Wednesday, March 3, 2010

smells like spring

well, hello, blog... it has been quite some time since we last saw one another. how are you? well? not completely resenting me for neglecting you?  good.

these last few months have been a whirlwind.  I kept promising myself that I would update just as soon as I had some pictures to post up, but since I never documented any pictures for this blog, it remained un-updated... until now.  but I still don't have any pictures (or at least not any good ones) so instead this will be an endeavor in un-ornamented posting. oh, how the Modernists would gleefully rejoice at such a sight.  ugh.

today is, as I see it, the first real day of spring in Minneapolis. or maybe that was yesterday, but I'll say it was today because that sounds more dramatic.  I remember coming to mcad in the fall and being worried about the cold and one of the RAs told me that once March hit there would be people who were so sick of the cold they would go out in short sleeves and other such warm-weather apparel even when it was 30º.  I thought that those people sounded insane, but today I was one of them.  I didn't even wear boots and I consciously neglected my sweater because it was just so nice to feel the sun on my skin.

in other news, this semester has been like a giant sledge hammer of homework constantly smacking me in the face while I watch a bulldozer of stress complete obliterate my free time. sometimes I wish that I could have more free time to relax.  then I remember that it's my fault for procrastinating and that I usually work best with a lot of deadlines, anyway, because otherwise I would just sit on my bum and do nothing but read comics and occasionally draw something.

this semester has also been marked by rolling hills of enthusiastic euphoria and determination that build up until they crumble down into jagged valleys of hopeless depression with mine shafts of anti-motivation. it's a very interesting process and, in truth, it kind of sucks, but it's probably a normal thing.  the former is mostly spurred by my favorite class this semester, the Human Body in Art and Visual Culture, which is very, very interesting and very, very difficult.  the latter is also sometimes caused by this same class because the readings can be so difficult (this is a class mostly comprised of upperclassmen) when all I really want to read is children's and teen's fiction, but at the same time it is so eye-opening and inspiring that it's worth it.  mostly, though, I think my temporary depressions are caused by feeling constantly overwhelmed with work and missing home.  I really can't wait for spring break/my birthday/when I'm going home...!!  every time I see a black object out of the corner of my eye, I think it is Moxie. then I feel sad and wish she were here to stick her claws in my lap and shake the floors with her behemoth-sized purring.

but it's not all workworkworkwork here. it is only about 98.9876% work. in another 1% (the remaining fraction is sleep), I get to have lots of fun with my darlingest broster buddies. yes, we are all girls. but we are still bros.  dorm life is much fun because I can easily visit so many of my friends pretty much whenever since we're all pretty much night owls to some extent (I somehow fall into the "reasonable" category since my typical bedtime is around 2a.m., which my mom had for so long convinced me was much too late, but I now see as being somewhere in the middle; at least I am doing better than my friends who never sleep EVER).

this semester I have my first class working in my intended major. it's a good class with a really awesome professor.  he's into a lot of the American superhero stuff and has a very classic style, which is cool even though it's completely not what I do at all. in truth, I feel very weird being in that class because it is all about tools of the trade and learning the basics in the physical creation of comics whereas what I really want to do is the story.  hmmm, I sometimes think I'm approaching this the wrong way, but I really love comics and I know I will need these basics to convey my stories because I don't think I want to be exclusively a comics writer.  if I were going to do that I'd might as well just write novels -- which would probably be a good thing for me to try, actually.  but I don't know just yet.  maybe I just have these weird feelings because I have my comics class directly after my Body class -- so first I have this really thought-provoking, mentally intriguing class and then a class that is pretty fully just about the technical aspect of comics.

it's also very strange that I find myself having to worry about grades for once.  I did a bit in high school and middle school, but not the same way I do now with scholarship on the line.  I'm really starting to realize how much easier it is to have a good GPA in an academic course than in an art one.  in an academic course, there is almost always a right answer (especially in math) and grading is a reductive process: you start with 100 and go down depending on what you get wrong.  in art, there is never a right answer, there is never a "best" or a "complete."  I have never seen a 100% in any of my art classes unless it is a completion grade.  grades are additive: depending on what you do, you can get up to maybe a 95% if it's really amazing work.  this is supremely frustrating because it means that there is no way to ever make something that feels "complete."  also, it means you can't make up for anything bad you do.  if you make an 80% on one assignment, you can't even it out with a 100%.  you have to consistently get 90% or above.  this means you have to always be on your game, always do your best, always take risks.  there is no leeway, no room to screw up.  some people might see this as a good thing, but personally I like being able to sleep and not feeling panicked every moment of every day. when I think in terms of this grading system, I can feel the way my heart has just entered this naturally stressed/paranoid/panicked mode to the point where I mostly don't notice it any more unless I am consciously thinking about it (like now).  it's a very strange and sort of fluttery/breathy feeling and it's not very pleasant.

still, though, life goes on and despite the way this update sounds, I am enjoying college life.  it's hard, but I know it'll be worth it. long as I don't lose my scholarship.  when is enough ever enough, jeez??

okay, enough ranting.

with love and well-wishes,

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