The "junk" clay I used for the mug actually turned out to be pretty interesting. It was clay that I rescued off a drying slab consisting of white stoneware that got mixed up with some brown. I didn't notice when I wedged it or even while I was working with it, but as I cleaned up the piece in preparation for taking it off the wheelhead, I found alternating color swirls spiraling up the piece. Darrell even asked if I had done it on purpose.
I started talking to another student about feeling like she has a hopelessly long way to go. Right now, it's really about learning the craft, and she's been feeling overwhelmed because she can't see how she'll reach a point where she'll know enough technique so that she can actually start to make art. I told her about the "thousand bowl theory" to much eye-rolling. It was interesting seeing the same self-critique and frustration manifesting in someone else. It was also interesting that she told me (with a smile) that I was being "nauseatingly positive" about it all.