Monday, April 30, 2012

once a Photog, always a Photog

I'm home for the summer.

Monday: My final class at NBCCD. That day we all presented our final projects, but we didn't critique so much as we analyzed the finished work.

I put the finishing touches on the first card that I then handed out on Tuesday. I made one for each of the Photo Studio faculty, telling them about some of the things that I've learned over the two years (e.g., video is awesome), and thanking them for what they've taught me. I handed the cards out individually after each assessment.

Tuesday: For several months, I've wanted to take the audio from a video that I shot of the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony's performance of Beethoven's violin concerto and make it into an mp3. iMovie doesn't allow you to separate audio and video, so I tried Final Cut, which worked after I tried a few different things. After making a few tweaks to the audio, I exported the resulting file as an mp3.

In the afternoon, we presented our finished videos.

Wednesday: A few days before, I had asked Karen about assessments, as she hadn't said whether or not she'd be doing them. She agreed to meet with me around 11 that morning. We talked about my writing, what I need to work on, and my experience of the course and what I learned from it.

That afternoon, I had an assessment with Drew. He gave me my mark sheet, and as I expected, I did well in both his courses. We talked about the marks, and about my plans for the summer and fall, and even had a look at the Banff Centre website.

Thursday: My final day at NBCCD--and Peter's birthday. Because Peter hadn't scheduled assessments, I was at the school around nine. I spent much of the morning just hanging out, but around eleven Karen enlisted my help, along with that of a few of my fellow Photogs, in preparing a surprise celebration for Peter.

While they were decorating the classroom, I had my assessment with the birthday guy. He critiqued my project, and turns out there are a few more kinks I have to work out. Thankfully, the current version of Final Cut Pro X is backwards-compatible (the original FCPX wasn't, and as a result video editors were screaming at Apple), because Tom has FCP 8.

Finally, Peter was allowed in the classroom (we had a close call during my assessment: he didn't know why the door was closed, went to open it, and I panicked and somehow managed to stop him from ruining the surprise). One of the first-years, Loana, took photos of the whole thing, and the smile on Peter's face is absolutely priceless. I'd brought pasta, which was very well received. Karen had hooked her computer up to the TV, and had a YouTube video of Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday (to JFK) on. Peter loved it.

I spent the rest of the afternoon putzing around, emptying my locker, getting most of the rest of my stuff out of my drawer, and saying good bye. I even paid a visit to Michael Maynard's office, as I didn't want to leave without saying good bye to the principal because, let's face it, the guy's pretty darn awesome. He asked me what I'm doing this summer, and I told him about applying to the workshop at Banff (he said I'd love it, and that he had spent some time at the Centre) and doing more photography locally and researching places in NB and Maine where I can get stuff printed. He also asked me a technical question relating to photography: how to scan slides. I told him about the Nikon negative/slide scanner that the photo studio has, and we went over to the studio (which shares a wall with Administration) and I showed him the scanner and told him a bit about using it. He then asked if he could give me a hug. I said yes. And then he went back to his office.

Because A. I didn't want to leave without saying good bye to Peter, and B. Peter had assessments, I waited a bit longer to say good bye to him. Eventually I did, and it was incredibly bittersweet for me. We talked about the differences between NSCAD and NBCCD (the faculty aren't as close to the students, for example, and you won't find them swearing as much as Peter does--to which I replied, "shoot!") and the stuff I have left to do (PACKING) among other things. He, too, gave me a hug--two, in fact--which I needed, and which made leaving a bit more bearable.

And then I was off, carting home the last of my stuff. I went out via the gallery entrance, taking one last look at the current show (Context/Texture). All the way home, I fought back the urge to cry, and when I finally got back to my room, I let loose.

