Sunday, November 28, 2010

prepping for finals

Finals, we meet again. Yes, it's that time of year: while the rest of North America shops until it drops for Christmas (hello, Black Friday--Midnight Madness if you're in St. Stephen, NB), the college/art-school/university students are studying like mad for final exams (good luck on the 2D Design test, FVAs! Make sure you study the book well--you'll need that info to get a good grade.), putting the final touches on their essays, or putting together the last bits of their final projects. Yes, I've done some Christmas shopping (I have a Starbucks bag full of stuff, with a plastic Read's bag containing whatever doesn't fit in the SB bag), but between now and Assessment Week I doubt I'll have much time to shop for anything other than necessities (FOOD!!! COFFEE!!!!! PHOTO PAPER!!!!! (Though I've got a sizable stash of it in my locker that should do me for a couple more weeks.))

Right now I've got a bunch of stuff to work on: tomorrow I'm going to take the photos for a lens assignment, on Monday afternoon I'll be doing two shoots in the basement studio (one for my final history project on Julia Margaret Cameron, which is due on December ninth, and the first shoot for the nude photography assignment, which is due this Wednesday), and developing photos in the darkroom for an assignment on burning and dodging for Film and Darkroom Techniques in between the two shoots. I also have to finish a take-home test (more like a "get to know your camera" test) for Film and Darkroom (both due on Thursday) and my entry for the Bridgestone Photo Contest, which is part of the curriculum, and which I finally got around to doing this week (due on Friday). I still have to add a slogan (I came up with the first half of it about an hour ago), and I want to talk with Drew about making some of the snow that I added in Photoshop look more real and like it actually belongs there and wasn't added in the computer.

This week I got a marks sheet for Film and Darkroom techniques: my marks range from ninety per cent ("three 2 1/4" contact sheets with notes") to a hundred per cent ("Large Face Print--1 contact sheet, 16"x20" or larger prints, and darkroom notes"). There are still a few things I need to do before the semester's over (the stuff that I mentioned above, plus contact sheets from all the rolls of film I've developed this semester, an assignment about contrast, and my notebook. Whew!!

On Thursday there was a free lunch in the Design Studio. NBCCD has those lunches at random times throughout the year for various reasons. This one was to introduce us to our Director (our version of a principle), Michael Maynard. Usually they have something like pizza, which means that there's a vegetarian option (PINEAPPLE!!!!!!!), but this time the only vegetarian things were the chips, and fruit and veggie platters. Ahem, SRC.

Anyway, Michael talked for an hour about his background and life. He's originally from Southampton, England, but you wouldn't know it because he worked hard to lose the accent. He's been all over the place and worked at several schools before gracing NBCCD with his presence. :-)

I was talking with my mom about it this evening, and based on the marks and constructive criticism I've received back so far from all my classes (though I only have marks for some of the classes), I wouldn't be surprised if I'm in the "A" range in terms of my grade. I know it'll be much higher than last year (last year I finished with a really low GPA, which has bugged me ever since and this year one of my goals was to raise said GPA).

This afternoon I worked on my Bridgestone entry and started the essay for the final history project (I wrote about two hundred words in about an hour--not bad!). Said essay is to be between a thousand and twelve hundred words, double-spaced, twelve-point Times New Roman. And while part of it can be about the photographer (e.g., Julia Margaret Cameron), part of the essay should also be about the process and the student's thoughts about creating the images.

This weekend is the Christmas Craft Market at the college. I went on Friday night and bought some cards that I'll send to a few people. I was going to make my own cards using cardblanks and photos that I'd develop myself, but I decided that I just didn't have the time this year. But I'm happy: I'm supporting my school (and the starving artists who are getting an education there). And the cards are definitely not regurgitated Hallmark stuff. More and more, I'm finding that I just don't like sending mass-produced cards. I have no problem receiving them (not everyone can sit down and spend several hours creating a single, one-off card to send to a violin teacher who's had a major impact on the sender's life. Yes, Lynn, I mean you.). And some of the mass-produced cards are quite beautiful and meaningful. But still, when you see one card, there are millions more exactly like it, and that makes it a little less meaningful for me. **whew**

Tonight there's a semi-formal at my residence (which I didn't go to)--and I can't hear a thing from my room, which is wonderful. Last year my room was at the top of the stairs, and I could hear everything: people going up and down the stairs, people in the hallway, people in the lounge, the TV (also in the lounge). Everything. And I hated it with a passion. Now another woman has my room, and I feel sorry for her (at the beginning of the year I advised her to invest in a nice set of earplugs).

Three more weeks until Christmas Vacation (two weeks of classes plus assessment week)!!!!! Where the heck did the time go?????

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