Trying not to spaz about assignments

OOOokay, people, I drank 1.5 pots of houjicha earlier tonight, and so I am not certain when I will sleep. 😛 By “pot,” I mean that I brewed the first set of tea leaves twice, and the second set once, when it became apparent that I had leached all the goodness out of the first batch. (I’m kind of amazed at the fact that the tea will still steep, even without boiling water…I just sprinkled the new tea into a pot of hot water, stirred it, and it worked.)

Right now I’m feeling okay and a little drowsy (I have been known to fall asleep right after drinking Jasmine green tea…and houjicha will probably have less caffeine in a standard dose, as about half of it is stems), and just took medication, so…if everything goes as normal, I should be conking out around midnight. Meaning, I should brush my teeth in an hour or so (11:15 PM), before I get too wiped out to even do that.

I did just get out of the shower — not sure how long my hair will take to dry, but I usually go to bed with it damp, in these circumstances. One wash with a conditioning shampoo, mostly at the roots, and a comb-through with a detangling comb and no conditioner, this time. I think it will be alright — it doesn’t feel dehydrated (yet).

I only got up around 1:30 PM today; I just checked my records. This is why I was after the tea; I was having a hard time (again) staying out of bed. It doesn’t help that when I’m sitting at my desk, which is a quiet (silent) and isolated place to work, my bed is right behind me. As for what I got done today…I finished the reading in my textbook which I mentioned last time, although it took me a number of hours to get through it. It’s amazing, because the reading was only about 15 pages long…I think this is the book that I had been complaining about, before. It’s just very dense and kind of difficult.

In any case, I can now view the lectures for Metadata, and complete the last Discussion Topic…which I think I may need to do before viewing the lectures. I’ve made a skeletal PowerPoint layout for my presentation on Sunday for Research Methodologies. I should probably reserve a time to do that, so I’m not forced to do it early. I can’t do it right now, though, unfortunately. I don’t know why, except they assumed we knew how to edit HTML.

Last night, I started in on my Quiz for Cataloging…that one is going to be more of a pain to get through (lots of essay questions, which are easier on me than technical questions — but still), but it’s the last thing I’ll have to do for that class. If I get 0 points on everything I’m not sure about, I’ll get a C in the course (apparently, 80% is a C in grad school). And like I said, come Monday, all I’ll have to do is the Annotated Bibliography, and I’ll have a full week to do that (though I want to get it done by Friday).

I am just hoping to do as best I can on the Cataloging Quiz, but I don’t think I can hope for better than a B (or an A-, if I stretch my imagination). The Discussion Topic is last priority, though it’s easy. The presentation won’t break me if I don’t do well; but I need to do it. The major nervousness about it is that it has to do with altering infrastructure as a means of actually being inclusive (as versus pushing “diversity” initiatives), which I wouldn’t think the people in the organization I’m abstractly referencing would welcome.

I think I am running in a cycle of overwork + burnout; like I do a lot of work one day and then don’t want to see it again for three days. I know I don’t have much farther to go, and that these due dates are hard due dates (or so I’m assuming). It’s just that I’m really tired of this semester and am wearing out, about now, and want to get on to the break like NOW. Or yesterday, preferably. I’ll try and keep going through Monday, and maybe that’s all I should focus on, right now.

That sounds good. And I’ll look at work tomorrow as a designated and sanctioned time to get my mind off of this. Another time would happen as I’m editing my family member’s funeral pamphlet. Couldn’t forget about that…

And yes, I am trying to single-space my sentences. How observant of you to notice! 😉 (I don’t know if it shows up at all, really; I’m just trying to break outdated habits which only made sense on typewriters…)

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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.

68 hours remaining…

…the good part, being that I finished two papers today and made good inroads on our Group project, of which there are three or four sections left to attend to.  There are two Quiz questions which I need to look up.  My Competency Paper still needs to be done.  And in Intellectual Freedom, I have one more Discussion topic to complete.

Sunday night, I have another group meeting.  I need to get on my Course Evaluations, and archive material into my Portfolio and onto my local device:  particularly, these final papers, and Discussion prompts.

Other than that, however…it’s looking a lot better than it did, yesterday.  I have Monday off, but it’s possible I won’t need the extra time.

I’ll put any remaining thoughts I have, into a separate post.  🙂

88 hours to go…ganbarou! (i.e. strive!)

Yes…I am tired.  Even after going to bed at 6:30 PM last night and waking after 12 PM today (though I don’t think I really got up until 2 PM).  I’m fairly certain that it’s a combination of the weather, and my immune system working hard to fight something off.  (Maybe putting on my glasses will help with the burning eyes…)

In any case, I spent the waking time today which was not spent on eating (or, minorly, laundry), working on our Group Project, due in…four days.  I have a quiz, but that will be OK.  I also have three papers, one of which is almost finished.  Everything — including the new Discussion topic — is due in four days.

What’s really irritating is that two of the papers, plus the Discussion topic, are for the same class:  the class which I am really disliking, at this point.  I’m going to try not to let that irritate me more, but it’s worth noting.  I guess I can complain about it more after I get the stuff turned in, because working myself up into anger prior to that is just going to make it harder to get the essays done.