After a massive case of procrastination (thanks, brand-new Pottermore account), I started packing my clothes, and I filled two duffle bags. Because it was Peter's birthday, and Peter likes music by Satie (as well as jazz), I put on my CD of Satie and listened, hummed and occasionally danced while I packed. When Gnossienne No. 1 came on, I had to stop because it made me miss the studio so much that I started crying again. You may remember that Peter played two pieces by Satie at his birthday party last year--and knocked my socks off in the process. Ever since, I have associated that piece, as well as Gymnopédie No. 1, with that party and with Peter.

I started writing this post that evening, as I wanted to write about the experience of my final day at NBCCD while that experience was still extremely fresh in my mind.

I considered myself a Photog until midnight that night (11:00 PM EDT). I didn't realize that I'd gone from Photog to former Photog until about five past. Even though I know that my life is just beginning at this point, changes like that always feel like a death: the old me dies, but a new me is born. In this case, "Annapurna, the NBCCD student" died, and "Annapurna, the NBCCD alumna and soon-to-be NSCAD student" was born.

I couldn't have asked for a better last day. The experience of leaving NBCCD was sad, yes, but in a way, it was incredibly beautiful.

Friday: I spent the hours before Mom arrived packing as much as I could, and when she arrived with more bags and boxes (yay!), I packed some more. Sometimes, I find that packing to go home takes forever and can be a bit stressful, so I was surprised when packing and loading the car went really smoothly.

Because Mom was going to do the farmers' market the next day, we had to unload the car--and then load it with stuff for the market.

Saturday: Market Day. I helped Mom set up, and then went to one of my favourite cafés in search of breakfast. I took my time, eating a blueberry scone and a cheese croissant, drinking a hazelnut latte (homecoming weekend = splurge) and reading a bit of Friday's Telegraph-Journal. I chatted with one of the owners, Angela, about my plans for the summer and fall, and people-watching.

I then did a bit of shopping, before heading back to the market. Once there, I made the rounds and bought a few treats before settling in at Mom's table.

The Met performed Die Walküre that afternoon, so I wanted to record the Ride of the Valkyries. I'd been meaning to since the '08 - '09 season, but somehow I never got around to it. I recorded most of the Ride, only missing a bit at the end, which isn't surprising because Wagner doesn't put any gaps between songs/arias, and each melody flows into the next.

Sunday: The craziness of Friday and Saturday finally caught up with me that day, and although I woke up and had coffee and brunch, I was extremely exhausted. Eventually, I couldn't take it anymore, and I went back to bed.

After I got up, I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my parents, reading and cuddling cats.

Monday: Today, I'm finally starting the process of getting info on stuff that I need for NSCAD. I emailed the university about applying for a student loan, and now have that info. I also emailed the university where I hope to stay (I'm going the residence route again), as they asked me to fill out a form that as far as I know I don't need to fill out. I'm going to call NSCAD's registrar either today or tomorrow and talk with her about which courses I'll need to take at NSCAD, as the university takes a slightly different approach to art education (at NBCCD, darkroom stuff and creativity are dealt with in different courses, but at NSCAD they're lumped together), and I will need to pick up a few courses from previous years.


In the coming weeks and months, I'm going to:
  • contact the dance photographers that Karen told me about
  • tour NSCAD
  • photograph in St. Stephen and St. Andrews
  • make a series of videos that I've wanted to since '06
  • get a job (hopefully)
  • research places where I can print photos in Maine and New Brunswick
  • write
  • Hopefully spend a week in Banff
In closing, I want to thank the Photo Studio and NBCCD for three years of awesomeness that went by way too quickly. On Thursday, I had a couple moments where I thought, "I really am proud of myself." And I am: I survived FVA, I finally learned time-management, I fell head-over-heels in love with writing, and I had a blast in Photo. I cannot begin to describe how proud I am to have been an NBCCD Photog. I love that studio more than anyone can imagine, and it really was my home in F'ton--the university residence that I stayed in was merely a place in which to waste time on YouTube (and NFB and TopDocumentaries), dance and write blog posts (though some were written at school). From the bottom of my heart, thank you NBCCD, and thank you Photo Studio.

The next time I write, it'll be from Halifax!

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