Anticipation: one more thing to go…then, 2 weeks of (relative) freedom.

I wasn’t able to bring myself to do one of my readings earlier today, or tonight; what I was able to do, was get a lot more readings lined up so that I possibly do not have to do the one I printed out, the other day.  I’m looking at 10-12 papers to read, at about 12 pages each.  It’s not hard; it just requires focus and commitment.

I have been wanting to get these out of the way as soon as possible.  Because of that, I didn’t maintain a social commitment tonight, opting instead to stay home — where I had the possibility of working on my last assignment.  Unfortunately, reruns of Futurama are more entertaining than my readings!

*sigh*

Anyhow, I’ll try and get as much done tomorrow and the day after, as I can; even though I know that may only be six articles, total.  But basically, what I have to do is scan and/or read the articles and provide a 100-200 word commentary on each.  I’m going to try and get this done before Saturday, though I’m not sure how realistic a goal that is, at this point.  (It probably depends on what I choose to read and how deeply I choose to read it — scanning first is probably the best idea I’ve had.  Other than, that is, reading the introduction and conclusion of the paper, and first and last sentences of every paragraph, prior to scanning.  I may not have a clear idea of what these things are about, because I gathered them so quickly.)

I should probably also put the files on a flash drive and transfer them to my secondary computer so that I won’t have to worry about not having anything to read, if I get stuck somewhere after the funeral on Saturday — my little tablet lasts about 4-6 hours on a charge.  And I can take with me, the notebook I intended to use for Cataloging and then mostly didn’t — it will work for notations on the readings, which should help summarize them later.  It will probably be simpler than trying to compose notes in a word-processing program.

As for artwork…I drew a border for my relative’s funeral program.  It was nice to be able to do something with my hands, again, though it wasn’t under the best circumstances.  Right now, though, I’m anticipating that program being thrown out by near relatives (different from nuclear family) because of others’ desire for control.  What is positive is that I formed the page I worked on in Photoshop (I did what I thought I had to do and composed the front page as one flattened image, and so the cover is not editable unless it’s totally scrapped, or someone knows how to work with digital images, besides myself.  (Not betting on it.)

My grades are looking relatively good, considering.  I’m looking at a C+ in Cataloging (I PASSED!!!) and A’s or A-‘s in my other two classes.

Also…on Monday or later, I’m hoping to take a trip to the smaller art supply store near me (at least), to pick up some materials for linoleum block printing…which may make working through the grief, worth it.  I found my carving tools, and I was mistaken:  there are no burrs on my knives.  At least, not on the straight ones, or the large oval gouge.  This is good!  I will be able to see if I need to sharpen them, once I start cutting.

(Some of my spiral patterns, or the mon I designed, would make a good first project.)

One thing I’m unsure of, though, is how to make a method of image registration, so that I’m lining things up on my paper the way I want to — a relative necessity in duochrome (two-color) printing or above.  I’m not sure how to do this, yet, though April Vollmer’s Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop seems to briefly go over how this is/was done in Japanese woodblock printing.  I suppose I can see if I can adapt that to linocuts…though Japanese-style printing uses different basic materials than Western-style printing.  Still, though:  I only have four more days to get through in which I’ll have to deal with this last semester…I can make it.

Two weeks after that, my User Experience class starts up.  I took it in part because I wanted to do all the reading (as bizarre as that sounds).

I can also try and do some reading in library books, the two printmaking books I have, or my future textbooks, if I’m at a loss as to what to do.

And ah — right!  I wanted to get back on with learning Japanese language!  That should be fun!

Lest I forget, as well:  I need to back up my files to my Portfolio.  And maybe get a cloud storage account, or something.  I have what I can download, downloaded, and backed up; I need to work online for this other part, though — and I will not have a long time to do so.

I’ve been offered more hours, but really I’m not sure I want to take them — especially because I’m uncertain as to how much of a time commitment UX will be…and it’s rare to get two weeks off with minimal work.

Anyhow, I should likely get going.

I also want to get bocha, but I am not certain where that desire is coming from…I already have another kukicha; two others, in fact.  It’s just that drinking a twig infusion sounds rather earthy, I guess…

Maybe I can make a trip to the tea store in my two weeks off of school…

Anticipation: one more thing to go…then, 2 weeks of (relative) freedom.

