Tag Archive | school

Assignment: Color

This semester, I’m taking a photography class. It’s one that’s required for all art majors.  I took it this semester because over the summer, I had a class with some photography majors, and they told me that UVU was switching the Photography I from a film class to a digital class. I wanted to take film photography, because I knew I could borrow Dad’s fancy film camera, but my little digital camera probably wouldn’t work for the class. The course catalogue for this semester listed Photography I as a film class, but on the first day I learned that the switch had already happened.

Drama ensued. I can’t afford a new camera, and doing research on the dSLR camera‘s I could afford I discovered that they shot in a lower resolution than the camera I already have.  So I hunkered down with the instruction manual, and the syllabus, and discovered that my Canon Powershot SX100is would probably work–I emailed my instructor and she agreed, though she was concerned when she actually saw the little thing.

Anyway, my class is on Saturday.  Which I actually think works, because it gives me the rest of the week to do the assignments. It’s hard going to school six days a week, but I’ll get though.

The assignment for this week was color–simply to take two colorful photos that would work well together.  Of course, no photographer worth her salt would stop at just two, so here are my favorites:

I was trying to get a good contrast between the red of the blanket, the yellow and blue of the dog bed, and Lulu's white fur. It never really worked that way. I think this looks like Lulu's eavesdropping on the downstairs neighbors.

I LOVE this picture, I just couldn't find something to pair it with. Sure, it would have worked with the last picture, but I wanted two different subjects. Max was being even less cooperative that Lu was about the whole photography thing.

This is a basket Mom has. It's woven into a diamond pattern, alternating the red and green. I took other pictures where the pattern was more clear, but I liked this one the best.

These next two I almost turned in–in fact, I had turned them in, but we had a break before we got to my review, so I changed my mind, and substituted another pair.  I think they’re well done, but they’re not my aesthetic, and I didn’t want to put them in my portfolio at the end of class.

So the whole "something delicate juxtaposed with something hard and rusty" is absolutely not my aesthetic. Still, I'm a little obsessed with this old horse trailer (the blue thing) that lives behind my complex. This was taken during the golden hour in the morning, and I love how the sunflowers are glowing.

this truckbed-turned-trailer lives next to the horse trailer in the last picture. This picture was taken half a dozen times before I managed to get there in the golden hour in the evening. While I think pictures of rusty metal are so overdone, I love the lines in this picture, and the glow of the trailer.

So, fall's here. Or almost here. Or something. I couldn't find any leaves that had changed color all the way--not that I looked very hard--so I settled for my parent's honey locust tree, where the leaves were just starting to change.

 

"Color" kinda turned into "lighting" for me. And I had a lot of fun playing with the shutter speed on my camera. This was taken by setting a 6" shutter speed (while the car was not moving, naturally. This was dangerous enough, and I tried to be smart-ish about it) then propped up on my dashboard while I was driving an empty stretch of road. I like how the yellow roadsign and the yellow stripe in the road come together. I kinda wished I was following someone, so I could get red tail-lights, but I think just the yellow, black and white work together.

So you know how I said that "color" kinda turned into "light" for me? Yeah. This is one of the pictures that I ended up turning in. I was mesmerized by the way the blue screen reflected on the desk with the computer. I'm really happy with how this turned out.

Last week, we looked at some abstract photographs, and I was intrigued by the notion, so I attempted some myself. This is a vase, a drinking glass and some ribbon stacked inside of each other--and the other photograph I turned in. It's blurry, but that was by choice--I wanted the focus to be on the colors, not any of the objects actually used. My instructor was worried about my camera after seeing this picture, until I showed her some of the others that I took this week.

So as far as color goes, I think I did well. Next week, we’re talking about composition, and taking a photography field trip around campus

Writing Creatively

Medieval illustration of a Christian scribe wr...
Image via Wikipedia

So, first of all, I’d like to fully acknowledge the irony that I’ve been neglecting my blog because of all the work that has been required from my creative writing class.

