Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm finally starting to feel like a fourth-year

My teachers have already mentioned finals twice in the last week or two--I have to keep reminding myself that finals are still about a month away.

Monday: I finally made the time to visit the job centre at the university that I'm staying at. It was mildly helpful, but not as helpful as I'd hoped, which actually makes sense because I'm from a different school, studying different things, and they're geared toward students studying at their university.

I then headed over to NSCAD and edited the additional photos for my project for Beyond the Frame, put together the slide show (and wrestled with Lightroom in the process--just like old times), went to the candidates' forum for the SUNSCAD election, and finished the day off with a floor meeting at my res. The forum mostly consisted of introducing ourselves and having an open discussion about what we want to see happen at NSCAD. One of those things is more co-operation and community between the different media and students from different studios. NSCAD has two issues that complicate meeting people from other studios: unless you have class at one or other of the campuses, you can't get your access card to work on the door to that campus--you have to have a real reason to be there. Some of the studios have a similar situation: unless you're a student in that studio, you can't enter. I understand why it's set up that way (safety and, in the case of the studios, protecting the equipment), but it makes meeting people from other media more difficult. One of the solutions that we came up with is to have a voluntary directory listing students and their skills so that we can collaborate and pool our knowledge.

Tuesday: Yet another rundown of photography history. We also talked about our ideas for our next project, which is our first concept-y project (NSCAD's big on conceptual art). Two of us, including me, hadn't come up with ideas for ours, so we had to come up with ideas by the end of class. I came up with several and settled on one. The project is self-portraits depicting stereotypes. Mine will be about homeschooling, which has a lot of stereotypes (homeschoolers are either right-wing Christians or hippies, they're either really smart or really dumb/mentally-challenged, they don't know what the latest fashions are, they are unsocialized, etc.), some of which I've been exposed to.

Wednesday: We finally started putting together the Coptic binding book! The stitching is a bit complicated, but easy once you get the hang of it.

I spent the rest of the day working on my scholarship essays (I'm applying for three scholarships, two of which require essays, and which are due this week--for the other, I just have to put together some photos and submit them online by mid-December) and getting prices of course supplies (one of the scholarships requires that info).

Thursday: Up and at 'em! Bob met me and a couple of my classmates in the photo dept. that morning because, as transfer students, we didn't have access to the university's photo printers, which photo students learn how to use in the second year--and all three of us are third- or fourth-year students. Much of what he told us wasn't new to me, but it was good to get a refresher--and either way, as a fourth-year I need that access.

At noon, I met with the financial aid and student counselling director, Bernadette Kehoe, as I desperately need a job if I'm to afford photo paper and film (which is where most of my money is going)--and not starve.

During class, I presented the second version of my most recent project (the slide-show). The critique was much better. Bob also talked about the next project, which is solidly a concept project: "choose an object that retains some unique value to you--an object that you might not want to part with. It can be anything. Ideally, this object has an implied intimacy in your life, even if it is a found object that you choose only for this project.

"This object will form the basis and starting point for the next project. The object does not have to be the exclusive subject of the work you produce. You may take an idea, memory, feeling, formal characteristic, metaphor, etc. and develop that into your next project. In other words, I am not asking you to photograph your object. You could, but there may be other options to explore as well. [...]"

Friday: That day was FVA Panel Assessment Day at NBCCD. I usually write a letter to the FVAs around that time, but this year I totally forgot. Oh, the joys of not being immersed in the culture of your alma mater anymore.

We learned how to use the Dynalite studio flashes--something that NBCCD students don't learn until the second semester in the first year of Photo. I don't see either way as good or bad--just different. The lights are a bit different from the Speedotrons, AlienBees, etc. Up until this year, the AlienBees were the smallest flashes that I've ever used. The Dynalites are tiny in comparison, especially to the WhiteLightnings.

Afterward, Adrian met with us individually. My meeting wasn't until 4:30, so because I had about an hour, I worked on designing a poster that I'm going to put up at NSCAD and my residence because if I'm elected--I'll probably get in, as there's no one running against me--I want to get to know my constituents, and as a new NSCADian, I want to make sure they know who their rep is. I was so engrossed in designing the poster that I was surprised when I looked at the clock on the computer and discovered that my meeting was in one minute. So I quickly saved my project, closed Photoshop, ejected my hard drive, grabbed my stuff and headed down to Adrian's office. My meeting went very well: he asked me about adjusting to NSCAD and Halifax (both he and Bob know that I'm a transfer from NBCCD), my own assessment of what I've produced for his class (we also looked at said work), his assessment of my work, and we talked about my ideas for the self-portrait project, which I'd written down. He called it an "informal meeting," but I'm still speaking NBCCD-ese to an extent, and an assessment by any other name is still an assessment right now.

Saturday: Hello, productivity! I read the handout that I was supposed to read last week for Bob's class, went to NSCAD and picked up my camera and tripod from my locker, booked time in the lighting studio for Monday, bought film and started shooting for the assignment for Bob's class (I'm photographing details of my old computer, it's power cord and the USB keyboard that I bought). That evening, I got an email saying that the campaign posters had to be taken down by 11:00 PM on Sunday. So because I planned to not go anywhere on that day, back I went to NSCAD. The election takes place Monday through Wednesday, and the results will be announced on Thursday at the latest.

Sunday: Because much of the part of my loan that was issued to me went toward paying for my university residence, I desperately need a job this year. So I did a résumé blitz, emailing my résumé and cover letter to as many places as possible, mostly arts-related places from a list that Bernadette gave me, though I also applied to a photo store that I'd come across. I proofread my scholarship essays and chopped a bunch of words from one of them. That evening, I called Mom because I hadn't talked with either her or Tom in about two weeks. Among other things, we discussed life after Acadian Lines goes kaput at the end of this month, and why Acadian is going. My theory, based on news articles: corporate suicide, caused by cutting service to places that weren't making them money and caring more about money than the people who would be stranded without bus service in the Maritimes (Maritime Bus is picking up the slack, and will probably offer better service than Acadian did). These problems were exacerbated by the labour issues that led to this year's strike.

Just because this is awesome:

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