Future directions?

It wasn’t until I logged on last night that I realized I had been away from blogging (at this blog, at least), for four days(!). There are a number of things going on, the most pressing of which is Finals (though that will be completely over by the end of next week). Otherwise…I am going to have some work to do in archiving what I’ve done in the past semester (including the forum posts).

One final is entirely done with, and that is the final in which I had to interact with other people — not the easiest work, for me. Right now what I have left are my Web Design final, and my final for Digital Archives. I’ve got the idea that…I may actually want to look into software development…but I’m not sure my concept of what that work is like, is accurate.

The idea is to do another Master’s in Computer Science, though I’m not sure that will give me what I need. I’ve been dealing with online information and tutorials which seem more my speed. (I was even thinking that I might be able to use these in lieu of an in-person Computer-Science-101-type course, as they’re more targeted to my needs.)

What I’m finding is that Web Development may actually be more suited to me than Web Design (amazingly!), because of the interaction with users that designers have to deal with. (It seems like people automatically assume everyone is OK with this.) In effect, from my (limited) experience, it seems like people on the User Experience (UX) side of things need really good social skills, and I would expect this to be closer to a Web Design role than a Web Developer role.

That is, Library Science is closer to Social Science, and Information Science is closer to Computer Science…I think.

In turn, Web Development looks like it will need experience in a type of math I don’t yet know (Discrete Math); and…well, I was about to say I hadn’t taken a math class since high school, but that’s not true.

I took Statistics in undergrad, began and then dropped Calculus (it’s very hard not knowing if you’re doing things correctly or not; I dropped right before the first test)…and did a little bit of Accounting, before I got (physically) very sick and had to drop because I fell behind (I missed a four-hour class and didn’t know how I even could make that up, without sitting with the professor and having him teach me for another four hours).

Calculus was interesting, just harrowing. I think, though, that if I want a job away from the public, I’ll have to deal with the math. I’m fairly certain that if I’m learning math that I’m going to apply in some way (like to be able to issue commands to a computer), it will help with my motivation in learning it.

Applications of what we were learning weren’t even on the table, in my high school math classes, though Statistics, Calculus, and Accounting (all in Community College) all had very obvious applications, and I think Discrete Math does, too.

The issue I had in my early math classes was being so good at math that I received hostility for it from my peers (because I was female)…which made me not want to touch math, ever again. But if I was good at it, that means I have the capability.

Of course, though, I’d like to get my present loans dealt with, before getting into another Master’s program!

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Images to go with last night’s post:

Alright. So at this point, I’ve been able to think things over a bit, as regards school; and have a default project for my Web Usability Final. Also, I did photograph those little sketches I did last night. Though the photos came out fine, applying Auto Levels in Photoshop did make them look less grey, so I’ve left them that way.

And to reiterate and continue from last post: I was drawing from imagination, with the goal of testing out a color; I wasn’t trying for photorealism (and in fact intentionally avoided photo reference until completing these three sketches). Apologies to people who have monstera deliciosa direct reference! Even though I am based in California, and I’ve read these are endemic to Mexico, they’re relatively rare, in my location.

monstera-1-2

These are the first two attempts that I made in trying to draw and then color, using Dr. Ph. Martin’s Radiant Concentrated Watercolor — which, by the way, is only the green hue in this image. I mixed it with Holbein Lamp Black; and Winsor & Newton’s Winsor (Dioxazine) Violet tube watercolors, in the background.

The Radiant (dye-based) watercolor lends itself to very delicate work — more delicate than I could get with the tube watercolors alone. (With the latter, I had trouble in accidentally pushing the pigment around on the page.)

monstera-3

This third attempt was done entirely with tube watercolor. I’m not as happy with the “feel” of the leaf, as it’s more angular and shield-like than I would like. Upon viewing a reference at the end, I’m thinking that this one is the farthest from the actual “feeling” of a monstera deliciosa leaf, although the flow of the veins from the center (but not the patterning of the veins) is more on-point.

But back to the colors: I used Winsor [Phthalo] Green (Yellow Shade), which is the blue-green; Green Gold (which is the yellow glaze to the right), Dioxazine Violet, Permanent Rose (fairly invisible here; it’s mixed with the black at lower left, but there’s so much black that it disappears), and Lamp Black.

For an explanation of why I was comparing these colors, you’ll want to see last post, and the post before that (for context).