The good news is, I’ve learned a lot about myself as a writer.  For instance, I’ve discovered that I like to write creative non-fiction, which should be good news if I continue with this blogging thing.  I’ve also discovered that I have a hard time with plot, especially when it comes to endings. Which is probably why I struggle with fiction. And probably the most important thing, I’ve discovered that when I’m hashing out an idea in my head, I need to sit down with a notebook and paper.  The computer is great for the actual writing process, but, let’s face it, it’s a giant box of distraction.  If I can find a quiet corner, and organize my thoughts before I sit down to the computer, my writing will be, well, written. And I’m not going to be distracted by Wikipedia or TVtropes or my favorite blogs.

So, anyway, I’ve put a few of my stories from this class in the “Stories” tab.  But here they are in link form, for your convince.

Scout

The assignment for this story was to write in someone else’s voice. I was thinking of Mom when I wrote it; it’s her story after all.  I don’t know how well I succeeded in separating my voice from hers. And yes, Mom, I know I didn’t get all of the details right. It was for a creative writing class. I was writing creatively.

Pet Store

This assignment was to write about what my character does for a living. This exact incident never happened, but I was influenced by my time working at PetSmart.

Catch and Release

This was simply an assignment to write a piece of fiction. The first line was one chosen from a list–and I have to say, it kinda feels like I shoehorned the story to fit.

Also, I don’t know anything about fishing. But, my narrator doesn’t, either, so I suppose it all works out.

Hmm, that doesn’t seem like a lot for the amount of work I’ve done for my class, but, at the same time, it’s not everything. There’s stuff I’ve written that I absolutely hate and am not sharing with anyone I don’t have to. Also, there are stories that I’m working on revising for my final project that will go up, well, after the final.  But for now, just know that I haven’t forgotten about you!

New semester, new drama

It’s currently a quarter to three. I have successfully avoided going to bed by cleaning house, doing homework and now writing a blog post.  It’s not that I don’t want to bed, it’s more that in the past few weeks I seem to have lost the ability to sleep. But, as it’s not affecting my daily activities, I’m more annoyed than concerned.

I survived last semester, despite what the frequency of my posting may have implied. In fact, I thrived. I got a 3.90 GPA for the semester. My GPA is now high enough that I can get a job on campus–you know, if there were a job opening on campus that I was qualified to do–and I have started summer semester.  I have two blocks of classes–Fit For Life (a health/exercise class) and 2D design first block, and then at the end of June, I’ll start stress management (stressed? who me?) and creative writing in the second block, with an online math class all semester long.

I’m beginning to think that the start-of-semester drama might just become a regular thing. I don’t know how what happened this week compares to what happened last semester–I suppose it’s worse, but I’m not as emotionally torn up about it.

Okay, so Monday, first day of class. Minor freak out because I’m the largest and most out of shape person in my Fit for Life class–even though that wasn’t really a surprise. Fat folk would tend to avoid that class, and get the required credit from a health class that would allow them to be sedentary. My 2D design class turned out to be nothing at all like I was expecting–and will require much more work. Slightly bigger freak out about that. After spending a lot of money on books, I came home, and began working on my online math class (I am NOT going to let myself fall behind) and then…blue screen of death.  A couple of hours trying to get the computer to restart, followed by a couple of phone calls to my computer engineer of a brother-in-law, and my hard drive died. Completely.

Yay.

Granted, it was much better to have this happen on the first day of the new semester rather than, say, three weeks ago when I was finishing up my final English paper and studying for finals, but it still left me in tears. Fortunately, the Brother-in-law has a several unused computers lying around his house and he (or, more properly, Sis) offered me use of one of them until I can get a new hard-drive.

So, Tuesday, no school, I went up to Sis’s house to trade computers (eventually, I was having car trouble on that day as well) and because she wasn’t feeling good, to keep her from killing her kids (it wasn’t QUITE that bad, but I did see some spectacular tantrums). This included several very educational games of “I Spy” to wit:

me: Is it a stoplight?

G: nope

me: is a go light?

G: YES!

It’s a little scary that I’m learning to think like a four-year old.

Then home, and more time and trips to Best Buy to set up the loaner computer than should have been strictly necessary. But, it works, I’m on line, and once again stressing over random story problems with no real-world application. But, once again, I hope that this constitutes all of the drama alotment for summer semester–or even just first block–so I can concentrate on my studying and getting through school as quickly as possible.

WARNING: Infants.

I didn't have my camera, and my phone takes lousy pictures, so you get to see the sign in it's original packaging.

