Wow. I didn’t know *that* was in there…

Let’s see…tonight I was able to submit another segment of my Culminating Experience requirement. Last night, I submitted my paper for Collection Development, meaning I’m probably not going to have a problem with that class. I only have one more big assignment, there.

Time is ticking down for my remaining essays: I have 2.5 weeks to complete 5 essays, plus one which is mostly-done, and two more which are my Philosophy and Conclusion essays, which I’ve already put serious work into; those two shouldn’t be hard. Right now, I’m pushing myself to give myself a break. Although, maybe I shouldn’t be.

There is still some study to be done to keep up with Collection Development, though it should be fairly straightforward, as compared to the more free-form (but still scaffolded) Culminating Experience stuff.

Luckily, writing isn’t too difficult for me, and I work relatively well under pressure (unless the task is just straight-up too difficult and sheer, due to multiple hidden tasks; then I just freak out and freeze, as started to happen before I got an extension on my last assignment).

If I reach a time in the near future where I want to work but can’t think in words, I can assemble the skeletons and scaffolding of my last six essays — or, the five which need it, I guess. It does take time. That’s the hardest part: trying to estimate how long it will take, and hoping that I’ll have the capacity to do the type of work I’ll need to do at the time I’ll need to do it.

The only way I’ll get into trouble is if I have to do hidden research for one or more essays, but I think I’ll be OK.

Well, there’s that. It’s pretty well-settled. I…am wondering if it is a good idea to go out, soon; or stay in, listen to my lecture, and basically catch up on the Collection Development material (which isn’t really, “catching up,” if I’m not behind, yet). Not to mention that I can look over the voting guides.

I think it would be easier on me to stay home tomorrow, actually, rather than going out when I don’t have to.

What was interesting, was investigating my college, the other day, and realizing that they have a pretty sizable Art budget. That, in turn, gets me thinking about going back to Art classes, or Computer Science classes, and the possibility of an MFA…and if an MFA, whether to do that in Web Design, or Studio Arts…and if Studio Arts, what do I plan to do with that? If Web Design, is that broad enough to do what I want?

I think it is an okay thing, right now, to really…start looking beyond the next two months. I know that December should see a lot of tension being released. January should see me beginning to look for new jobs…and getting back in touch with who I actually am.

I’m looking to be employed for at least 20-30 hours a week in my next job, which may be a Library Assistant or Librarian position, a combination of my current job with an internship, or a non-Library job.

If I don’t get any of this, I may start doing things like pulling prints or otherwise working creatively, and selling the results of that in my spare time (though as I’ve said before, I’m not entirely all that hot on Etsy, at the moment — I might want to find an alternative vending platform).

There is a third route, but I’d rather not do it, at least immediately (take Intro to Computer Science, and a one-unit class). I also need to learn Javascript, especially if I want to work in Technical Services.

And then…there is a story idea that I’ve had, which I’m not sure is related to dystopia or utopia, which goes into what might happen if the state of culture changes so that, in the majority, we decided to avoid irrational thought. A lot of things would go, including much of culture and religion; and I’m not sure what would replace them. I’m…curious about that problem, and kind of want to work it out on my own, to see where it would go. The thing is, even rational thought, based on false premises, leads to statements that aren’t true.

It does seem to be a timely idea, and it’s one I had to turn the TV off to remember, which means it’s good I’m writing it down somewhere, because just telling people about it, barely helped me recollect it.

As for whether I’m good enough at drawing to make it into a graphic novel or series, I’m not sure…but maybe that’s not the point. It doesn’t make sense to make something into a visual form, when there is no need to do so. I’m better at the written word, anyway; and one of the reasons I got into Art was because I was getting to the point with literature, of being able to actually say things that mattered, and I was afraid to do so.

Yeah, and…I’m thinking about another dream I had, which challenged my previous conception of a couple of characters I’ve had, from way back. That dream was seriously adult-themed, though; I mean, it might even set people with trauma, off. (By, “adult,” I mean that you need a moral grounding to be able to comprehend it and not take the situation as acceptable.) I’m not sure if I should write it…but it might help. It might help me get beyond it, that is.

