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.

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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 think 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.

Too many thoughts…

I’ve been going through backposts…and pondering what I have to do.  Classes restart in a few days, and I need to (re)start assembling my portfolio for graduation. I need to clean my office and pick up a notebook for Summer (tomorrow). I’m not sure yet if I’ll need another jump drive, or if I can recycle one — or how many of them are corrupted, for that matter.

A new shift at work has cropped up, but I’m not certain I should take it on at this point. I think right now I’m staffing 15 hours; 19 is the most I can legally cover. The class I’m taking for Summer is one unit over one month…I’m honestly not sure how much work that’s going to entail. Normally, it would be three hours a week if it were a full-length class, but somehow I don’t think it’s going to be that easy.

I’ve also been looking around, and have realized that a higher-paying Aide position or a Library Assistant position is the next logical step up, for me — if I want to ease (as versus leap) into Librarianship. Looking for a new job in earnest doesn’t have to start until next year, after graduation.

I need to keep building the portfolio to graduate, foremost in my mind. (I can figure out employment after I actually have the degree.) That means cataloging some classes, likely producing some local HTML to map out what I might want to include, and starting to categorize and weigh evidence.

And my Learning Management System is being a butt. I’m glad I’m about to graduate.

As for things I want but don’t have to do…I’m thinking about picking up some flowers to draw and/or paint from life, possibly with gouache — just to see what it looks like. I also have the toile for the field pants going; easy to work on. Both of these may be a bit scary (but rewarding), though.

I’ve decided to hold steady at 14 gauge (14g) for my earrings, although I did lose — and find — one for the first time, yesterday. (I’m still under 12g.) I’m not sure if this means I should get new 14g earrings plus some clear O-rings, or what. But I’m back to captive-ball rings, for now, because they can’t fall out. I’m not entirely sure how my piercings loosened up, but I’m about to blame sleeping with my earrings in, plus maturity of the piercings.

Also…because I’m working more, that’s helping with some of the cost of this. I did almost forget to mention that I recently found three books on Japanese aesthetics, none of which I’ve delved deeply into, yet. But if I get too intimidated to paint or sew, I can read. Reading’s easy.

I also recently looked back into my PHP book. You know. The one I forgot I had.

There’s got to be some way to organize this that makes sense, but I’m not sure what it is, yet.

 

Work-life balance swings back toward work…

I need to clean this office up, so freaking bad.

I got back to schoolwork, recently. The semester hasn’t started yet, but I’ve been trying to catch up on reading I delayed in favor of Finals, for one of my classes. One of the librarians at my work said that reading it when I didn’t have to…left a good impression on her. I’m not sure anymore what the word was that she used (it “showed enthusiasm,” or something), but I thought it was a way to put a positive spin on it.

And…man, that reading is SO DULL. I was seriously falling asleep trying to read it.

I should probably go to bed sooner rather than later. I have to be up early, tomorrow, and may have shifts both Friday and Saturday. I had issues waking up, today, and even forgot to let the light in for my plant. 😦

Eh…too much free time isn’t a good thing for me…