She has all of her supplies set up and her sketchbook ready. The instructor comes in and tells them that tonight, they're going to have their first nude model. Pam is nervous, because she has never been in this situation before. The class had started out drawing stacks of boxes, moved on to a chair, and last week was a bowl of fruit. She wonders if she'll feel odd being dressed when the model is naked.
She is still pondering this as the model walks in wearing a robe. Her eyes widen and she feels her jaw drop. She knows it's not cool to do that, so she quickly shuts it again. But this…this is a surprise.
It was one of the first non-bill pieces of mail she had received at her own address. She and Roy used to laugh at the classes when the mailer came. But this time, she sat down and flipped through. The Lackawanna College campus was nearby her new apartment, and if she really wanted to make a new start, then maybe she should look at some of the classes.
There are a few management classes that she could take if she wanted to move up in the business side of Dunder Mifflin. There are also some education classes that seem interesting – she had thought in high school that she wanted to be a teacher. She flips back to the front, and sees a section titled "Fine Arts." There is an introductory art class, and she thinks that would be just the sort of thing to refresh her skills. And if she ever wants to apply for the graphic design internship, she'd need to brush up her portfolio anyways.
She sets aside the course catalog for a few days to think about it. At the end of the week, she picks up the mailer and calls the number in the back. A few weeks later, a tuition bill comes in the mail, and she happily drops that envelope in the mail before heading to work.
Pam knew that all the models were local citizens. She had seen the ad at the end of the art section calling for nude models – and she was impressed with the pay. But then – how else would they get any normal person to sit there naked for everybody to stare at for an hour?
She is glad that she chose a seat closer to the back. She tries to avoid his gaze, but he seems to have found a spot on the wall to stare at. Once she's sure that he's not looking at her, Pam takes a few deep breaths and then begins to sketch. She isn't sure where to start, but after looking at him for a while, decides that his feet are probably the best place. His toes are strange shapes – very square and geometric. The first timid lines are down on paper, and then she goes into a kind of art trance – her mind is completely focused on the drawing and her model. And it stops feeling weird. As soon as she stops thinking about him as a person – as a man she works with – she starts to see his body as shapes. Feet are modified boxes, legs are cylinders, torso is another cylinder, arms are long cylinders, head is sphere-like.
He is thinner than she thought he would be, with the slightest bit of muscle peeking through. There are tiny hairs sprinkled over his chest, and she tries her best to capture the way that the fluorescent light makes them shine. She is glad that at her angle she can't see most of his…package…because even though this is feeling less weird, she wouldn't particularly want to have that committed to paper where just anyone could find it.
Just as she begins working on getting the shadows beneath his thigh, her teacher walks up. "Great job Pam. I feel like you've really connected with our model. It feels so personal." Pam blushes and smiles and then gets back to work.
When the bell rings signaling the end of class, she isn't ready to go. She feels like she's made progress for the first time. As she walks to the door, she is right behind him – now robed – and she wonders if she should say hi. She decides against it. Instead, she takes the drawing home that night and leans it against the wall in her bedroom. Not bad she thinks. I think I might have a chance with that internship now.
"Yeah – I do some nude modeling down at Lackawanna College every once in a while," Creed says, very non-chalantly. "It's no big deal – I spent almost all of the summer of '69 in the nude – so why not? Why do you ask?"