Monday, March 31, 2014

a light at the end of the tunnel

Yet again, I can't wait for the semester to be over. Even the death of someone close to me doesn't wear me down this much.

Monday: I'd been feeling rather down and alone, even though I knew I wasn't (though ultimately I didn't know how to describe it--except through Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor), since Friday or so, and I wanted to talk about it with Joan, as I suspected that my feelings had to do with what I've been going through this year. However, this was one of those times when I wanted to be as thorough as possible and not miss anything, so I decided to write. I don't know if I could call it a letter or an essay--maybe a cross between the two. I wrote the first draft longhand in my notebook (some things demand to be written longhand rather than typed), but toward the end of the evening I decided to type it up so that it would be easier to read and cleaner (still a roughish draft, though: I wanted it to be as honest as possible). It was one of those times where I was figuring things out as I went along, and that was obvious in my writing.

That evening, I happened to have a look at Dal's counselling staff list. Joan's second from the top. Because their layout's a bit wonky and the text goes through the photos, here's the link to her portrait.

Tuesday: The start of Joan's and my meeting was delayed because someone had left their stuff in the room where Joan meets with students. Once we finally got started, I gave her the letter, which she read. We spent the rest of the meeting discussing the things that I'd brought up in said letter. As Joan will only be meeting students at NSCAD for two more weeks(!), we scheduled not only this coming week's meeting, but the one after that. She won't be coming to NSCAD during the final week (which is likely to be a zoo here), but I'm welcome to make an appointment to see her at Dal, about half an hour's walk from the Granville Campus.

As usual, I spent the rest of the day studying.

Wednesday: I'm hoping that that's the last big storm of the year. NSCAD was closed (as was just about everything else except for SuperStore, but I still fought my way to school. On my way I had to stop and throw all my weight into bracing myself against the gusts and I saw people skiing down Barrington (the main street) and other folks digging out a car. When I finally made it in, I burst out laughing and recounted my adventure to Kevin, the security guard (no snow days for security). Apparently I wasn't the only one who was nuts enough to make it in that day. However, I was the only one in Photo. In the evening, I read the live blog (on Twitter) of the first debate for the Toronto election and started the final readings for Contemporary Indigenous Arts.

Thursday: I finished the readings, meaning that I'm done reading for college/university. The end is nigh. As I put it in a Facebook status update, "five-and-a-half highlighters, three courses, one semester--done."

Friday: I calibrated my computer--but I decided to redo it because while I had the brightness set to my normal level, it was much higher than the computers at school. While it's impossible to do as thorough a calibration job on a laptop as it is on a desktop (the lighting situation that the computer's in affects the calibration, and mine goes everywhere, from my room--natural light during the day, one sixty-watt light at night--to the sunroom--natural light during the day and a bunch of lights at night), I can notice an improvement. And it looks much better than my old computer did after I calibrated it (I was never happy with the job that ColorMunki did--I used Spyder4PRO this time around. Based on the results that I got, I think I might go with Spyder when I get my own calibration equipment. Spyder's around $300 cheaper, too (better results? Cheaper? I'm in!).

I also started studying for the 20th Century Art final. Better mark, here I come! And on top of all that, I worked on my independent project.

Saturday: Photo was surprisingly busy that day. In this case, "busy" meant that there were two other people there besides me: Katie (a friend and former classmate) and Adrian (which surprised me: I'm not used to seeing teachers in on the weekend, at either NBCCD or NSCAD). Usually the Photo Dept. has a population of one (me) on Saturdays, though Alex has been talking in a rather concerned tone about how empty the place has been: usually the department is hopping at this point in the semester and people are booking the printers left, right and centre. Come on, folks! Get in here and use the stuff!

I spent the day studying for the 20th Century Art exam, listening to the opera--and wishing I could be out in the sunny, +10˚C/50˚F weather (the joys of exam season: just when it's starting to get nice out, we students have to hole up with finals prep).

Next week's performance is my #1 favourite opera, La Bohème. **sniffle, sniffle, sob** The fourth act never fails to reduce me to a sobbing, heartbroken wreck. The performance will be simulcast, but due to all the studying I have to do, I'll have to forego that performance and make do with listening to it on the radio.

As mentioned about a month ago, that day was the tenth anniversary of the day I discussed with Lynn the possibility of quitting lessons. I can't believe it's been ten years: that day is still very fresh in my mind. I remember how upset and conflicted I was, how my voice shook the whole time, pacing as I spoke, Lynn holding me and telling me that it was okay: I could cry... As I thought about that day and commemorated the anniversary, I was amazed at how strong my memories are ten years later--March 29th, 2003 was just one day out of my twenty-five years of life. But it was--and still is--an important one.

That night, I had another run-in with the person who's been making my life hell this year, and this time was really bad. I'll be really glad to be out of that situation once I'm done school.

Sunday: More studying for 20th Century Art. I recalibrated my computer, as I wasn't happy with the first result: when compared with the desktop monitors in Photo, my screen was too bright and the colours wren't quite right. The second time around my screen still looks a bit warmer than the Photo computers, but I'm a lot happier. I just need to remember to not adjust the brightness (doing so completely screws up the calibration).

I also told Lynn about the latest episode and she emailed back a little over half an hour later--and made me cry because some of what she wrote was so beautiful and because I'm indescribably grateful to her and worn down from this year and the last day, making my emotions really intense. Half of me is tempted to say more than that, but the other half says that no, these emails are so personal that they should stay between her and me (okay, and maybe Joan)--though I will say two things: 1. her email gave me hope and 2. I think that what I feel and what was said could be summed up by one of the most beautiful pieces of music that I've ever heard: Arvo Pärt's Spiegel Im Spiegel, which is a piece that bypasses everything else and goes straight to the soul. Enjoy.

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