Monday, January 16, 2012

this is going to be one heck of a semester

I think I'm going to enjoy this semester. For one thing, Mondays are more relaxed, as I only have one class, and it's in the afternoon. And I think I'm going to really enjoy it.

Monday: The class in question is Imagery: Sources and Development. Although we're starting with observational drawing, the course goes beyond that form of drawing, using different sources, techniques and media. "Emphasis [is] on developing personally relevant imagery" (from the blurb about the course). In other words, it's the drawing course that I've been waiting for for three years.

By the way, that class is huge by NBCCD standards: twenty-two students, including me.

After class, I hung out in the photo studio and chatted with Peter before heading home.

Tuesday: This semester's Photoshop course is brand-new, so, as with Preparing for Professional Life last semester, my class gets to deal with the kinks and bugs in said course. However, I'm okay with that because I know that the course is new (I didn't know that Professional Life was new until the last week or two of the semester), and I know what my teacher (Drew) is like and what his expectations are, and he knows us students and what we're into--and whether or not we even like Photoshop.

And because this course is new, we students have a say in how things are going to go down this semester: our assignment this week was to come up with some techniques that we wanted to learn more about.

Still to Motion started with talking not about the visual aspect of creating movies, documentaries, etc., with DSLRs, but the audio aspect. And it reminded me just how interested I am in sound: how it behaves, how one can manipulate it, etc. (I'll happily blame it on my eight years of violin lessons). Our assignment this week was to record ourselves reading an excerpt of text--like a Wikipedia article--with music in the background (don't speak until after the first verse), using the built-in mic on our computers. We were to then decrease the volume of the music when we were speaking, bring the volume back up when we finished our speaking bit, and then decrease the volume again at the end. Simple, but so much fun! I did my homework that evening, and it was a good thing I did, because...

Because everyone knows me as a classical music-freak, I decided to shake things up. Although I'm crazy about classical, I'm also into a lot of other genres, including indie, punk/alternative and folk. This time, I went with one of my favourite Green Day tracks, 21st Century Breakdown, from the album of the same name. I read the first paragraph from Green Day's Wikipedia article.

Wednesday: ...I woke up with the telltale sore throat of a cold. Ugh. And as I tend to do, I spent the first half of the day in denial: "please don't be a cold **swallow** please go away **gulp**." But by two that afternoon (one PM EST), I admitted that I was sick. I immediately went into recovery mode.

Oh, yeah: classes. That morning, I had Gallery as a Market Place--and I had Karen as a teacher again! Let's just say that, as with last semester's business class, I have much to learn about the ins and outs of galleries. But I actually want to take this course.

I'm applying for the ArtsNB scholarship again, so I asked Karen to be one of my references: she said yes.

That afternoon, I had another class with Drew, and, like Peter's second-year classes, it's devoted to independent study projects. But these are little projects: I think the biggest is about three weeks long. My first one is on model releases, and I want to have one that's readily modifiable based on the situation/project by the time I'm done.

I also asked Drew if he'd be my other reference (I need two): he said yes. And he reminded me to print out two copies of the form that the reference people fill out.

By that point, my throat was so sore that it hurt to speak, or even whisper, for longer than a few seconds at a time--which is a major blow to someone who's as talkative as I am.

Because Drew wanted a project proposal for the first project from each of us, he let us go after an hour. I spent the next hour-and-a-half writing mine, and then packed up my stuff and headed home as soon as I dropped the proposal in the assignment folder for that course.

When I got home, I was so tired that I decided to take a nap. Afterward, I felt a bit better, but I didn't do much for the rest of the evening.

Because I felt so crappy, I was more than a bit concerned that I might have to skip Peter's class the next day. And because I love Peter's classes so much and this week's class was the first of the semester, I did not want to have to miss that class.

Thursday: When I woke up that morning, I still felt like crap, but I was well enough to go to school. Yyyyyeesssssssssss!

Because Karen's history class was taking over the Photo Studio classroom (where Peter normally has his classes) that morning, he moved us to the Surface Design classroom. And starting the second week of term, his class will start not at 9:00 AM (8:00 EST), but 10:00 AM (9:00 EST)!!! As someone who's not exactly a morning person, I can't complain.

Like all the other classes this week, Peter talked about how the semester's going to go down: things like the fact that we each have to have a website by the end of the term, and that we're doing a presentation to the local photography club, Photo Fredericton, next month. And the fact that from now on, that class starts an hour later than what's posted on the schedule.

He also wanted us to take another look at the project proposals that we'd written and handed in at the end of last semester. We were to make any necessary adjustments, and then email them to him by this coming Thursday. Taking another look at the proposals also served to remind us exactly what we wanted to do.

I spent the rest of the day working on homework--except for when I had a meeting with Peter that afternoon.

Friday through Sunday: On Thursday I'd drawn up a to-do list of everything that I wanted to accomplish over the weekend, and although I worked on it a bit that day, it was on Friday that I really buckled down and started in on The List. I...
  • Reworked the project proposal and emailed it to Peter.
  • Did my Photoshop homework.
  • Did my Gallery as a Market Place homework (more on that after the list).
  • Researched model releases.
  • Started putting together the PowerPoint presentation for Peter's class.
  • Wrote notes for said PowerPoint.
  • Photocopied some of my sheet music for Imagery.
  • Wrote like crazy for my NSCAD application (250 - 500 words) and my ArtsNB scholarship application (one 8 1/2" x 11" page or less), and tweaked my RBC scholarship application (two questions, 600 words or less total).
  • Skipped the Met's radio broadcast--though I did it in the name of Gallery as a Market Place, so I'm sure they'd understand (there's a gallery at the Met Opera House--**squeal**).
  • Wondered where Sunday disappeared.
  • Hung out with friends/fellow Photogs (there's never a dull moment in the studio).
This week, for our Gallery as a Market Place homework, we were each assigned a city (I got Saint John), and we were to find as many galleries in that city as possible. Out of that list, we were to contact one gallery and get their submission guidelines and mandate. I called Peter Buckland Gallery on Friday. However, Peter was a bit busy that day, and when I asked, he said that Saturday would be a better time (the gallery's less busy on Saturdays).

So I called back on Saturday afternoon. Because Peter ran a bit late, we didn't connect until after two. But once we did, he was happy to answer my questions (I typed up a summary of each of his answers in Word, having written down my questions earlier)--in fact, the guy was a perfect interviewee, and patiently waited for me to finish typing (at the beginning I told him that I'd be typing up his answers).

However, for me, this was more than just another school assignment: this interview marked a huge turning point for me. For as long as I can remember, although I'm an outgoing person, I've always been shy when I call someone for the first time. It was to the point that I had to force myself to dial the number. But something happened between the last time when I had to do that, which was in November, and Friday: I lost my shyness about calling someone out of the blue. When I called Peter, I just picked up the phone, dialed the number (making sure to dial 9 first, as it was on a school phone--Peter Gross' phone, to be exact, as he's one of the ones with long-distance. And yes, I asked him for permission.), explained that "I'm a student at NBCCD, I have an assignment to contact a gallery and ask for their mandate and submission guidelines. Is now a good time or is there another time that would be better?" Done. And it was no big deal: in fact, I'd say it was almost as easy as playing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

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