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:
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
me: is a go light?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
While I acknowledge the end of one year and the beginning of the next as a perfect time for change and renewal, I’ve never held much truck to the idea of making resolutions–they don’t tend to stick.
That being said, I have been thinking about what’s happened in 2010, and what I would like to happen in 2011. Personally, emotionally, I think I’ve made great strides in 2010–and accomplished something I wasn’t planing on–namely, going back to school. I don’t remember if I made any resolutions for 2010–I could probably look them up here, but I’m far to lazy to do that (now watch WordPress find it automatically for me…)
so, here they are, my goals for 2011. The goals that one might say I’m resolute to see happen…
- Get (and maintain) at least a 3.5 GPA. Seeings how I got a “D” in one of my three classes this semester, this might be hard, but I think I can do it.
- Go to church at least three times a month, and all three meetings at least once a month. Along with this, scripture study and prayer every day.
- Blog every day. WordPress has a Dailypost challenge thing to help remind people to blog everyday. I’ve signed up for that…it’s a little intimidating, blogging every day was the goal of The Storyteller Chronicles, and I failed miserably. So were trying it again.
- Write every day. Not connected to the blog or homework. Stories, free-writes, whatever. Every day. Connected to that…
- Write a novel. 150,000 words–that averages out to about 410 words a day–not counting things like outlining and editing. It doesn’t have to be ready to send to an agent, let alone a publisher. It doesn’t even have to be good. It just needs to be a complete, lengthy story. Um, eep.
Looking over this list, it’s going to be tough, but an easy goal isn’t really a goal, right? So, here’s to big things happening in 2011! Now if you’ll excuse me, this big, ambitious list is making me tired. I’m off to take a nap.
Well, my first semester as a returning college student is officially over. I got a better grade than I was expecting in English, a worse (but still passing) grade than I was expecting in Art History, and as expected, I’ll be taking math over again come summer semester. I’m facing a bit of a hiccup with grades and financial aid, etc, that I need to get figured out sooner rather than later–which just might mean a trip to campus tomorrow. Ugh.
The holidays were all well and proper, filled with guilt, disappointment (my spell check wants me to put “dismantlement” there, which would fit the spirit of the season quite well, but everyone I was involved with anyway, kept all of there limbs. More or less), headaches and frustrations. Mom’s surgery went well, and she’s on track for round two in a few weeks. (For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, let’s just say, she’s the “more or less”.) The new year starts on Sunday, and the new semester starts on Wednesday.
I thought about waiting a few days before jumping back in to this blogging thing, but, why bother? I’m not big on new-years resolutions, but I do want to write more-blogging and stories as well as school papers and such–and waiting to start such things just leads to more waiting, so here we go again.
EDIT: So, I just found out that WordPress is doing this Post a Day in 2011, and this is me officially announcing that I’m going to sign up to do it. So…here goes nothing!
Last week was one of the worst of my life. Since then, I’ve been thinking about what makes a bad day, or a bad week for that matter. Is it that the events of said day are truly horrible, or is it that we focus on the horrible, but ignore the good?
I’m inclined to believe that it’s the former. Something happens to put us in a bad mood, and consciously or subconsciously, we focus on the things that will reinforce our bad mood–we notice the jerk who cuts us off in traffic, but not the person who lets us in. We gripe about forgetting our umbrella, but don’t notice how wonderful the rain is.
Sunday, things turned around for me. I made it to church–I’m claiming all three meetings, but that might be stretching it–I had what amounted to a therapy session during Sunday School.
I’ve been trying to focus more on the positive in my life, and let the stress go–something that’s nigh-on impossible for me. I know that it’s foolish to worry about things that I can’t control.
For now, all I can do is focus on my schooling, and know that whatever happens, happens. I’m trying not to stress, but that can always lead to stressing because I’m stressed out, which just turns into this whole big mess…