Saturday, February 26, 2011

the freedom of Assessment Week

Yesterday was the first time I had class this week. As a result, this past week felt like an unofficial break: no alarm (well, okay--I set it twice), no classes, I could go to school whenever I wanted as long as I was there in time for that day's assessment... But it was like when Tom and I were in Italy in January 2006: Venice was supposed to be more laid-back than Rome, the Vatican City, Sorrento, Naples, Cortona or Florence--but we ended up doing just as much, including going to two concerts in two nights (same group: the first night was Tom's choice and the second was mine. L'Estro Armonico and The Four Seasons being the highlights, respectively--both by Vivaldi.).

Monday: We already know how that day/assessment went down, so I don't need to repeat it.

Tuesday: I had two assessments that day, one right after the other: Rod's followed by Karen's. I went to the college super-early, though, because I needed to get some info from Peter. He was thinking about doing a field-trip to the Collège de Matane, which is doing several photography workshops--if enough of the students were interested. I was interested, but I needed the list of workshops in order to really make up my mind. So due to the fact that Peter needed to know whether or not the students were interested by nine AM that morning, I rolled out of bed and went to school a couple of hours before my assessment.

Peter showed me the list (en Français), but due to lack of interest from the class in general, the trip was cancelled.

My assessments went well: with Rod the only real issue was that he wants me to show the photos that didn't exactly turn out, as well as the best of the shoot (I've just been showing the best). And to shoot more: do the assignment, yes, but go beyond the assignment and have some real fun in the lighting studio.

Karen's main issue was the fact that the photos that I took for the "photograph ten strangers" assignment were portraits (they were supposed to be candid)--something a lot of the class did. She's going to have all of us re-shoot the assignment when the weather warms up. Other than that I'm doing well in both classes.

I then had class in the afternoon (Karen was one of only two of my teachers who carried on and taught this week). Because she's been so awesome with organizing almost all of our events, Ashley had been named the photography studio's first-ever Student of the Month. So I spent part of lunch hour blowing up balloons with Karen and a few other classmates--and keeping the whole thing a secret from Ashley. As part of the celebration, Jessica printed her Freedom to Read photo at a size small enough to fit on Ashley's locker, but changed the words from "Crazy About Reading" to "Crazy About Organizing."

That day I found out via YouTube that the simulcast that I saw of Turandot has finally been released on DVD. However, there's a catch: it's only available at Target--and there aren't any Target stores in Canada, and it isn't available online. I posted a comment on both the video and the Met's announcement via Facebook of the fact that the Met Opera Shop now has an FB page. However, at the same time I found out that the simulcast of Doctor Atomic has also been released on DVD--it's available on Amazon and the Met Opera Shop. So why not Turandot? Cross your fingers, everyone (even if you dislike opera as much as I love it).

Here's a clip of Nessun dorma from that performance (it's the second half of the aria--the entire piece is about three minutes). I dare you not to cry (good luck).

Wednesday: Now this was interesting: I sit down with Peter--and the next thing I know, we're talking about my writing, which is apparently very good. Okay--I know it's good. :-) But the thing is (and I told Peter this), for me, writing is just something I do for fun--and word counts freak the heck out of me (oh, shoot! I still have to write three hundred words--but I don't know what else to write!). I'm fine when I'm writing something like a blog post: I can write as much or as little as I want. But the thing is, photography is a hard biz to get into (as is just about anything else art-related)--I know that. So doing something else in addition to photography is a good idea, especially in the beginning. Besides: writing can also tie into my medium/passion (books, magazine articles).

We also talked about my work for the assignments that my class has done so far. And yes, there are things that I need to work on: I'm really shy when it comes to approaching strangers for an assignment, for example (specifically, an assignment for Professional Practice where we were to shoot a photo that could be used as a stand-alone--a photo that has a caption, but doesn't go with any story on the page)--I'd rather photograph from across the street than walk up to the person.

That afternoon I printed two versions of one of the self-portraits (the one of me posing with the portrait of Adam and looking completely deadpan): one BIG (11" x 14"), and the other small enough to fit on my locker (9" wide).

Thursday: I didn't have anything that day, but I still rolled out of bed and went to school because I wanted to go over my regular résumé (not my CV) with Karen because there were some updates that I needed to make, and although I'd done most of them, I wanted a second opinion (other than potential employers, my parents are the only ones who've seen my résumé--and they're the only ones who've helped me put it together). After that I had nothing to do until late afternoon, when I'd booked the printer. But right between Brody's (one of the second years) print session and mine, the printer's maintenance tank (where all the excess ink goes after a print job) reached it's capacity, and now the printer's completely unusable until a new tank arrives, whenever that'll be (some point next week, but we don't know when).

Friday: I wouldn't be surprised if I get a good mark on my serial planes project. Take that, FVA design classes!! HA! We also talked about the research project, which should be fun. But then there's that darn word count again: five hundred words in notes. :-P Greg showed us examples of kinetic sculptures, which is what we're working on (mine's going to be of a girl with springs for arms, legs, waist, neck, and Pippy Longstocking-style hairdo,  a foamcore head, torso, skirt, feet and hands, and covered with photos printed on the colour printers--not the photo printer--and standing on a foamcore base). This weekend I plan to work on mine: it's due in a week, and that's pretty much all I have to work on besides the usual mischief: listening to the opera (Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, which I'm listening to right now), possibly going to see The King's Speech, and taking the weekend as it comes.

PS: This past Friday the last two groups of FVAs to do photography started their classes. As the students started to arrive for the afternoon class, some of them were asking where they were to meet. I started to put two and two together and asked Karen if this was the last group of FVAs. She said yes, and I reminded her that I was in the last group (the afternoon group after March Break) last year and gave her a big hug (she was my teacher that time, too). I'll never forget the fun I had during those seven weeks--now that's the way to end the FVA year!

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