There can be things more important than art, I guess…

I’m…not being sarcastic.  I’ve spent the majority of today working on academic projects and trying to catch up on my reading.  At the advice of M, I abandoned the latter effort, in order to work on what is due later today.

Accordingly, I have two projects halfway done:  a paper with eight pages more space allowed, and a metadata encoding crosswalk which I’ll need to use my human brain power to construct (there is a reason computers can’t do it).  Right now I don’t have the mental wherewithal to trust myself in dealing with anything I have to think about, so I’ve stopped, for the night.  I have a little less than 1.5 weeks to go before classes end…I didn’t know it was that urgent.

I should likely get to bed very soon:  I have less than 24 hours to finish all of this.  After that…there will be another test in Cataloging (which I’ve been neglecting the readings for), an oral presentation (which I may just have to work with trial-and-error to accomplish), and possibly one more thing due in Metadata.  After that, like it or not, the semester will be over…and I’ll need to be sure I’ve backed up all my work.

Today has been relatively hard.  I’ve just been trying to lead myself with small steps, like:  instead of going to bed, how about opening a document.  Amazingly, I did fall asleep earlier directly after drinking a pot of Jasmine tea (I was having a lot of trouble with being cold).  I am not entirely sure what’s going on, except that the recent death in the family has put me under stress that is causing my illness to flare.  I have, however, learned not to even try to read anything substantial in this situation when I’m among other people, or with the TV on in the same room.

There’s also a birthday party tomorrow, which I don’t think is a wise investment of my energy, at this point.

What I am thinking of is beginning to play around with linoleum block printing, and getting back to painting, once school is out.  (D even found a hidden brayer for inks.)  It’s been a really long time since I’ve devoted much time to my art…the exception being that night when I was messing around with the markers (I still haven’t figured out how my little designs are exactly working, yet…nor have I uploaded any of them).  There is also a lot of material which I want to read, which I don’t have time to read, because I have assignments to work on.  I have been playing around with different handwriting styles in the margins of my books, but I don’t know where that falls in.  😉

Enrollment for Fall is done.  Nine units, again:  D is apprehensive that I may be taking on too much.  I can see what I can cut out — right now my schedule includes both Foundational and Recommended courses (basically, everything I have a remote possibility of taking), but…even though there’s more I want to take, and even though it will cut down my Financial Aid, maybe I should take six units instead — and have time for myself.  If I do drop anything, it will likely be Digital Curation.  The other two classes (Web Design, Web Usability) are too important to me.

I’ve just checked my schedule, as well — I don’t even need to take three classes per semester.  I can get out with two and still graduate in Spring 2019 — or I can take three per semester and get out in Fall 2018.  I just won’t have the entire package of classes that was recommended…and there are some, like Linked Data, which look very interesting but which are likely too new or too temporary to be recommended.  As long as I fulfill my breadth requirements, I’m OK.

All right.  My brain is checking out as I’m sitting here — I’m going to brush my teeth and get some rest…and try not to be too hard on myself, tomorrow.

There can be things more important than art, I guess…

Wasting time…

…but mindfully wasting time…


Today I reacquainted myself with what has to be done over the weekend and into the future, for my classes.  I’ve decided to focus on Metadata and my Research class, as those are the two classes which actually have a graded project to turn in, before Monday.

Last night I realized something, as I recognized that I had wasted a good amount of the day in stasis.  I didn’t want to work on schoolwork, but I didn’t want to do anything else, either, or to go to bed; as best I can recall, I was bouncing between pages online, somewhat halfway-there, and trying to figure out if I had anything to write about.  I was aware that I had classwork to do, but I couldn’t bring myself to click on the link which would display my courses and the exact amount of work I would be expected to complete by Monday.

What I did do yesterday:  I did get my books organized; I did exercise; and from my realization, I allowed myself 30 minutes of time to play around with my sketching materials.  Of course, that overflowed into another 30 minutes of looking over past work, before bed.  The point I reached, though, was one of realization that I would not be any worse off by permitting myself a short and protracted time to do what I actually wanted to do, given that I then did what I should be doing for another protracted time — than I would be in wasting time online.

So I do have some drawings, now, though it’s mostly working out variants of a small…apparently simple?…design.  I say “apparently,” because there are elements in it which join up which I did not notice, at first, making the end design look like a modified Celtic knot (but with different areas emphasized and implied than the former).  In addition, when I tried deconstructing it, I got confused.  I’m still confused, quite frankly (I only spent an hour yesterday thinking about it), but if I play around with the idea more (on paper), I can probably figure out what I’m actually doing and how the design is actually working.