On top of that, we got a new book in at the Library about Critical Thinking, which I want to read, but am somewhat concerned that I’ll have to challenge the book to successfully get through it. I’m not sure if the author is intentionally doing mind-trips to make their readers think, that is, and I won’t have the extra time or energy to try and puzzle it out, before December.

What’s kind of crazy (in the colloquial sense [like “crazy” is ever non-colloquial]) is that if I get back into literature and decide that’s where I want to be, a Public Library setting would feed me, by surrounding me with literature. If I get into Art and want to be an Art Librarian (subject specialist) in a University setting, then I might well need an MA or MFA in an Art-related field.

(The thing is, do I like Art well enough to do that?)

But maybe what I need to get used to, is being okay with expression? Or unafraid to express things, maybe I should say. It’s that which got me into writing, in the first place…I could write things I couldn’t or wouldn’t talk about. (That’s also what got me onto the Web, which relatively freaks out some people.)

And I guess I do, now, have the life experience to kind of know what I’m talking about when I write, which I didn’t, fresh out of undergraduate training.

Yeah… maybe I’ll go back and give writing a shot! It doesn’t cost a lot in anything but time (and maybe, books). On top of that, I know a bit of coding, and can look up the schema used to encode Kindle books, which I could then, self-publish. Or…I could try and publish through a traditional venue, with a BA in Creative Writing and a Master’s in Library and Information Science under my belt…

Hmm. Gotta do the writing, first!

(And I can go back to school for an MFA in Fiction, if I want…it’s a terminal degree, though. But I would be able to teach, then [as well as work in Publishing], and I would be very well-prepared [formally, at least] to be a subject specialist in Fiction writing…)

It makes sense, though, that if I want to really publish, I need to be reading: yesterday, if not sooner. Maybe I could line some stuff up for January?

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Recovering.

Right now, I’m just writing so I’m not in bed. For the past four days, I’ve been dealing with food poisoning (and the course of recovering from food poisoning). This morning when I weighed myself, I had lost almost five pounds — though I’m not sure how much of that is due to dehydration and how much is because, until about 24 hours ago, I couldn’t digest food.

I was going back and forth between writing this out by hand, and writing this out online…I guess you can see which won out. I intended to journal last night and ended up dropping off to sleep by accident — twice!

Last night was a little worrisome, too. Because I couldn’t keep anything in, I hadn’t taken my regular medication. So when I realized I had double vision at about 8:30 PM, I didn’t know if it was from dehydration, lack of food, reading things too close for too long, electrolyte imbalance, or withdrawal. I took medication early last night and tried to drink as much water as I could, and it did self-resolve (thankfully).

I also realized that the wedge pillow I got to do computer work in bed, also works really well to allow me to read in bed, and to prevent me from experiencing what might be the beginnings of sleep apnea. (I think I’m snoring, that is, and I think the snoring is leading to anxiety while asleep, about not being able to breathe — though that might better be categorized as a panic attack.)

So basically…Tuesday night I started feeling sick, and Wednesday was just a wash. If I hadn’t taken the time off of work previously, I would have been (seriously) sick at work. Yesterday, I did manage to work on my homework for Collection Development (the Prof finally put up the correct link, and I read through the assigned chapter). Nothing much else has happened, except I realized how much of Intro to Marketing I had forgotten, while reading about Marketing. (I need to rework that section of my ePortfolio.)

Except — I did start reading in this book I got a while ago, called The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web is Changing What We Read and How We Think, by Eli Pariser. I think it was copyrighted in 2011, and it’s regarding the Web, so I’m kind of surprised it’s still accurate. It’s about how Web search algorithms have been designed to show us what it predicts we’ll want to read, and how that isolates us from ideas outside of that.

Immediately when I was reading it, I started thinking about the widening political rifts going on in my own country, and how much of it may be due to people never being exposed to ideas outside of what they already think. I’m pretty sure Pariser isn’t saying we should stop using the Internet, but rather as with any form of technology, we need to be aware of the hazards inherent in how it works (which are largely hidden from us, and the workings of which, none of us entirely understand).