As I was walking through the parking lot to the bus stop on my way home from class today, I spotted a car with a sign in the window that read “Caution! Baby Inside”. The image was what appeared to be a giant floating head over a banana (a quick internet search when I made it home told me that I was right about the banana, at least, but the sign didn’t specify a baby what.)

The sign made me think of nothing so much as the notices placed on cages that transport animals of various degrees of domestication from place to place, and I had to wonder: What is so scary about babies that I need to be cautious? If I got too close to the car, would it growl at me? Would it snap at my fingers if I tried to pet it? If I feed it my peanuts or bread crusts would it become too used to adults, and start following random people around begging for food? (Come to think of it, that may have been what happened with my 15 month old nephew, E.)

I then started to wonder what a dangerous baby was doing being left alone in a car in a college parking lot–sure the caretakers could have removed the infant and left the sign, but that would be irresponsible–why make people worry about being attacked by a baby when there is no baby present?

The day was chilly, bordering on cold, so I wasn’t worried about the baby overheating–but I wasn’t going to check on it if I was being warned of it’s presence. But still, should I notify someone that there is a dangerous infant alone in a car? Surely whoever is responsible for those types of situations would be trained in how to deal with dangerous creatures, such as the baby we were being warned of. But what if it wasn’t there? Would that mean that it got loose? Is there a baby wandering around campus, savaging innocent students as they study or wait for their classes? What if it was in the bushes surrounding the bus stop? What if it had its sights set on me?

Fortunately, at this point in time, my bus came, and I managed to make it home without being attacked by a rabid toddler.   I’m going to make sure to lock my doors and windows tonight, though, just to make sure no infants get into my house. Because, from what I hear, once you have a baby, there’s no getting rid of it.

Any more drama, and I’m going to have to turn into a theater major

This adult gorilla uses a branch as a walking ...

Image via Wikipedia: This has nothing to do with my post, I just thought it was amusing that it was suggested as a feature image.

I thought it was over.  I thought I had gotten all the drama out of the way for, if not the semester, than at least the first month.

I was wrong.

So, I missed the first day of school on Wednesday.  I was upset by it, but not terribly, because the first day is simply all about meeting your instructors, going over the syllabus, and making sure you have the right book(s).  For me, this semester…well, it hasn’t quite worked that way.

Anyway, what with modern technology having progressed considerably since I went to school the first time, my syllabuses can be found online. So, last night, I looked up the syllabus for the class that I missed–and, wait a minute…

The names of the lessons were along the lines of “Forming study groups” and “becoming involved” not, as one would expect from a stress management class “meditation” and “keeping thins in perspective”.  So, off to find the catalog to see if I could figure out what exactly was going on.

Well, it turns out that the class I was signed up for wasn’t stress management, it was college success, which, frankly, I should have taken ten years ago.  So, off to see if I could get that changed.

Begin act two.  Or one.  Or the prequel.  Whatever.  This drama thing really isn’t a good move for me…

So, I causally mentioned a hiccup regarding my grades a few posts ago.  Here’s what happened with that.  According to the records, I got an “E” (which is like an “F”, but for some reason, UVU doesn’t give “F”s) in my math class, which put my GPA below a 2.0, which means I got put on academic probation.  Well, I got an email from my math professor explaining that my failing grade was caused by a computer glitch, and I actually got a “D” (which still means I have to take that class over again), which would raise my GPA above 2.0, and thus take me off of academic probation.  The thing is, that hasn’t happened yet.  And, because of the academic probation, there was a hold on my record, so I couldn’t add a class, and, for some reason, I couldn’t drop the class I didn’t want.

So, off to campus today to meet with my advisor, to try and get this fixed.  After explaining the situation twice–she couldn’t understand me through the tears–she was able to take the hold off my record, and agreed that I really needed the stress management class–which, by the way, is not only full, but has a wait list that’s over 20 individuals long.  Which makes two classes now that I know I’ll be taking over the summer.

So, barring, say, a meteor strike, I figure everything that can go wrong has already, so it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out–right? Right?

Why are you laughing like that?

Whatever you do, don’t lose the receipt.

The bus stopped for me this morning, which automatically made today a better day than yesterday.  The amount of people on campus, and more specifically, in the book store lessened this to a certain extent.

