Sunday, January 12, 2014

hit the ground running

Never a dull moment at art school… Also, this is post #200, in case anyone's curious. And I don't think the fact that this is my final semester has really sunk in yet.

Monday: I was in for a bit of a shock when I found out that my access card no longer worked on the Photo Dept. doors (any of them) due to the fact that I'm not taking any PHOT credits this semester. Needless to say, that completely threw me for a loop, as the Photo Dept. is my home at NSCAD. It completely messed with my way of working.

I have a feeling that I'm going to like Contemporary Indigenous Art, and I'm excited about what I'm going to learn this semester. The course will cover indigenous peoples outside North America as well as First Nations peoples and Native Americans, and cover other topics in addition to art. Because a couple of people said that Carla Taunton (who teaches two of my history courses: Contemporary Indigenous Art and Topics in Modern Canadian Art) knows a lot about indigenous peoples, I wanted to make the most of my time having her as a teacher. Since Idle No More started and I (finally) became interested in First Nations' history and what Natives have had to deal with since white people came to North America, I had been thinking about meeting with Carla to learn even more than what's presented in the course. That may or may not happen, because the course covers a lot. The description in the calendar doesn't do it justice: "This course on contemporary Indigenous arts will introduce students to the diversity of contemporary Aboriginal art practices (including video, photography, performance, painting, installation) contextualized by Indigenous theories of sovereignty, self-determination, and survivance."

I stayed until Photo closed at 10:30 that night. Alex and I left at the same time, and he came up with a few suggestions that would remedy my situation, including Reconfigured Image (done) or an independent project (AHA!!!). I went over my list of possible projects for APC, and picked the one that I felt was the best after the one that I did last semester. By the time I got home, I was 95% sure that I wanted to do it, and not just because it gets me twenty-four-hour access to the Photo Dept.

Tuesday: Right away, I could tell that Survey of Twentieth-Century Art was going to be different from NBCCD's FVA art history survey courses, as almost right away Jayne Wark was talking about Modernism. I'm looking forward to it, though.

That afternoon, I started jumping through the hoops necessary to make the independent project happen, and went to OSAS and made an appointment with Shawna (the registrar). I also emailed Adrian. I called Dal and made an appointment with Joan to continue what we'd started last semester.

Alex told me that evening that everything had been worked out. From an email to Mom:
"My access card will eventually work on the doors in the Photo Dept., as Chris (who's the top tech) and Alex worked things out. However, I still plan to do the independent-study, as I'm all excited about it now, have picked my project and have started jumping through the hoops. I was talking with Alex just a few minutes ago, and he told me that everything had been worked out and he didn't have to kick me out tonight. I told him that I still planned to do the project, and that by the time I [was almost home Monday night], I was 95% sure that I wanted to do it. I decided to sleep on it, and I'm now going for it. I also mentioned that right from the start, my goal has been to make the most of my time at [NSCAD], and this is a way of doing that."
And yes, my letter was published in the Courier (page A5, for anyone who reads that paper). As promised, here it is:
Due to the intensity of the week up to that point, I decided to start writing this post that afternoon and continued writing throughout the week, adding to it every day.

Wednesday: I was finally able to catch my breath (and catch up on my sleep) that day due to not having any classes, and while I had things to do, the list wasn't as long as it had been for the last four days. I ordered the course pack for Contemporary Indigenous Art (which is thick as heck and equally expensive--good thing I don't plan to buy the course pack for Twentieth Century Art, as almost everything is on reserve in the NSCAD library--the exception is an article from an art journal, which is available at the library, just not on the reserve shelf--or the book for Topics in Modern Canadian Art, which will soon be available in the NSCAD library) and edited some photos.

Adrian replied to my email, and unfortunately he can't take on any more independent-study students. He suggested checking at OSAS to see if part-time instructors like Steve Farmer can work with students who are doing independent-study projects. And he's available to meet with me on Monday.

You may have heard of The Dark Side of Oz, which involves syncing The Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz. Well, apparently if you sync Amnesiac by Radiohead with the rest of the movie, it works perfectly.