To get into the backstory behind my symbol obsessions — and why this symbol, in particular — would probably make me feel a bit vulnerable, although one of my past Art teachers did tell me I was in perfectly safe territory.  Right now I can say that I’m in the middle of playing with spirals, and fitting spirals into shapes other than circles (though the whole “quilling” metaphor…).

I’ve been into spirals for a while…it probably has to do with integrative work, like one thing building on a preexisting foundation, and the spiral widening as each new piece is added…like shells (which I didn’t associate with the “spiral” thing, until just now).  I’m trying to recall what state I was in when I started re-taking Art classes.  I’m not sure what level of integration I was working with.

Ah — I mentioned that word.

Yeah, I am probably not going to get into that, now.  Though there is a book that I’ve just started reading which has mentioned the possibility that creativity is a byproduct of the communication of the right and left hemispheres of the brain…and I know that portions of my mind are incredibly not integrated.  Granted, that is, that I’ve read that individual ego identity as one cohesive whole is an illusion (in all people), anyway.

And then there’s the fact that when I let one portion of my mind act through my body alone, I might as well be a different person with the same mainframe, or a disembodied soul (“potential” of the Infinite) exercising power over a living host.  Which happens to be the paradigm under which my writing makes the most sense, which is probably why I have such a tendency to trip out when I’m writing.

…hmm.

(Channeling and mediumship are things I’ve been interested in, in the past — back when I thought this was “real” and scary because of it [or maybe I should put it, “more spiritual than psychological”].  My experience feels real [even delusions, notably, seem real to the people who have them], but the ways in which it might be explained are not necessarily true.  My experience, because of its existence, does not make the paradigms which validate it more true:  it just means someone at some time, acknowledged that facet of human existence and incorporated it into the stories they told themselves and others, about the world.)

Maybe that’s what I was getting at.  Maybe I was just trying to express all of myself (“all of the Infinite”?) in my younger years, and I couldn’t do that anywhere I knew of, except within the Writing program.  (Of course, though, then I got out and wondered if I should have been an Art major, instead…or, later, a Japanese Language & Literature major…which would seem to both be selves with other desires.  Which were, obviously enough, blocked away from resources when they should not have been.)

Granted I’m talking about this now, but know that this is in fact not a clinical definition of schizophrenia.  Trust me:  I know.  I have had this conversation before.  With actual Psychiatry professionals.

I still haven’t found a way to overtly manage satisfying all parts of my brain, in a balanced manner; and, hey, maybe that’s the overarching theme of this blog?  Being both creative and rational in a society that over-values ration…(*laughs*)…

Okay, no, we don’t over-value rationality.  We overvalue mechanical thought, and lack of thought, where it makes the people easier to herd.  If we valued the trio of logic, rationality, and critical thought, politics would look a lot different; though perhaps that missing key is critical thought.

Though I would say that creativity is likely valued below rationality.  It’s certainly paid less.

In any case…I seem to have spiraled my way back to this point…and it’s fairly late, here.  I should be getting some rest…

And I should remember that I only have a little over three weeks to finish everything for school.  In less than a month, that is, I’ll be free…until Summer Session starts up.  )X

Before I go:  I tried the above method, along with timing my naps, to get up and back to homework, today.  It doesn’t work unless I have something I actually want to get up for.  The lure of doing homework doesn’t cut it…

Wasting time…

Yeah: getting out from in front of the computer

So, I ended up signing up for an LIS class, for Summer.  There’s a weird story behind it, but basically…I found out at 2 AM last night that I could register at 7 AM, and picked out a class.  When I got up…whenever I did (?) I was able to grab one of the three seats (out of 30-something) left in it.

DID I SAY “SERENDIPITY” LAST NIGHT, OR…

This class is on User Experience, which I hope will be engaging.  It’s also a 10-week class, so it shouldn’t be too compressed.  Why am I taking it?  Web Development is my aim after and if I attain the Master’s.  At least now, that much is clear; and UX should help with that aim.  At least, I’m hoping.  I don’t know the intricacies of the different job titles surrounding Web Publishing, yet.