So…yeah, this is what I was doing last night, after a 5-hour near-marathon of trying to get work done for Finals. (I took a break of about an hour in the middle, in order to make a salad.)

Which reminds me, I should be doing some work. *sigh*

Though I am looking forward to continuing to try and draw these leaves…I can see where it could turn out really nice. In any case, I’ve only got two more weeks of the semester left (!!)…

…which means that I need to get on it.

Feeling better, now.

One good thing: my quality of life is incredibly better when I take medication around 9 PM, as versus 12:30 AM! For some reason, the impact is much less than the 17-hour thing I mentioned in my last post. When I take medication early and sleep with the blinds cracked, I spontaneously wake up at 6:30 AM, at least for now — and I’m able to keep going.

Another good, but odd, thing related to the holidays: growing up, I would often get depressed around Christmas. The reasoning why is clear enough for me (there are actually two reasons), but would likely be misinterpreted if read out of context. And basically, no one has context except direct family, who lived through it with me.

The bright spot in recognizing this (and growing up) is that I’m not wholly dependent on other people to get me what I want. We stopped doing “Christmas presents” several years ago — and it works. The thing is trying to figure out little things to make people to whom I actually do want to give tokens.

That shouldn’t be too much of a problem, with all the art supplies and papers I’ve got! There is always the issue of what to do with an overflow of finished art, as well.

Right now…I have really got to get some sleep, unfortunately! I got distracted during the middle of this post, and…my brain’s fuzzing out on me. 🙂 Because I took the meds close-to-on-time.

I really want to work on art, but at the same time I have about 2.5 weeks left of school to power through. I can wait that long, but maybe I shouldn’t.

Medication for Permanent Disability: med side effects are my current disease.

Alright, I’ve been scanning my archives for a while, tonight: I’ve had too much of school. And I’ve found it hard to do anything except schoolwork, eating, or sleeping. Well — besides reading, here. Records help.

I’ve been asleep for most of the day — it’s a pattern I’m familiar with from when I was not on Prozac. (I began the Prozac to try and fight the lethargy that is a side effect of an antianxiety/antidepressant medication, but the benefit in mood and wakefulness has been accompanied by slow, constant weight gain that I haven’t been able to reverse, so far.) If you haven’t been following the blog, this is my sixth week on a half-dose of Prozac — because I’ve finally said that this is enough.

At the same time I know that the tiredness is at least partially because I’ve been taking sedating medication at midnight instead of three hours earlier. I know this conks me out the entire next day; but it’s hard to take medication that you know will sedate you and may make you nonfunctional, four hours after you finally feel OK enough to get out of bed. From my calculations, it appears that sedation from my anti-anxiety drug starts 1.5 hours after it’s taken, and lasts for 15.5 more hours.

And actually, that looks pretty much…like my pattern.

I’ve been taking medication at midnight or around there, and not feeling wakeful until 4 or 5 PM the next day. That’s a total of 17 hours that are impacted.

I’ll try and take it at 9, though, and just see where it goes from there. If I go to bed at 10:30 PM…that is 1.5 hours before midnight, so I should be fully awake by 2 PM the next day…giving me about 9 hours of quality working time. (For the first 7, I’ll just be tired or asleep.)

Although I know I don’t actually need that much sleep; this is just the amount that my body wants to sleep on 150mg of the sedating medication.

That medication acts against anxiety…which is useful in my line of work, combined with my personal history and the patrons I have to deal with. It also keeps in check, a couple of phobias. There is the possibility of cutting the dose by 1/3, but I’m not sure that’s a particularly great option, at the moment. At least, I need to wait until the holidays are over: I don’t want to add to the yearly load of additional holiday Crisis appointments, if I don’t have to.

On the other hand, when I was on 200mg of this medication a night instead of 150…I missed so many doses that in practicality, I was on 150. And my sleep schedule was almost nonexistent. What I can say is that I was pretty heavily drugged, and not particularly on the right medication (which dates back to a prescribing psychiatrist from high school whom I basically hated — I feel she worked in the Pediatric division because kids didn’t push back).

So yes…taking medication in half an hour (and keeping to the 9 PM schedule) should tell me whether I need to reduce that medication as well, in order to be functional during the day. There is a big difference between 100mg and 150mg; at the same time, I do still have issues with anxiety (which could ramp up into feeling threatened, which could ramp up into hostility, left unchecked. And I do have rage issues…which aren’t entirely the fault of the people who tap into them except they keep tapping).

