Thinking ahead to Watercolor classes, and reapplying for Library school…

I’m having a little bit of a freakout over working with (toxic) watercolors, come Spring.  I’m sure it will be fine, however, I will want to get a box of good-quality disposable gloves along with my paints for Spring semester.  I’ll need it, at the least, for cleanup, though I should probably be wearing it through the whole session.

I’ve thought of wearing a cotton glove underneath the main glove to reduce the discomfort of sweat buildup.  In any case…I’ll probably be fine.  It’s only one day a week.

I have given thought to taking a different class than Watercolor (like, a one-unit one) to make Spring less strenuous; however, my first choice would be Studio Art Lab, and there are only four people signed up for that as it is, meaning that it will probably be cancelled.  Unless, that is, it ends up like the first semester and people kind of filter in over the first two weeks.

The main reason I’m worried about taking Watercolor is that it will push my anxiety if one of my conditions acts up.  (I don’t talk about it often, but I have OCD.  And yes, I work in a library in a manual position…it pushes my limits every time I go in.)  And, it’s the last semester of my Art AA; and I’m taking seven units.  The main scare is that my capstone class will take up a lot of my time, and I might not be able to do well in all of my classes at once.  And Watercolor, for me, is a Beginning class.  Along with my capstone, I’m thinking it will be a lot of learning, and not learning which is all at the same stage.

I did, however, check my grades — I got As in both my classes for Fall, which I did not expect.

Like I said earlier, my Intermediate Drawing class (prior to Special Projects, this last semester — the Advanced stage isn’t given, here) felt like it should have been four units instead of three.  I’m pretty sure Figure Drawing will be fine — I know what to expect there.  There will be a lot of paper I’ll need to buy, for that; mostly newsprint, likely two pads of 18″x24″.  I have plenty of Bristol, Drawing, and Sketch paper for that, as well.  I also have enough charcoal and ink to last me a while.  🙂  For Watercolor — I still have to go through the watercolor paints D found and see which ones are viable.

To use those in-depth, though, I’ll need a palette, and I haven’t decided which palette to use.  My good one — from back before Amsterdam Art closed (what is Amsterdam Art???) — currently has gouache in it.  The disposable one seems more suited to figure out what is useful or not.  This is because I might have a lot of loose gum arabic floating around from separated paints, and I don’t want to mess up a good layout of my paints with one which, without question, should be thrown away.

I…am thinking that if I come into any extra cash, I should put it towards my Watercolor painting kit.  It was my Xmas present to myself, after all…  Most of my cost of attending school (other than opportunity cost) will probably go to watercolor paints, brushes, and papers.

I’m hoping that the pigments required for class are less-toxic (as when we used Scarlet Red instead of Cadmium Red in Color class), but I can’t bet on it, given that the person I spoke to who took this guy’s class before, said he teaches in a “traditional” manner.  I don’t know what that means, quite, but I’m trying to prepare myself for hardcore cleanup after my painting sessions.  (I should probably take a little vial of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap and put it in my kit, just in case.  It is annoying when there is no soap.)

I kind of don’t like pushing myself…but I want to get out of college in a timely manner, and move on to earning more than I am now.  I want to get more and different work experience, so I can try and get a handle on where I want my career to go — now that I’ve decided that I really don’t want to go back to the iSchool.

And, I mean, I really don’t want to go back — but the draw there is that I’ll actually have a secure career path that pays enough to support me, and my art.

EDIT:  I re-read those last two paragraphs and thought back to the times when I left off of something that could have been good.  Like, Japanese language study.  Or, Art.  I’ve had enough of an interim during which I could see the development of my own thought processes.

I just went and reapplied to iSchool.  And, it seems — there are better financial aid options this time, than the first time around.

I just feel like I’m attached to this computer so often that it would really be good to put that time to good use.  The good thing about going to Library school while working at a library is that it’s relatively smooth — so long as I don’t exceed my job description.  😛  It would then be easier to get into a Library Assistant position, and I won’t have to say goodbye to the profession forever after I leave my current grunt position.

Yeah, I’m kind of mixed up on it…it’s just kind of special when people check out their first book ever, and seem so beatified that they don’t have to pay money to take it home.  🙂

The thing is that I don’t have a lot of experience working outside the library…though I do have about six years working within one now, it seems.

I also only have 3 years remaining in which my intro courses will still be viable.  If I take 6 units per semester, I’ll be done in three years — right at the end of my allotted time (seven years).  And, hopefully, I’ll be able to market myself as an information professional…which is one of the things I’m supposedly suited for, says one of my career-orienting websites.  This is especially so if I opt for a non-traditional position, like the one I’m aiming for — Digital Archives.

I just was thinking about how things seemed to fall into place, with my graduation in Spring 2016 with the Art AA (if things go well) and re-entry in Fall 2016 to the iSchool.  I should be out of there by Spring 2019 — with about $30,000 in total debt, which means a little over $300/month in student loan repayments.  This is, of course, unless I seek grants and scholarships, some of which I think I can get.  And, if I work for the government for ten years, I might be able to get the total remaining balance cancelled (though I’m uncertain on this, as I have reconsolidated since incurring the first $13,000).

What I’m thinking right now is that I shouldn’t let that horrible first semester and horrible teacher and set of conservative texts keep me from obtaining an education that will allow me to have a reasonably good quality of life.  Even if I and the ALA are not on great terms politically (seriously, not every librarian is going to agree with the political email blasts), this is a gatekeeping diploma, at core.

And hey, I might get something from it…even if I think to myself that there are better paths to the endpoint I’ve envisioned.  Those paths, though, aren’t the one that is presenting itself to me, presently.

I think that, really, the biggest issue I encountered when entering iSchool the first time, was trying to introduce myself.  But…I think, I just need to get used to the fact that people are going to know information about me that is basic that I don’t want to share.  I mean, when we’re told to introduce ourselves and everything I could say that matters most about myself is linked with queerness and disability?  Oh, right, and the art stuff.  😉  And the writing stuff.  But…really, the main reason I’m in the program at all is that I was set up to work in a library by an institution which works with disabled people, so that less of us end up in poverty and/or homeless.

My major freak-out last time was whether I wanted to speak online, because my voice might change if I went on testosterone, and could I handle people not knowing who I was even though I was the same person talking over the same instrument…or would people reject me and make things hard for me because I’m in a group with them and they hate queer people…  It’s like wanting to go running outside, but then thinking, “what if people see me and then I take testosterone and then they see me again and know that I’m trans*, and will they then attack me…”  This is probably to the level of being a mental health issue.  It didn’t help that back when I was in iSchool, I had a seriously paranoid friend who was all about permanent data trails on the internet…

Well, yeah, and the “sexy librarian” @&$% she pulled on me that ticked me off (in combination with dude who always greeted me with gender-based inappropriate comments).  I’m not really seeing her anymore now, though, so hopefully that %*#$ can live in the hole where it lies.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to go there.  But the sexualization of librarians is both absurd, and it’s a harmful sexist stereotype.  Not to mention that I don’t even know how often that friend even went to the library…  It’s like when I met with some people from one side of the family and the only connection they had to anything that had to do with the library was annoyingly shushing me in my face…because apparently that’s what the library means to them.

Sigh.  So anyway, I suppose today was productive in some kind of way.  Ack!  It’s 1:20 AM!  I should take my medicine and get to bed…


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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