I go home on Tuesday. Yes, really. Last year I went home a whole week early and this year, because things were organized better, I thought I would have to stay in F'ton until the seventeenth. But that's the day when the teachers are supposed to have their marks in, so many of my teachers pushed their assessments for my classes to this past week--and three finished classes the week before. The only assessments I have this coming week are combined assessments for Photo History/Communication for Visual Artists (Monday at 1:30) and Lighting: Available Light and On-Camera FlashTech/Photographic Digital Imaging (Tuesday, also at 1:30). And then I'm FREE until January fourth, 2011. Mom will pick me up after my last assessment.
I still have a couple of assignments to finish for Communications and Digital Imaging, but I'm not worried--Tom and I worked on the layout for my CV this morning, and I have to add some stuff to my Communications blog and finish Digital Imaging some point before my assessment.
Besides schoolwork I'm going to be busy writing cards (four of 'em, to be mailed on Monday), helping a classmate with an assignment for Communications, baking a surprise for my studio, and sleeping in (the usual).
As I mentioned earlier I had some of my assessments this past week, so here's what went down:
Monday: Although I didn't have an assessment, I did go to a potluck that evening at Karen's apartment. I arrived really early, but got to help set up. Her place is stuffed to the gills with awesome artwork, including two pieces by Adam MacDonald (him again...), which really excited me.
Wednesday: Creativity in Photography assessment: Remember those meetings that I had with Adam this past spring? Well, turns out I've still got work to do to free myself from the old ideas that have held me back for years. Although I do take a lot of closeup photos and try to abstract the subjects, my style is still very realist and what I see on the camera screen is what I use as the end product (I try to make the colours as accurate as possible). When I was little anything went: if I wanted to wear colours that clashed, so be it. If I wanted to paint in a way that would destroy the brush over time, go for it. But as I got older, like many people, I settled into what I considered "safe" (without realizing it) and I was afraid to venture out beyond that rut that I got myself into. Last year it started to catch up with me, and although I'm trying to undo the old ideas, it's about as easy as playing something by Paganini. In other words: it's extremely difficult. However, NBCCD is one of the best places in the world to unlearn the ideas that are holding me back.
Thursday: History: Although my assessment won't be until Monday (History/Communications combo), this one is significant. Most of us hadn't done our final presentations last week, so this class ended up being (hold onto your seat) FOUR HOURS LONG. But it was okay--we even got to have a pizza party due to the fact that we went straight through lunch. I'm very happy with my presentation on Julia Margaret Cameron: it went smoothly (unlike my last powerpoint that was based on an essay--ugh) and I covered a lot of ground--including hunting down info on the collodian process because I'm a "how did they do that" junkie and like to find out the process behind a work of art or a technique. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I'm so into photography: you've got everything from daguerrotypes all the way up to today's digital photos that have been enhanced in Photoshop.
Film and Darkroom Techniques/Photoshop: Tools and Techniques assessment: Since Drew teaches both classes, he, like Karen and Rod, decided to combine assessments for those classes. I've only seen marks for his classes, and I have As in both. But although seeing the mark is really cool (especially with my dismal marks last year), in the diploma program the grades are just letters and numbers: outside of NBCCD, no one's going to look at my GPA, which Drew stressed. What matters is whether I'm producing quality work and am learning what I'm supposed to learn (check and check). (Grades matter like you wouldn't believe in FVA: if they're dismal the chances of getting into the diploma program are slim.)
Yesterday I didn't have classes, due to Photoshop finishing last week (hello, sleeping in), but I still went to school because due to the fact that I won a scholarship and will only have to pay a few hundred bucks in January (NBCCD maybe cheaper than a lot of schools, but it's still expensive), I was invited to a small, informal ceremony with my fellow winners (various scholarships) and some of the staff (Drew was taking photos) in the library at noon. After that I spent the rest of the afternoon working on homework in the small computer lab.
I also talked with Peter about doing more darkroom work. Drew mentioned in his assessment that Film and Darkroom Techniques is the only film course the college currently offers (unlike Mount Allison University: their photography program is still a hundred per cent film), but I decided that I'd talk with Peter before giving up. He said that in the second year of the diploma there are four independent study projects, which would be the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about film and the darkroom. But don't worry: I'm still in love with digital. It's just that I'd never truly realized how cool film is. And maybe I could combine the old technology with the new.
I fell head-over-heels in love with the darkroom when I did the Photography Media Explorations in FVA this past spring, and now love it about as much as the MOO's horn section or the BSO's violin section. In fact, I'm considering making my own darkroom: Tom still has his old equipment, and I might convert a room in the house (the guest bathroom, perhaps?) into a darkroom (if it's the guest bathroom I'll have to have a look at the fan situation: it's powerful enough for everyday use, but since I'd be dealing with chemicals that aren't exactly healthy, I'd want to see about improving it--especially if I'm developing photos in the middle of January and don't want to open the two windows--brrrrrrrrr...).
I don't think I mentioned this, but NBCCD is considering scrapping their darkroom. The colour one is already gone, leaving the black and white darkroom--and unless the students speak up, it will be history, too. I don't know how much time we have left, but it's not long. When my classmates and I were filling out the evaluation forms for our classes, some (if not all) of us used the one for Film and Darkroom Techniques to say how much we love the darkroom and want the college to keep it. I'd be really upset if I came in and found that the darkroom was no longer there.
Because the BSO's Nutcracker Weekend is next weekend and I've got that ballet on the brain, here's one of my favourite pieces: Journey to the Land of Snow, a.k.a. A Pine Forest in Winter. Enjoy. And GO VIOLINS!!!!
Remember the video that I posted last week of the MOB's recording sessions for their latest CD? Well, I found a full-orchestra version of the Polonaise from Christmas Eve. I admit that I prefer the MOB's version (those darn French horns. Also: the ending's a bit different.), but it's still really cool. And even in the orchestral version the brass section gets a pretty strong part. No wonder the MOB wanted to include it on the CD.
One week until the Met's first radio broadcast of the season (Verdi's Don Carlo)!!!! GO MET OPERA ORCHESTRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS: Last Class Bash is UNB's celebration of the last classes on the weekend before final exams start. There's one at the end of the fall semester and another at the end of the spring semester.