In other arenas, I also forgot to take medication until 2 AM last night (I was reminded at 9 PM, but forgot), so I was fairly wiped out, today.  I did listen to two lectures today — er, yesterday — anyhow, and got a good survey of what needs to be done before next Monday (it just keeps coming).  The major problem is that I have days when I do a lot of schoolwork, and then days following where I don’t want to even think about schoolwork.  The dynamic then states that the work gets backed up and the cycle repeats (when, that is, I don’t miss an assignment entirely because I stubbornly refuse to acknowledge college at all — it wouldn’t be as possible at a traditional school).

It’s magnified as things are now because I do have one significant assignment to do (I can’t just let it slide like the Discussion post; it’s worth 15% of my grade), the material for which I’ve forgotten:  so I’ve just got to re-do some readings (these were readings I did in Hawaii, and I was so burnt out from Hawaii after getting back, that I couldn’t do the corresponding work on time [my brain was not functioning adequately.  I guess you could say it was off-balance]).

So today has mostly been spent in front of the computer — like yesterday — and I know that’s a recipe for depression.  I probably shouldn’t even be awake now; it will soon be 1 AM.  Because I seem to have cheated myself out of the relaxing art class I wanted to take during the Summer, I’m also now a little irritated with myself.  I have a couple of weeks to back out; but it was necessary to reserve a space in this class, if I wanted to take it.

My major issue is that on one hand, I have a limited amount of time to fit all this training in; on the other hand, I’m a bit…angry that I have to grow up?  Finishing the Art AA did give me a sense of completion; on the other hand, if I had dropped everything to re-enter the MLIS program as soon as I thought of it, I’d have a bit more wiggle room.  Right now I should be taking three classes per semester until graduation.  If I had started a semester prior, and worked through Summer Session, I would only have to take two.

I’m also a bit irritated that the Art degree seems relatively worthless, although I obviously invested in it and enjoyed it, and respected it.  I still respect it.  It’s just really…it feels not-right that Art can’t be a way of life.  My valuations and broader society’s valuations do not match; I might be wrong, but it seems like, at least in the U.S. — and at this point in history — the only thing that’s important is money.

Tonight I did do some reading in the book on mokuhanga — which might be interesting even if I don’t intend to make woodblock prints.  It’s much more specialized knowledge than I got from either of the books from the Honolulu Art Museum.  One of them in particular…it’s kind of like, “Japanese Art for People Who Know Nothing About Japan.”  But I didn’t have time to read that deeply into it, at the Museum.  It’s just weird that there’s this cultural divide where I can’t really see how a lot of the information in that book would be new to anyone.  But then, there are people who think that the only kind of ramen that exists, comes out of a $0.90 package.

Anyhow:  mokuhanga.  I’m not sure if the book is topical enough to my interests to buy (although it is indeed beautiful), but it would make a nice companion to Shin Hanga, depending on the content.  But then, why would I have it, if I wouldn’t use it?  (or is it just that I don’t actually want to mix rice-starch paste?)

Yeah…I’m a bit concerned about bugs eating the colors…

Right.  Anyway, I also did go looking through my (art) archives, if they can be called that — they haven’t really been organized.  I found my good markers, as well (the Copics, along with some Staedtler Lumocolor drawing pens).

So I was looking through that stuff and thinking back on what drew me away from fantasy storytelling:  there is a lot of work building up to a graphic novel project there, which was abandoned at one point or another, for reasons I can guess at, but which I don’t fully recall.  Chances are that I was thinking about it too much, or it was getting too real for me…or I realized just how big a workload it would be to write and draw a comic.  Or, it could be, I began medication and it quieted all of that.

I did want to say something about how I don’t know how learning works.  Particularly, reading.  I know that my life is a lot better in quality because I read, but that doesn’t mean that I know how information gets into my brain and stays there.  That, though…could just be me tripping out, like I trip out over being embodied, and why anything exists, and this.  I just don’t entirely “get” why or how language works.  I’m sure that studying XML may do that to a person, though.

So now I have some old drawings to work through — I’m not starting from zero, I had to remind myself.  Particularly interesting to me are the possibilities in abstraction, and what might happen if I use full value ranges (almost possible with markers, but not quite:  it’s hard to get a very “black” black, but I do have some jarred ink which may work…it’s also possible to use a carbon black watercolor, which I might try on hot-press watercolor paper and/or Bristol board).