I wonder if there are other antianxiety medications out there that do not have a side effect of sedation? Do I even still have a diagnosis (as versus a history) of “depression,” at all?

Or maybe I should just consult with my doctor and lower the sedating dose by 25mg, and see how I feel…after confirming or disproving that this stuff takes 17 hours to stop making me tired.

Gah. So I started writing to try and get my mind off school, and got diverted into self-care and mental health…though at least it was productive, a bit.

Right now, in one class all I have left is a presentation and Final Project (which I haven’t started, yet). In another class, I have a relatively simple assignment and a Final Project to work on (which is well underway). In my third class, I have a lecture and two readings which I should have done by now (that is, I’m behind again), and group work to do by tomorrow (which was scheduled for today, but I slept most of the day). Some of that work is already done, and I just need to review some readings to prepare for the morning.

The problem is not having done anything unnecessary, for what feels like the past week, and having to bribe myself to get out of bed with lures like chocolate. I need a break! But then, I feel guilty because I know that if I take a break, there’s probably something on which I’m falling behind.

I haven’t even been able to do reading which isn’t directly related to school, without being too tired to stay up to do it.

I’m also taking an extra unit in Spring semester, and am not sure how I’m going to hold all that together, if I’m having this much trouble with nine units. Then again…the vast majority of my work this semester is coming from ONE CLASS. I guess I’ve just got to hope that I don’t get more classes like that, in Spring; or something is going to have to give…whether it’s classes, work, or medication.

(I generally do not oversleep, off of medication; I’m normally an insomniac and get by with 4-6 hours of sleep a night.)

Yeah, I think…the medication stuff just needs testing and adjustment. And I can’t rely on Psychiatry to empathize on that point for me, because they aren’t the ones experiencing the effects (the best I got from them on the issue of constant sedation was, “fight it.” And I was like DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO EXPERIENCE THIS [though I didn’t say this]. And the answer, obviously, is “no,” because they aren’t on my medications, and they don’t know how hard it is to stay out of bed when every fiber of your being wants to be asleep. And if people tell you you can’t sleep, you just want to sit in the floor and cry to be allowed to sleep.)

Anyway, I should take the ******* medications, now.

Painting allows tighter color control than beadwork…

End of an era?

Tomorrow is the final session of one of the two annual bead shows I’ve attended. Although I did get today off of work (surprise!), and I did get one homework assignment done (surprise?), I still feel behind enough so that I don’t want to spend my time tomorrow buying beads…which I won’t, then, have the time to use.

I was initially drawn to beadwork because of being able to play with color combinations; unfortunately, though, the “consumerism” aspect of beadwork seems to have heightened recently, which is a bit of a turnoff. Even though there are a lot of really interesting new beads being put out right now (particularly two- and three-hole beads), there are some shapes I’m drawn to (much) more than others; and most of the places to buy beads, in general, have migrated to online format.

Growing up.

I also am feeling time pressures which weren’t there when I was stably working an 18-hour week and going to the Art program at a local Community College…grad school is much more intense than that. I’m kind of wondering if it’s going to be like this for the rest of my foreseeable life, you know: with a 40-hour work week?

For tomorrow, I have at least two readings to do (one of which is in-progress), a response post, something to listen to, a slew of forum responses (which I’m supposed to be moderating) and some group work; not to mention my weekly Web Design homework. It’s just…not looking pretty.

Not to mention that I still haven’t set a firm dividing line as to whether my Web Design Final project will be based on color dynamics; or Buddhism’s focus on impermanence, as applied to archives (and living/surviving in general).

The former is dependent on good daytime light quality for photos; the latter should be heavily based on introspection and study (ideally, also, meditation; but I get impatient, meditating. The problem is that it’s hard to grapple with existential topics and Buddhist concepts without being destabilized to the point of needing meditation).

But if I look at it, I’m not sure either of those topics are really well thought-out: I was kind of broadsided with the request for topics, because I hadn’t read ahead. I know the Buddhist topic will calm me, and I’ve had to pare down the content of the color dynamics outline so much that it no longer appears “fun.”

Most of the rest of this is a tangent where I’m exploring what content I might use with my Web Design project, re: Color Dynamics.

Add to the latter that I’m translating painter’s color (subtractive color) into digital photography (additive color) and then showing it in additive color.  It would be much simpler if I were working with an RGB (Red, Green, Blue: the colors that are projected from most computer monitors) color gamut, but I don’t entirely understand that model yet.