And yes, I do want to get back to my art, but it looks like I’ll need to be working on completing this degree for about the next month, pretty seriously. I’m just glad I’m not drowning in assignments, yet.

I’m also glad I allocated myself enough time that I could just forget about my work for a day, and it’s probably going to be all right.

For the rest of today…I should get on finishing my other two readings. One of them is 53 pages long, so I doubt I’ll get much else, done. Tomorrow, unless I get sick again, I should be going in to work. Then there is a Discussion Post to do, and the rest of that time — unless I start working on my Collection Development paper early, I should be able to work on my ePortfolio.

Distracting myself from the anxiety.

I have work to do, but I also need to get my mind off of school, for a bit. And yes, I am only several days into the semester, so maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. But I’ve realized that I will have to develop about two or more sections of my ePortfolio every week, if I want to get done in eight weeks.

It is work, though. Not kidding.

I should probably set up some times to work on this stuff, and just make it like a job.


Aside from that…there’s a lot I could do (besides going back to bed, which is a typical temptation when my anxiety is up like this). The major thing…is laundry, but that is probably not as pressing as I feel it is. I did take a shower, which I’ve needed since yesterday (and didn’t want to do, then).

I’m not sure what to do. I just know what I don’t want to do. Which is, basically, anything that matters…and I’m not entirely sure, why.

I’ve found that reading can alleviate my anxiety when I feel like this. It doesn’t mean I really want that right now, though.

So much of what I’ve been doing and what I have to do, depends on electronics and reading and writing. It doesn’t help that there’s actual life that interferes. There has been a lot going on, not all of it planned. Most of it unplanned, let’s say; and some of it, urgent.

Like the refrigerator suddenly not working: it’s now replaced, but not having one has been a major disturbance for the last week. And the dystonia thing, which prompted an urgent doctor’s visit. And there’s Hurricane Lane affecting Hawaii, which impacts family. Then it’s rather obvious that classes just started up again (though that could have been planned for), and family visitations (which also could have been planned for). Plus sleep disturbances.

The thing is that with myself now being technically disabled, I’m not sure anymore what my capacity for work actually is. Not to mention that this is the culmination of my Master’s program, and Master’s level work is more difficult than both upper-division undergraduate, and community college, work.

On the other hand, it’s not difficult work once I actually start to do it. The major issue I’m having now is probably being psyched out. And having my instructions scattered in so many directions that it’s difficult to know what I’m doing. I did just find my printouts, though…and my notebook.

And I suppose the upshot to getting my ePortfolio work done is that I then don’t have to deal with it, anymore. Like, ever.

The major thing I don’t want to do is read back through my archives…or write to a format. It’s tiring. But, I can do it.

I think that’s long enough, for this entry. I’m not sure whether to work on my ePortfolio now, or do something that has nothing to do with reading, writing, or research.

And I think I’ll just get my hair trimmed and straightened, for now. No reason to stress myself out with a drastic hair change, on top of this…

I should also hold off on the Japanese language review. It’s too much energy to expend, that can wait for 14 weeks.

Inspired, after a trip to Japantown.

It’s been a few days since I’ve written, but with good reason. I had to take some time off to reconnect with physicality. I thought that if I wasn’t going to be actively working, I should be actively resting, so I put some time into re-learning how to knit. Tomorrow, I’ll be going in to pick up some multicolored solid fabrics on which to practice more needlework (specifically, embroidery).

I guess if it’s just to unwind and have fun (and do something I actually want to do, or self-soothe using fine motor movements), it doesn’t have to be marketable.

I also, today, just got off of coming from Japantown…where I got the first fountain pen I ever bought for myself. It’s a Pilot Metropolitan (Fine nib) with Iroshizuku ink. I’m pretty sure the ink is some kind of Phthalocyanine color, because I stained my hands filling it (It’s a familiar problem), and fountain pen inks are known for being highly water-soluble. (Solubility may be a different variable than staining, though.)