I decided to hang back from the sumi ink and watercolors, for now…I’m going to try drawing again.  At least, that’s the plan.  (Even my Neocolor II and Prang drawings looked nicer than I remember them, but I’ll try and stick with dry media, for now.)  After that, I’ll work back into sumi and the soft-hair brushes, and then try watercolor again…maybe.

Maybe something will strike me, in the next two weeks…and cause me to maybe drop UX…it’s just that it seems so much like it was meant to be, though…

Yeah: getting out from in front of the computer

The attempt to relax…well, I did actually read for pleasure, today…

I’m not sure I’m going to make this post public, so if you’re seeing it, apparently I didn’t get into a bunch of…what I’ve been writing about previously, today (in a paper journal).  Yes yes, I can rant and curse all I want in a paper journal…

I have been having problems concentrating today.  Much of this, earlier, had to do with the fact that I was having so much internal “noise” that I could not focus on my (assigned) reading.  This isn’t literally stuff that I physically heard (i.e. hallucination); this is thinking about things that…had little to do with what I was trying to do, except for the fact that I was doing reading for the grad program and didn’t want to be, but felt I had to.  Then I started thinking about the idiocy that is one of my classes and how my standing in the program may be jeopardized by not sufficiently learning some outmoded obsolete overly complex archaic system from a person with his own issues…which I want to drop, by the way, but I’ve gotten Financial Aid, which kind of makes that a bit more complicated.

Anyway.  I’m trying not to think ahead to Fall.  I also have something to write…for which, I can consider this practice.  That is, it’s difficult for me to jump right in to answering questions in an essay format when I haven’t warmed up.  I suppose one can consider what I did earlier to be a warm-up, as well, but it feels different to write by hand, as versus to type.

In any case, M had me writing earlier to try and clear my head.  It worked to an extent — I did get seven pages out (I used a bold pen, so that’s double-spaced), though it doesn’t solve the problem (which should resolve itself in several weeks).

I also read through the text portion of Shin Hanga, which was a nice break.  The text is only Part I of the book; the second part is made entirely of reproductions of these woodblock prints and their associated metadata (artist, year, accession numbers, etc.).  Shin hanga were like an updated version of ukiyo-e, but not…the only branch to spring from that.  Sosaku hanga (“creative prints”) were another offshoot, with one person controlling the entire artistic process — whereas shin hanga and ukiyo-e more often were the result of team collaborations.

I found a webpage (from MIT) which goes over how woodblock prints were created — well, more than one, actually; I also found an article on bokashi at Wikipedia (that is, how color gradations were made in this form of printing, used extensively in the prints reproduced in the book Shin Hanga) — and it is very clearly…complicated.  Enough so to make one seriously consider digital printmaking.  I mean…really.  The prints had to be highly labor-intensive and exacting.

The possibility of, say, applying a color gradation in an outline…is possible in digital printmaking, and from my experience, I would say it is likely seriously easier than carving a negative of that linework and then applying a gradated ink wash to it and then lining it up and printing it.  On doing a Google search and then following a Pinterest link, I also found a link to the following blog post (by serendipityartist) on WordPress, from 2007.  This makes it seem less…unclear, but still, the author mentions needing to “season” the wood block and getting just the right amount of water mixed in to avoid artifacting…(I don’t know if that’s the right word when used with non-computer-generated art…)

M wanted me to write more, to clear my head further, but I found it essentially very peaceful to just look at the prints and try and analyze how they were working, from the viewpoints of color, line, and composition.  In this sense, the prints are very…sophisticated.  The reason I got the book, Shin Hanga, in the first place was to study composition:  a subject which is different depending on the cultural origin of one’s training.  I had found this first through the book Chinese Painting:  Techniques for Exquisite Watercolors, (excuse me while I shift back to a common form of title capitalization) by Lian Quan Zhen.  There are a couple of sections in that book, if I’m recalling right, about composition…which leads me to wonder if the compositions of some (or many) of the prints in Shin Hanga (the book) were invented or idealized, and not as they appeared in nature.

But that goes off on a fairly different avenue than what I’ve touched upon, tonight.

I think I’m about ready to start my essay, now…

The attempt to relax…well, I did actually read for pleasure, today…

Notes to myself

Alright, so…a few things.

