When I was eight years old—eight years old was my first watershed year!—but when I was eight years old, I conscripted two of my friends to perform in plays of my devising almost every day in our classroom. Here is how it went: At lunchtime, I would conscript my two friends, they were both girls, and we would rehearse a play I was either making up on the spot or had made up that morning, and then in the afternoon, we would perform my play for our class. I believe we did this, as I say, almost every day. My two friends whom I conscripted varied in their enthusiasm, the one was very shy and the other less so, she would have been the more eager participant, and the shy one would have allowed herself to be conscripted, I think, simply because she might have been a little cowed by me, I was a strong-willed girl. I'm sure I gave her the quieter parts. I do not know whether she liked being in my plays, my guess is, she did not, that she was a born spectator. Before I go on to tell you why I am telling you this story, I would like us all to take our hats off to Mrs. Dill, my teacher that year. I believe she deserves this honor for giving up a little of her classroom teaching time to me and my theatrical whims, I believe children ought to be encouraged to fully and flamboyantly express their imagination, and Mrs. Dill never told me no when I asked, again, whether I could put on a play that afternoon. She never said no! I am sure my plays were not that long, they did not take up too much time, I am sure, but I believe it was a generous spirit that gave Mrs. Dill the "yes" to say instead of a "no." Thank you, Mrs. Dill. Now, as to why I am telling you this. It is what I wanted to tell you the last time I wrote, but I did not because I chose the other thing to only, as it turned out, partially tell you instead. It is the first critique in my long career of being critiqued for the work I do, I still remember my first critique! Well, let's be accurate. It was probably not my first critique, only the first one I remember. At any rate, it was a play, I had just performed it with my two friends, the one with less enthusiasm than the other, the rest of my classmates were sitting on the floor Indian-style (I am fairly sure that is no longer an acceptable term, but that is the term we used then), and they were now an audience of little critics, perhaps Mrs. Dill opened up the floor to them, perhaps this was an integral part of the daily-play ritual, I no longer remember, I only remember one boy saying to me, in effect, for I do not remember his exact words, that the courtier bowed too much as he was leaving the presence of the king, he overdid it. It was probably a fair criticism, as I indeed remember bowing repeatedly, it was meant to be comedy, I am sure, but when you overdo it, you essentially beat the the comedy to death, and that is what the boy was telling me when he gave his critique of my repeated bowing. I then went on to a lifetime of amassing more critiques with varying degrees of aplomb, ranging from none to some. This paragraph is a good example of why titles are misleading, for not a single letter of it was on painting.