But the set is…really nice. I found that the Pilot CON-40 converters work with the Metropolitan, so I’m using that instead of the little squeezy converter that came with the pen.

I also found a number of craft books, and remembered why it was that I wanted to learn Japanese in the first place: It’s tough going into Japanese bookstores and not being able to read over half the titles! Anime and manga were just a start: there’s just so much I don’t know, and I want to read it!

I’m also to the point where I recognize certain kanji even if I don’t know what they sound like or signify — and I’m up to the point of being able to get a gist of the meaning of snippets of speech, even though I haven’t been taught all the rules of grammar, technically. I’ve also started reversing the speech in English-dubbed anime to try and figure out what the original speech might have been.

Also, I now have a nice pen…with bottled ink…and a point fine enough to write some decently complicated kanji. And I will have to use that pen, in order to keep it in working condition. (I’ll also need to clean it at least once a month, I think.) I picked up a dotted journal so that I could have some help in writing Japanese. I’ve started reviewing this, in hopes of continuing hardcore.

I’m thinking that if reading English has become so easy as to no longer feel magical, learning another language could disrupt that…until I become highly proficient and fluent. It would also allow access to a different culture (I need this — I mean, I really think I do), which happens to be one half of my diaspora.

In the future, if I had a background in Japanese language (and culture), learning Korean or a version of Chinese could be a second step (and both of those, interest me). Then, if I wanted to work in an East Asian library, I could take a second Master’s in Japanese Languages and Literatures. After I build my skills with kanji and get up to fluency, that is.

There may be a terribly high number of individual kanji to, “memorize,” but each of those kanji are often made of individual radicals in unique combination…and I commonly see the same set of radicals used over and over again. So the different-appearing ones, stand out and should be relatively easy to memorize. And even without memorization, context helps a lot in deciphering what the meaning could be.

Or — after learning Japanese — I could head towards a different region of the world, and learn something like Hindi. I’ve checked this out before, because of Devanagari script’s similarity in appearance to Sanskrit. I got curious about Sanskrit because of my interest in Buddhism, though at this point I don’t think Buddhism is particularly, “true,” especially where it comes to the existence of a personal essence. This is a place where it significantly departs from Hindu beliefs.

I also am interested in the latter, which in turn are kind of tough to learn about without some knowledge of Hindi; at least, some key terms, which in turn — if it’s anything like Japanese — are likely tied to cultural aspects which I’m not fully familiar with. (Diwali is an obvious example, topmost in my mind.)

My first dotted journal went to become a Bullet Journal (which I need to start up again as soon as I possibly can: I need to set up a timeline to get the e-Portfolio done), and the second went to become my travel notebook (basically, what I use whenever I need to write, on-the-go, and have no other paper: it’s pretty torn up, right now).

With classes starting shortly, one of the notebooks I purchased today will be for my ePortfolio notes and writings, and the other will go to Collection Management, which is my final normal class. I think I’ll use the cheap Kraft-paper covered notebook, for the latter. The new one is just too nice not to use it for my portfolio. And it will be speshul. Just for that. The cover matches the color of the ink in my new pen.

What’s cool, too, is that a family friend has offered to teach me Japanese! So if I really need a conversation partner, I have one (who is a native speaker) waiting for me. Since my interests do lie, largely, in culture — arts, writing, spirituality, stuff like that — actually, learning a new language and new customs does seem like a good fit.

If I went after that and became multilingual in languages of cultures I’m interested in; reading — I wouldn’t say it would be a, “piece of cake,” but it would become very interesting! Much moreso than if I stayed confined to just English!

If I did that, I might not mind living in Hawaii, because I’d have plenty of opportunity to learn and practice Japanese language. If I knew that, travel to other places on the Pacific Rim become possible (and possibly, likely).

Anyhow, that’s kind of…a lot. I’ve only got about four months of this stuff with being an Aide and in classes, left: if, that is, I do my work. I don’t have too much further to go, where it comes to the Library Science program. I’ve just got to self-motivate, which I think will be easier if I let myself not do and not┬áthink about some of this stuff, for a while. That is, I need to be active in my rest, like I’m active in my work. Not just sleeping and glazed-over in front of the computer, because that isn’t really rest, when it comes to this!