One:  I have found that planning out work to be done on each day significantly helps.  What also helps is stating to myself, “I will get X and Y done tomorrow,” as versus “I hope to get X and Y done tomorrow.”  It’s a little difference in phrasing, but it makes a large difference as to my motivation and expectations of myself.  The latter phrasing more often than not, leads me to rest in bed instead of work.

Also, while I’m on this:  when I lie down during the daytime, now, it has helped very much to set a time as to when I’ll be okay with getting back up.  Usually I don’t fall asleep, so this helps set limits on rest, which allows me permission to rest but ensures I don’t waste too much daylight.

I’ve also realized that taking notes during lecture really, really helps.  When it comes to completing Discussion Posts on, say, two out of five readings and one out of three lectures, I can actually remember the lectures pretty well, if I’ve taken notes.  (And $1.50 notebooks from the dollar store are not inferior to the $7 notebooks from the office supply store!)  What I’ve found with the reading I’ve been doing is that, I think, just highlighting the text isn’t enough.  I’m thinking that it just doesn’t get into my brain as well, when I don’t write.

When I was in high school, I’m pretty sure, I would take notes on the readings, because the books weren’t mine to mark up.  It’s the same thing I’m doing with Research Methodologies, where I don’t own my book.  The other two classes, though…hmm.  It would take more time to take notes, and it might feel extraneous, but maybe it would help with recall when I have to do things like papers.  When I’ve taken notes, it’s like I’ve written things out beforehand once, already, and so I kind of know what I read and how to regurgitate it.  (It probably doesn’t hurt that I’ve been hardcore studying for Metadata for a while, now.)

As for my position in regard to my work:  I’m caught up with Cataloging, though there could still be some work in regard to the results of that.  I haven’t seen the new lecture posted yet, either.  I’m almost entirely caught up with Metadata, though I still have a Discussion Post which I haven’t done, and I’m not sure how long ago it was that I skipped it.  …Ah…I see now.  It was during the third module, and the (long) reading was in my textbook.  And right now I’m two weeks behind in Research Methodologies, but I have a break coming up to catch up with it, so it shouldn’t be too hard to re-sync.  The only irritation there is that my book is pretty gross because it’s a rental…

Otherwise…I had been on the fence as to whether to cut my hair off or not, given the fact that the cold season is ending, here.  I had wanted to take the bulk of it off, given that it is voluminous and unruly when it’s combed out and unbound; then I took a shower and deep-conditioned it, and it’s much more manageable.  (I was actually able to crush it down for the first time in months, without it being strawlike and stiff.)  I’ve got to remember that conditioner — and wet-styling, including combing things out with my fingers and conditioner in the shower — makes a world of difference.  I may get the damaged sections cut off soon, but I think I’ll try and hold on to most of it, so that I can eventually braid it.  The braid is coming sooner rather than later, it’s a sure thing.  😉

What I am still considering is the possibility of getting bangs cut…especially given that when I try and wear a mid-level or higher ponytail, it stresses my hairline (my hair is thick, dense, and heavy).  This means that the weight of my hair is pulling on my scalp so hard that it’s hurting the follicles right above my forehead.  If I do that too often, my hairline will recede (not to say it hasn’t already minorly recessed).

I also need to start wearing earrings again, if I want to retain my piercings…

I’ve also (re)started using a prescription medication for my face, but I’m going to try using it only once every two days, and see if it still irritates me to the point that I can’t use it.

Creatively, I haven’t been able to get much done in the past couple of days, though that’s understandable, given the circumstances.  I should probably try and schedule in play periods as well as work periods and rest periods.  What I’ve been doing is basically working all day at my schoolwork, but casually, so that if M needs me to do something or if I get hungry or thirsty, I can stop what I’m doing and take care of it.  I’m…not?…entirely certain that’s the best way to go about things, though, because that can lead to guilt about doing things that I obviously don’t have to do, but which I want to do.  It’s different when I obviously can’t work, then there’s no loss in doing something else; but when I’m fully functioning and I know it may be temporary, it’s hard to get away from the obligations.

And…the issue about being unable to write fiction without triggering myself…I need to bring up with someone, because I really do want to try making a webcomic, and I don’t necessarily want to make it epic or dark.  I understand I may have little choice about that, but maybe I can try not writing about my trauma, you know.