I’m not even working with CMYK (Printer’s colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, black [Key]) either; I’m working from a split-primary model…which will probably go over most of my reader’s heads, so I guess I should define it.

intense violet, orange, and green tones, bordered by the tones used to make them, and set in a hexagonal arrangement.

Basically, if you’re looking to make brilliant tones from which to mix all other colors (including muted colors and chromatic greys [greys with a hint of color]), there are two factors to take into consideration: masstone and overtone. Masstone is something which I don’t think was ever explained to me, but essentially I believe this is the basic color which is reflected. It’s not always easy to parse, especially with non-prismatic colors.

Prismatic colors…are bright, pure, vibrant colors, such as one would see from the rainbow projected by a prism. (The above color wheel was painted entirely in gouache, a.k.a. opaque watercolor, on cold-press watercolor paper.)

So, say, on the far left of the image above, those two colors both have a blue masstone. But they have different overtones. The upper blue is “Ultramarine Deep,” and has a violet overtone. The lower blue is “Intense Blue” (Phthalocyanine Blue), with a green overtone. It’s very subtle, especially in this photo: the Phthalo Blue was kind of shading itself, and I had applied it very intensely.

Ultramarine Deep mixed with Hansa Yellow Deep makes a dull olive green.

However, try mixing that shade of green with Hansa Yellow Deep (the dark, orange-leaning yellow just below the intense orange on the right) plus Ultramarine Deep. It turns into a dirty-olive mix, because you’re mixing a violet overtone with yellow, and an orange overtone with blue: violet and yellow are complementary colors, just as are orange and blue (they are across from each other on the color wheel, roughly reproduced in the first photo) and cancel each other out when mixed, meaning the entire mixture is dulled out.

If you want to mix an intense violet (which you can’t really tell I did in the above photo, because the violet is too dark and dense to be able to read as more than a purplish-near-black; violet has the darkest innate value [it is closest to black in its pure mixed form] of all colors), you need to mix a violet-leaning blue with a violet-leaning red. In this case, I mixed Permanent Rose Red with Ultramarine Deep.

Similarly, if you want a vibrant green, you want to mix a green-leaning blue with a green-leaning yellow; and for a vibrant orange, mix an orange-leaning red with an orange-leaning yellow. This is the easiest way to think about it, I’ve found.

This is because overtones matter, and they will either enhance or detract from your mixes — if you’re after those pure-looking tones. A lot of people aren’t, as without further mixing, they look very simple. In addition, there are tons more ways to mix your primary colors than I’ve shown above. They just all come out slightly muted, to very muted, to nearly-neutralized.

I figured this out by painting six color wheels with all possible “warm” and “cold” split-primary combinations with my set of primaries (which I should list on the site; I also haven’t defined “warm” and “cold”). This was just (surprise!) the most intense result, after having cut all of them apart and reassembled them.

But once you have the prismatic colors, you can then play around by mixing other colors, using them: mixing a little across the color wheel (which I didn’t define, and would need to) will mute them. Mixing hardcore across the color wheel will give you a chromatic grey. (Mixing to the side, e.g. green with orange…not sure.)

I just didn’t have the time to do that, this time.

Maybe I should do my final project on color…it just seems so…not-academic…

I get freedom, and I just…throw it away…WHY?

I just hate to have to deal with a neutral Web layout, when I otherwise have few limitations on color, except for usability purposes. For this project, I would have to make a relatively boring/very neutral layout in terms of color, because the background a color is seen against, alters the human perception of it (this is something put forward by Josef Albers, and in my perception, holds true). I should have some examples of this from my Color Dynamics portfolio; and even if not, it’s easy enough to reproduce on Photoshop.

I will also be getting very, very familiar with the <float> tag…

What I have been doing so far is utilizing one of the nearest topics to me, in order to populate my learning documents; and that is self-care. Buddhism isn’t far off from that, but neither is painting.

Maybe I just feel guilty that I’m working some fun into my assignments?

Gah…

General update:

Yesterday, I realized that when I am bored and not knowing what to do, I should likely fill that time with work so that when I do have an idea of what to do, I will have the time to do it.

Right now, I’ve only got about 15 minutes to my name; apologies for this post not being entirely well thought-out.

I was able to organize a good deal of the paper storm in my computer room.  I think there was stuff lying around in there that dated back to this time last year.  I also was able to reorganize the tall bookshelf in there, and moved a bunch of the New Agey/energy work stuff to a smaller bookshelf.