Planning possibilities for time — Fall 2018

My sleep pattern is still messed up from Las Vegas. I took a 7-hour nap, today. I also did a little bit of research, given that Fall registration closes, shortly: I would rather not take an internship this next semester, given that one of the more likely positions I would take, had an application deadline which passed 5 months ago.

I also checked for internships in the place we’re thinking of moving to; none of those are any longer open. There is the possibility of working within my own system…but it’s quite far away.

M also says I should be working on graduating. I’m thinking that it’s possible that I will need to schedule time to work on my ePortfolio and stick to it, like a job. Because it is, basically, preparation for a job. From M-F, I should be putting in at least 2 hours, a day, for a total of 10 hours, a week.

I think if I have a scheduled time to stop, it will be easier to commit to starting. Right now what I’ve been doing is checking things online every so often, as they arise. I did drop the class which would have been my third for Fall, yesterday. This means I’ll only have Collection Development, my ePortfolio project, and a possible change of jobs to deal with, for Fall.

I’m also thinking about what I want to put my time, into. I do want to get back to studying nihongo (Japanese language), and it seems my time online might be better spent, learning Web Programming…though the latter isn’t that appealing right now, obviously. I just want to give it another shot, after Fundamentals of Programming: I have a feeling online tutorials might be better than that class was.

Aside from that…obviously, there’s a lot I could do and a limited amount of time in which to do it. Beadwork is what I want to do most immediately, after having spent so long trying to avoid it. Then sewing skills could allow me to make and alter my own clothes, which will be useful. I still have the toile (muslin trial) of that Folkwear monpe (field pant) pattern, to work on. (I’ve stopped because I’ve realized that doing the whole thing by hand is inefficient, especially on long straight seams; I’m not as comfortable with the sewing machine.)

On the other hand, making images would help a lot where it comes to Web Publishing. I can see printmaking, painting, and drawing being helpful, for that. I might want to deal with CGI for that, as well; though regardless, I’ll be using an image editor. I’m just kind of happy about having a Pen Tool — but I haven’t used it, yet.

And then there are the Graphic Design books that I do want to read…I just forget about them because I haven’t read books for anything other than school, in so long.

That’s about enough.

I’m getting a headache right now, although I do also feel a bit fatigued. Part of this is from not wearing corrective lenses. I know what the other part is from.

I think doing some reading on Graphic Design will help me figure out if I actually want to do it as a career or in addition to Web Development. It’s also a relatively passive activity, which may be what I need, at the moment.

Actual and Perceived; getting at truth

So…I found a book the other day at a bookstore, which I checked out from my library a long time ago. I was given the choice to buy it, but figured I would take another look at the free copy before investing the $15.

This book is The Sixth Extinction, by Elisabeth Kolbert. It’s written in a style similar to another book I own, Savage Dreams, by Rebecca Solnit. Both of these books, like The Midnight Disease, by Alice Flaherty, could be classified as creative nonfiction. That is, they’re writing about things that actually exist, but in a way that is accessible, and which sounds a bit personal. It’s kind of similar to Evolution’s Rainbow, by Joan Roughgarden, in that way.

(And yeah, I’m looking at this now and noticing that all of these writers are female.)

I’m thinking that when a person cares enough about an issue — especially if the work is a labor of love rather than contract — it’s becoming more accepted to write in a style acknowledging one’s investment.

As for how any of this applies to me, I’m thinking that this style of creative nonfiction could be a really good niche for my style of writing. What I wrote the other day, here, (which I’ve set to Private for now), I realized later, could have passed for either reality-based fiction, or embellished nonfiction (when I say “embellished,” I mean that I have chosen a path out of a presently ambiguous situation which may not endure. It’s something one does in fiction, but which can damage one in life). Which, I suppose, is appropriate when it’s difficult to separate the actual from the perceived. Expressing that difficulty and finding someplace to rest, is an extremely strong element in my work.