I made an effort to avoid having to buy books from the bookstore this semester.  However, after comparing bookstore prices to several different online booksellers, I discovered that I wouldn’t be saving any money by buying online, so I figure I might as well face the hassle of the crowds and lines to avoid the hassle of shipping and waiting.

I checked online, and made a list of the books that I thought I needed.  A few hours later, I was sitting in my English class, and discovered that the books I bought for that class were, in fact, not the books that I needed.  Which meant, another trip to the bookstore.

So for some reason, the UVU bookstore is the only place left in the universe that can’t look up a purchase with the credit card that was used– and they wouldn’t accept my return without a receipt.  And, guess who, in the few short hours between buying the books and trying to return them, lost her receipt.

Obviously, you’ve been following my blog, and fully understand the mess that is me.

After tearing my backpack apart in a futile attempt to locate a small piece of paper, I gave up and just bought the correct book, frustrated that by the time the end of the semester rolled around, I’d be selling back a book that was still shrink-wrapped.   On my way to find my last class of the day, I passed the slatted bench where I put the original books in my backpack, and noticed–wait for it–a small piece of paper that had fallen under the bench.  I picked it up and gasped loudly enough that the girl sitting on the bench correctly identified what it was.  By some miracle of poor janitorial services, I was able to recover my receipt that had been on the floor in one of the busiest hallways on campus.

So, drama over the books settled, I headed off to my last class.  I got there early enough that I had to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  It turns out that there was a scheduling mix-up, and the instructor who we all thought was going to be teaching didn’t know she was supposed to be teaching.  But I didn’t find this out until hearing a lecture on Nikola Tesla from some random student, and successfully staving off a migraine by sheer force of will.  And Advil.

I don’t want my random janitorial and scheduling issues to dissuade anyone from UVU.  The start of a new semester is always hectic, and, as annoying as my two little mini-adventures today were, I’m feeling super lucky and blessed to have found the receipt, and as for my art class…well, it’s frustrating, but I’m going to chalk it up as one less thing I have to think about this weekend.

In other news…

Mom had a doctor’s appointment today, to check on her after her surgery, and to get round two scheduled.  A month after the fact, her surgeon wasn’t shy about telling her that as far as he could tell, the repairs he had done on her leg had never been done before.  By anyone, anywhere.  She’ll be going back on February 4th for her sixth and hopefully final hip replacement.  Again, it’s not really the surgery that is worrisome, it’s the recovery.  But, the hospital was very impressive the last time around, and I know she’ll be in good hands.

Somewhere out there, there is a person who can’t help but to catch every break that comes his or her way, to balance out my life. I think this person owes me a check.

Bus company De Lijn in Belgium promotes public...

Image via Wikipedia: This isn't the bus that failed to stop for me. This bus is in Belgium and has a car on top of it.

My class schedule for the spring 2011 semester goes something like this:  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I have my stress management classes.  Tuesdays and Thursdays is everything else.  Today was the first day of the new semester, and so I just had my stress management class to start things off.

I made sure to get to the bus stop in plenty of time, but the bus seemed to be running late.  Just as I was getting ready to head to my car and try and find a parking spot in the pay lot, the bus came around the turn…and just kept going.  It didn’t even slow down.

Great.

After my mouth managed to close, I stood there for a bit wondering what the hell just happened, and what I should do about it.  I didn’t have time to walk to campus, so I decided to go the pay-lot option.   I know I was perfectly visible, because while crossing the street to get to my car, I slipped on some ice and fell–in front of an oncoming vehicle, of course.  The driver of the vehicle was kinder than the bus driver–she at least acknowledged my existence by stopping her car and asked if I was okay.

So, off to convince my car to start so I could fight traffic on campus.  When I got there, the pay lot was full. (except, I just looked up a map of parking, and discovered a lot that I assumed to be employee parking is actually another pay lot.  So, next time, I’ll know.)  So back home, fighting both traffic and tears this time.  And, frankly if not having the bus stop (I didn’t miss the bus, I was where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there) and then not finding a parking spot left me in as big of a wreck as it did, It’s evident how badly I need that stress management class.  You know, the one I missed today?

And that is the story of how I missed the first day of my second semester back at college.

I’d be much more amused by it if stuff like this didn’t happen to me all the time.

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