Of course, maybe it wouldn’t be trauma if I could avoid it…

One more thing, before I forget:  I did substantially better on the last Cataloging test than I did on the assignment right before it.  Although I made a lot of errors, still, they’re minor.  I’ve found that maybe I don’t have to give up entirely on becoming a Cataloger; however, I’m going to have to teach myself what I don’t know.  As for Digital Services…to be honest, I don’t have enough data to permanently aim myself down either track, right now.  I need to see what happens over the rest of this semester.  I should remember, though, that I do have a printout where I was comparing both paths, and if things happen next semester as I’ve planned, I should be taking two classes which apply to both tracks.

I honestly don’t know how that’s going to work out.  I feel like I’m just getting a taste of things, here — and I don’t even know if I’m using the right format to archive my work — and I don’t know who to ask about it…but, well, maybe…maybe it’s OK?

It would really be nice to know what I was doing…

Notes to myself

Ah, right. Tests necessitate review.

And…I didn’t really do that great of a job at taking notes on the Cataloging lectures; I just read and highlighted them.

Positive point:  I’ve made it through all the Metadata lectures, to date.  Now, for that class, I can focus on just the 1-2 Discussion Posts to complete.  I’ve also located the necessary lectures to answer the Cataloging test questions, and have labeled what I could label.  So this should help between now and Monday morning, when I’ll need to submit my answers.  I’ll want to review the sections in question tomorrow, after work.  This will free Sunday to do the actual answering (though I should make notes to help myself as I review).

(I forgot that there is a Help session I can watch, though I can do that — and maybe read the Dewey manual — after my lecture review.)

On Sunday, I should try and assemble my thoughts on the Discussion Prompt and then write out an answer and submit it.  If I get this out of the way first, I will have the rest of the day to refine my answers for the Cataloging test…on which I should aim for a high grade (that is, I should try and care about it).  Last time, I wasn’t aiming for a high grade, I was just trying to get it out of the way, and it showed.  I wasn’t betting on all grading being tougher because I’m in a Master’s program, but at least I avoided getting a 0 — which some people did get (I’m not going to get into the bizarre box-and-whisker graph which showed the grading statistics, but let’s just say the statistics broke the graph).

For reference, the grade was a reflection of the massive drama which is my Cataloging course.  I don’t want to get into it, but I will say that I got an extremely bad grade and my prior GPA was 3.7:  higher than normal for me, but I usually hover around 3.4-3.6.  Below 3.0, and I will get put on Academic Probation and kicked out if I then get a B- or below.

It doesn’t help when, out of self-protection, I start telling myself that my grade doesn’t matter because this situation is ******, because getting below a B average can get me kicked out of the program.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  It will require rethinking my career path if it happens, which is what I’m trying to avoid (though because of Metadata and the introduction to programming I’m getting, I’m now thinking of training in Web Design, and moving up from there.  It’s less lucrative, but it might be less bizarre, or a better fit).

So, I didn’t get any creative work done today, but I did get 5 lectures out of the way, and as such have significantly narrowed the gap where it comes to catching up.  I’m now only one Discussion Post behind in Metadata (I was freaking out so much about Cataloging that I got a week or more behind in my other classes — to say the least.  The stress triggered an episode of mental illness which I’m still recovering from, which for a couple of weeks prevented me from concentrating, which meant that I couldn’t comprehend what I was trying to read).

And yeah, being ****** at the Cataloging Professor isn’t going to really help me, here.  I’m in school for me.  I’m not there to let his issues obstruct my goals, although I know now that my past aim of becoming a Cataloger is laughable, so long as I train at this University and don’t go out of my way to learn elsewhere.  And as I’ve heard, there is another Professor teaching the same course who is even worse:  not in the manner of being unreliable, but in the manner of being cruel.

Anyhow, I don’t mean to stew, but I should record this somewhere.

I also have work, tomorrow.  I’m wondering if I really need to stay in my current position:  I feel like I’ve learned what I can, and that if I’m going to have to do customer service anyway, maybe I should look for additional experience that differs from what I’ve had to deal with for the last six years.  The sweet part of this job is the scheduling flexibility…but there are a lot of little irritations.

What’s ironic is that my vocational program may be holding me back from moving forward (by limiting my options and encouraging me to commit to something in which I had no prior experience), more than it is helping me.

And…now I’m just really angry again.  But it could be the illness.  Chemistry, you know.

Maybe I’ll try and do some art before bed, and see if it helps…

Ah, right. Tests necessitate review.