sitting down and the TV is on. I call Mom, “Mom do you or Dan know someone who could evaluate the ownership in a pub?”

Once on the speaker phone: Leah and I and my Mom with Dan talk. The idea is soon sounding almost normal. Dan knows someone who could run the figures of the “Flowery Saddle” and another who could run the check on Terra Broyles.

I study an hour after the phone call. Leah’s got enough of her things and will stay the night with me. She’s the one breaking up with Sam, even though they’re not officially an item. She for once is taking a warm bubble bath and I’m listening to her. We both like what we’ve found in the LBGT community, less pretense but more honesty than we’re use to.

I text JC, “Find me a place to be working this weekend. I think Leah is open to getting away with me, but I need to be busy.”

JC says, she’ll be back to me about the weekend. She reminds me, Tamara from Chicago wanting to come here to visit me. I suggest that Chicago would be a good place to get away. JC’s office will see tomorrow what can be arranged.

Thursday, I have my business class at the university, and my class with Cozier every other Thursday. Cozier’s class is good, but there’s a tension in the air. Cozier want to meet with me during the break. He’s pretty sure I set him up, but I’m not admitting it. He says, “Do you know Stevie and his friend Marvin?”

“I’ve seen them before but I don’t really know them.” I tell him, “I was asked to leave by Terra for being underage. She didn’t give me a chance to say anything to you.” The professor and I agreed it wasn’t in either of our interests to tell anyone. He does give a threat if I’d tell anyone.

I complimented him on how he looked and that I had not recognized him. I asked if he might be interested in buying from my fashion line. He said he was too mature. I said, “Nicolle looked like she would flatter many of my fashions.” He said, he wasn’t really into cross dressing but did only to visit with me.

To be continued…

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