I had the idea to play around with watercolor paint…but couldn’t think of any subject matter, so I went back to my Web Design homework.  Accordingly, I’m almost entirely done with my readings, there.  I should be able to complete my homework for that class, early:  then I can focus on my other two classes for the rest of the weekend.

Also:  I keep learning things about how to write and lay out and organize Web pages which let me know that I’m not doing it in an optimal manner (though how could I, really, without knowing this information?).  I’m concerned that all this knowledge will slip past me; so I’m considering creating a book which will hold notes containing “best practices” which I find in my readings.  As far as I know…that will date back to this last Summer with my User Experience class.  (I don’t think any of that information goes farther back than that.)

I will also, soon, have to figure out what classes to take in Spring…but that’s not terribly urgent, at this point.

All right, I should sign off right about now…

Finally got caught up!

I’m caught up with my studies!  😀

Earlier tonight, I lay down in bed to warm up and didn’t get back up until about 9:30 PM, meaning that it’s very possible that I won’t be able to fall asleep until after 2 AM.  😛  Given that, I’ve decided to let myself have a break, and chill here with my anti-blue-light glasses.  Of course, I’m kind of fragmented at the moment (too much chocolate, and disorganized sleep), so I keep moving in and out of this room to talk with people.  🙂  And playing around with my SUPA-cheap sketchbook.  😉  (Which I have some idea how to use, now, thanks to a lecture by Bill Buxton!  Again, I’m shown the difference between Art and Design…)

I know that I really need to clean and reorganize my office, and then clean and reorganize my bedroom.  Both spaces are very cluttered.  Though I roughly know what is in each pile, I may not remember where they are after I put them away!

I also need to reorganize the shelves in my office (not to mention, my files — I suspect there is much in there which is unnecessary to keep, at this point; and many folders can be migrated there).  I have been keeping copies of my textbooks…and the collection is growing.  It’s starting to get me to think that I’ll need to move some of the more esoteric stuff onto another shelf.  And I’m sure the receipt litter will get to me when things are mostly clear.

What’s really striking me, though…is that I’m really enjoying my Web Design and Web Usability classes, and have been able to cross-fertilize that with my Digital Archives class.  Not to mention, I’m fairly certain that keeping up this blog has prepared me for writing with relative ease, when I need to.  The difficult part of that is editing my copy down to something others won’t be too intimidated to read.  🙂  (I recently wrote 2+ single-spaced pages for an assignment on which most people spent two or three paragraphs.  No one commented; this is likely because no one read it.)  😛

Classes for next semester aren’t set for me yet, though I have some idea of what I’ll need to take if I want to be a competent Librarian, in addition to having Digital proficiencies.

Kind of a pain around this, though, is that I get the sense that one is never fully prepared to take on a new job when dealing with cutting-edge technology.  It seems there’s always something new to learn…not that this conflicts with my tendencies, but when foundational/recommended classes are changed out from under you, it’s kind of annoying.  (What would people graduating this semester in tech-heavy specializations feel, I wonder, knowing that people who came in later will learn something they won’t?)

It’s all relative, isn’t it?  Maybe I shouldn’t be too upset, and just plan on continuing education.  I did enter the program quite a while ago, after all…

The thing I had been upset about:  one class which has been recommended to newer admits into the program is inaccessible if one needs financial aid from the State to cover tuition and fees.  It just isn’t given to people who don’t have independent sources of cash.

I already have two classes lined up for next Summer (when the rules are different and I can take classes from this category); and they’ll likely be kickers.  I don’t think I’ll have the time to take a third (and still stay employed)…although I might be able to swing it in the Summer after graduation, before I’m too settled in a permanent job.

I do need to be thinking ahead to employment, though.  There is some more material I may have to give, here, but it’s on sketching and Design (quick/dirty/fast/iterative), and I’m not sure I can articulate it at this hour.

And then there are books…which I check out from the Library and then don’t read, because I’m too busy working through classes.  The nihongo-learning ones and the sewing one…I might be tempted by, but I am realistically not sure how much time I’ll have for either Japanese-language acquisition or sewing, until the start of Winter Break.

Well, I guess it isn’t as though I’m wasting my time.

I think the brain-fog is hitting me, so I’ll sign off, now…just a note, though:  I haven’t been able to keep to the schedule I’ve talked about recently, and still get my work done.  It’s ideal, and it works when I’m not busy…but I’m busy!