Thursday: During Survey of Twentieth-Century Art, I found out that there were readings for that day's class--and that I should've done them. After class, I clarified that part of the schedule. I then went to OSAS and asked about regular part-time faculty (RPT--NSCAD's system of part-time faculty is kind of complex, as there are three different levels) working with students who are doing independent-study projects. They weren't able to answer my question, and referred me to Joanne Reynolds-Farmer. According to her, RPTs can't, except in the summer.

That afternoon, I had Topics in Modern Canadian Art, which was interesting, as we spent most of the class waiting for course outlines to be printed. Though Carla was able to give us the rundown of what's going to happen.

I picked up the course pack (and forked over an arm and a leg--while I completely understand why Kinko's has to charge copyright fees, as a student those numbers can really take a chunk out of my loan) and marked in the list of readings in the front which readings were for which weeks, just as I'd done in the course pack for Obsolescence last year.

Friday: It's ridiculous how excited I was for the weekend. I don't have class on Fridays this semester, and after the whirlwind first week, I was looking forward to not having class until Monday afternoon.

I still had things to do, though, including checking at Student Services to see if NSCAD had received the second bit of the money that I owed for this semester (on Sunday night, I discovered that the federal loan folks had put more money in my credit union account than I'd expected. While extra money is awesome--even if I have to pay most of it back: some of it is in the form of bursaries--I was concerned that NSCAD hadn't gotten all that I owed them. I checked on Monday, and at the time the school had received half of what I owed for this semester.). They had, and I mentioned that I would possibly be doing an independent-study project. If I'm successful in taking on the extra three credits, I'll be responsible for paying the school. I'm so glad I have a chequing account now and don't have to get a counter cheque every time I need to use that payment method.

I emailed Alvin Comiter and Bob and asked about doing an independent-study project with either of them and emailed Adrian again.

And I wrote my assignments for the semester in my planner. I'd planned to do the readings that I needed to do that day, but decided to do them on Saturday instead.

Saturday: I spent the afternoon in the NSCAD Library, doing the readings for Twentieth-Century Art, and managed to finish the first reading and start the second.

The Met played Die Fledermaus (The Bat). Sadly, I was photocopying the chapters that I had to read and missed the Champagne Song (because NSCAD has the book that's used for Twentieth-Century Art and it's cheaper to do your own photocopying, I opted to borrow the copy that NSCAD has on reserve and use the library's photocopier). I usually write the parts that I find interesting or important in my notebook, but this time they were taking too long and I could only have the reserve copy for three hours. Making my own copies meant that I could take a highlighter pen to the readings.

Because I was in the library, I wasn't able to hum along with the overture, which is one of those pieces that never fails to make me hum along (the Moldau from Ma Vlast is another).

Every time I watch the Wiener Neujahrskonzert, I can't help but notice that all the musicians are men, with the exception of the harpist. And they're all white. Thankfully, my favourite orchestras (the BSO, Met Opera Orchestra and PBSO) are a lot more inclusive (though as of the last PBSO concert that I went to, Americans still outnumber Canucks by about 7:1, and Trond mentioned that the orchestra needs more Canadian members).

I was introduced to that song by the Met Opera Brass and their second album, Waltzes, Songs and Festive Scenes (the Champagne Song is track eight), and it's one of my favourite tracks from that album.

Sunday: I spent a couple hours in the NSCAD library today as well, finishing the readings. The library might end up becoming the spot where I do all my readings, as there's a lot more space to spread out than in the photo dept. Sorry, Photo.

I had a look at the list of important dates, and it looks like Friday was the last day that I could add a class. So I might not be able to do the independent-study project (for credit, anyway--I might just go ahead and do it, as it requires participation from other artists and I'm in the perfect spot). :-(

Earlier this evening I found out that a family friend, my honorary grandfather (and reader of this blog), Stan Hart, died Saturday night. I'll let my Facebook status do the talking. RIP Stan.

No comments:

Post a Comment