Speaking of which, I’ve also been putting some of my artwork into frames. In one piece in particular…I find a way forward out of clear realism or total imagination. I think I posted this one a while back, though I disliked it at the time, and I don’t think I showed it in my final portfolio. Let me find it again…

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Fire — cleansing, shaping, life-giving, destroying.

Alright, it’s to the left, there. Apologies for the watermark; this was originally posted a while ago (likely Spring 2016, when I was ending my AA in Art).

This also looks like a work-in-progress, as I hadn’t yet untaped it from the Masonite which was holding it flat.

Anyway, you can probably see what I’m about to mention, already.

In this piece, there are multiple overlays of different elements, some of which look as though they could plausibly be resting in 3-D space, and some of which are flat and 2-D. They appear to be overlaid on top of the 3-D image.

That’s not a mistake. I had been looking for a way to combine the psychological and the representational. The gryphon is something which had special significance to me, as did the incense, the orb, the pinecone, and the acrylic, “gems.” In a way this piece is really metaphysical, kind of overblowing it in that way. Not to mention that the majority of these symbols are personal, which I wouldn’t expect anyone but myself, to understand.

In particular, that orb, the pinecone, and the gryphon are things that I have recognized in the past as important, but which I haven’t perceived as totally harmless. They’re things that I am aware of and find beauty in, though.

If I go any further into this, I may reveal too much about my mental state (then or now); but I’m just noting it as an example — to myself — as a way to move forward. If I did unpack the symbolism of all of these, visually, I could make a series. The problem is that it might be a disturbing series…the content of which, I may not want to touch (I don’t anymore have the mental state that inspired this symbolism).

In any case…I’m thinking back to my freshman class at University where we read, I, Rigoberta Menchu, and discussed whether it was actually biography or not (the author cobbled together a bunch of other peoples’ stories and presented them all as — when viewed by the general reader — her own. But it was normal and accepted in her culture for her to tell these stories and claim ownership of them, as the people these stories had happened to were members of her community, and she identified with them).

The largest issue I have with writing is finding a way to tell the truth, especially when some people whose stories I know, don’t want that. And…yeah, sometimes expressing an emotion truthfully, does mean that the means of expressing it, may not be literally true.

Probably, I should back off of this and get some rest. Maybe tomorrow I can write, or something. I still need to finish my work for Programming, too…and maybe I should just try and get it done as soon as I can, and not rely on the deadline.

Going through the bookshelves…

I mentioned recently that I needed to go through my bookshelves to do what in the Library field is called, “weeding.” That is, going through books to determine which to get rid of (when shelf space is at a premium).

The bright side of this is that now I’m more interested in reading — specifically, fiction — again. I have 7 novels which I haven’t read but which are on my shelves, and 9 literary magazine issues or lit mag compilations. The lit mags are less intimidating in that they’re just little chunks of writing, not requiring a large commitment of time or energy to one author.

As well, there are some names in there that I recognize from my undergraduate work, and at least one which I recognize from my current Master’s program.

I know that it will be much easier to write creatively again if I resume reading creative work. Not just metaphysics or philosophy or religion; and not just, “Writers on Writing,” stuff; but things that will inspire me to write my own stories again (and possibly new ones, instead of the constantly evolving novella in my head). What I can see from what I’ve set aside (at one time) to read is that I’m very interested in science fiction…which somewhat surprises me. A little.

I would list some semblance of the organization of my shelves, but the order isn’t perfect, and looking at my books does give some insight into my interests (which I’d rather not fully reveal). I do have a lot of books I can get rid of, though, and more to explore, without dealing with the germs on library books (which is the major reason I buy copies for myself).

And…yeah, dealing with the religion thing, as I mentioned elsewhere earlier tonight…I’m not entirely certain what I’m doing with that now, but I know I’m basically in a fluid spot. I’d likely need to read more to narrow down what I’m actually thinking, as versus viewing the collection gained as a result of my curiosity.

The odd thing is circling back around to this. As creative pursuits go, writing is very inexpensive. Distributing it is something else; getting paid for it is another thing, entirely.

But I guess, hey, when you’re in the information industry…it might be a predictable offshoot.