Monday, April 9, 2012

the fun of playing with a beta version

I emailed the prime minister for the first time this week. As someone who isn't about to just sit by and let the leader of her country take that country and twist and warp it into something unrecognizable, sending that email gave me a real high. I refuse to accept what Harper wants us Canucks to accept.

Monday: We met with Linda that afternoon. I spent most of said afternoon and into the evening doing homework: editing videos for my independent project and working on the second gallery review. I also emailed the two artists whose show I was reviewing.

Tuesday: I spent Photoshop class doing research on CS6. I've been completely mind-blown by what I've found out about that program: it's a complete revamp and overhaul. In their review, Gizmodo called it a "must-have update."

The end is definitely in sight for Still to Motion. I spent the class polishing up the documentary that I'm making. Things like adding titles, transitions and the credit reel.

I sent that email to Harper in the evening.

Wednesday: Karen took us on a field-trip to the UNB Art Centre, where we met with the centre’s director, Marie Maltais. We also went to the Beaverbrook and went behind the scenes with Greg Charlton. You may remember that Greg took us there last year in Design: Shaping Space. I love anything that shows you what goes on that audiences/gallery-goers/etc., aren't usually aware of: that is where the real story is. I still remember when Mom and I met up with Lynn after my first BSO concert, in May 2006. We'd decided to go out to dinner, and Lynn needed to get her violin and coat, both of which were backstage. She had Mom and me wait in the wings, and I'll never forget those minutes. I watched as the musicians packed up and chatted. Seeing that sort of thing makes you realize that artists are people, too, and they talk about mundane, ordinary stuff just like the rest of us. That's also why I love seeing photos of orchestras rehearsing, with the musicians wearing regular clothes: there's a lot of prep and practising that goes into each concert.

In Research, Drew helped me sort out how to tell which cameras were at which levels. Although I could tell the different levels pretty well by reading reviews, some of them were a bit cryptic. The trick is simple: low price = entry level, medium price = mid-range, high price = pro level. My current camera (a.k.a. my baby), an Olympus Evolt E-510, is entry-level, by the way. I started to outgrow it when I started in the diploma program, though I don't plan to replace it until after I get my BFA. If NBCCD was enough to cause me to outgrow my camera in a year, imagine what a year at NSCAD will do.

Thursday: According to Peter and my classmates, I finally hit on an ideal way to do the videos for my project: use a still image, letting the text do the work. Now I had to go back and redo all the videos that I'd already made so that they matched the one that I made this past week.

As usual, I devoted the afternoon and evening to homework. I also started work on a surprise that I'm making for the Photo Studio faculty.

Friday: The college was closed (and pretty much empty) due to Good Friday, but I still went over to get stuff done. And I got a lot done.

Saturday: I finally started choosing photos for the grad show and my final portfolio for Peter's class.

I also downloaded the beta version of Photoshop CS6 (code name: Superstition) from Adobe Labs, which I'll have for a week. Because I have a limited time in which to use it, I've completely ditched CS4 Extended (the version that I currently own). The verdict: a. I agree with Gizmodo, and b. it's gorgeous! Even Camera RAW has been given the royal treatment, which is wonderful. If I can cough up the dough to get the upgrade when it comes out (the upgrade to the Extended version of CS5 is $350 at, so the CS6 upgrade will probably cost about as much), I will. I have to get this.

Sunday: I did almost everything that was on the list, but didn't get done during the rest of the weekend, including knocking a couple of cameras from the list of Nikon and Canon models that I'm considering. I also skyped with Mom and Tom, and we figured out some of my living possibilities when I get to NSCAD. I also raved about CS6 (sorry, Mom).

And that evening, due to a storm here in F'ton, the power went out at my place. According to Aaron (former hall proctor and one of my friends), most of downtown was out.

And now, here's that letter that I sent to Harper. This is the first time that I've emailed the leader of a country--any country--directly from my own email address and not from a site like Care2 or, so I have to admit that it was rather exciting. I made sure to choose my words carefully: although I'd love to cuss him out or spew some other anger-fuelled rant at him, my parents have drilled into me the fact that that won't get me anywhere--especially with someone as power-hungry as Stephen Harper. I wanted to make him stop and think, and actually consider the effects of his decisions.

Prime Minister:

I've been following the federal budget news very closely since Thursday, and as a young woman, an artist and someone who believes strongly in the importance of democracy, I have several issues. Here are three of them.

What about future generations? You're a father--don't you care about leaving a future to Ben and Rachel? Pushing the retirement age to sixty-seven will put more seniors in poverty, and will deprive us youngsters of jobs. Jobs that we need, too, as many of us have student loans (I've been lucky so far, as I haven't had to take out a loan to pay for college) and other debts and expenses.

And what about the arts and media, specifically CBC? Cheesy as it may sound, culture and art are the heartbeat of every country. Without it, who the heck are we? Where's our national identity? What makes us unique? And FYI, not all of us want to get our news from Sun Media.

And what about Elections Canada? Canada is a democracy: the people choose the leaders. In fact, it's a right guaranteed under section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. By cutting some of the funding to Elections Canada, what sort of message are you sending Canadians? That you don't want us to vote? That, because the turnouts of the last two federal elections were so low (the lowest and second-lowest, respectively, in Canadian history), you're confident that we won't make the trip to the polling station in October 2015?

Yes, we do need to make cuts somewhere, but these three are things that shouldn't be reduced, as they are incredibly important to Canadians.

Annapurna Moffatt


  1. Good letter: clear, to the point; succinct and specific. (Yes,I'm being redundant.) The message, not the emotion, is what you want to convey and you did it!