In any case, right now it is slightly after 10 PM where I’m at, meaning I have about 88 free hours to get everything done–!!!  Though I’ll probably be asleep for half of those.  I’m hoping that the work I put in for the group today will be adequate enough so I don’t look like I’m slacking.  The good part is that the rest of the group has also begun work on the project.

I should finish up my Interview Paper first thing tomorrow, start on my Competency paper, and start on my Privacy paper.  I can also work on my second Quiz, which looks easy enough.  Actually, maybe I should take a look at the Quiz, tonight, and see what I have to look up on my own.  The course evaluations can wait until last-minute; I don’t mind not getting the bonus for turning them all in, on time.

The other thing I need to do is find a Patron Conduct Policy — oh nevermind, just did that.  🙂

See?!  It’s not so hard!

In any case, I’ve taken one of my two upcoming work days off, which should give me a little extra breathing room.

And either on the 12th or the 13th, you bet I’m going out there to get my new pens!  I’ve been looking at my notebooks and have decided that 8.5″x11″ or slightly smaller (to trim bleeds) is good enough for a comic book.  I actually have (or had) one that is around that size (called “The Generator” [knowing the title apparently does squat for looking it up on Google because of all the “comix generators”]; it was published as half of a “making comics” book), but I’m not sure exactly where it is, at the moment.  Maybe I gave it away?  That one was all in black and white, though…hm.

Maybe I should take a trip to the comic store, too…or at least take a look in the Graphic Novel section for adults, at my library…or — ha! — in the Graphic Novel sections of the nearest glut of libraries around me…

I should use them more if I work at them, yes…?

Nine days to go!

Well, I’ve got a couple of assignments, down.  I completed the last Discussion Post assigned for Intellectual Freedom (will there be another one? unsure — but at least I did what I could).

I was sitting around trying to figure out whether to write and what to write and where to write it, or if I should just go and draw/write in my art journal, when I realized that this would be a good opportunity to stop procrastinating and get some work done so that I can break the anxiety/avoidance cycle.

All procrastination really gives me is anxiety, and anxiety makes me want to hide, and hiding is detrimental to the goal of getting work done, which is detrimental to the goal of staying in the program, which is detrimental to the goal of having a stable career, which is detrimental to the goal of having leisure time for writing and art.  (The work does have to be done, eventually; and while there is a place for self-care and nurturing, it cuts down on the total anxiety I feel dramatically when I get the work done earlier, rather than later.)

So there are several things left to do now, but the majority of them do not have to be done immediately.  The exception is my Subject Guide for Diversity, which I have the parts for, but which I haven’t assembled, yet (largely due to being grossed out over the dirtiness of the library books).  I have most of the day to work on it tomorrow; it is due the day after.  But if I can turn it in early, that sounds like a better plan than delaying until the (absolute) last minute.

I can also work on my final group project…which majorly involves research (I have a date tomorrow night — by which time I’ll need to have done some work).  In particular, analyzing web sites.  Joy, right.  (It would be more interesting if I didn’t have so many other demands.)

Then I can add in my Reflections on my Librarian Interview paper and turn it in early (it’s already nine pages!!!), plus get started on my Privacy paper (which is as yet, unstarted:  due nine days from now).

As well, Discussion #3 and my course evaluations can be completed:  the latter, at any time.  After that, I just have to worry about my Competency paper and the final Quiz for my Database class.  After everything’s submitted, I should archive it.  Then — I think — I’ll be done.  Of course, there will be more work thrown in there around my Database group, but if I stay on top of things, it won’t matter.

I do wish that I had been listening in on the “Help Sessions” for Diversity class…if I’d known they were either required or extremely useful, I would have been.  But they were called “Help Sessions,” not “Lectures,” and I missed the data in the Syllabus.  I don’t even know if I was expected to read the entire textbook; which, I might have known, if I were listening in on the “Help Sessions.”  Something I can mention in my evaluation.  However, I have learned a number of things, this semester:

  1. Read the Syllabus deeply and thoroughly at the beginning of the course!
  2. Don’t be afraid to include outside research in your answers, even if it is just a Discussion question.  Cite your sources in the document — ALA format.
  3. When you’re responding to a question, don’t assume anyone will remember what the question is or was; as portfolio evidence, you don’t want to have to include the prompts as a separate file.  Either paraphrase the question in your response, or quote the question in your submission.

And, I think I’ve finally managed to learn how to use the Portfolio tool.

I can’t think clearly enough right now to organize this into a list, but I’m pretty sure these are all the commitments I’ve got (besides work).  And I have a little over a week in which to do them.

I’m not sure if I should save getting my pens until the 13th, just to give myself a break and a reward for powering through these last days…

Preparing…hoping…(engaging and loving are needed)

Well, I do suppose that I’ve been either taking care of food, hygiene, or study since the time I woke up.  I guess I can do something not required…

Late last night, I was able to come up with a vision for a book which may or may not be made.  Actually, there are at least two main paths I can take:  bound on the side, or on the top.  I’ve noted these down in my Sleep Journal (pretty much the only thing I was awake enough to draw and write in).

I keep having dreams about photocopying 18″x24″ sheets of comic works in order to reduce and print them…last night what was coming to me was the uses of large-sized Layout paper (scan, resize and print the original images going into each panel, then paste them up them behind the Layout paper, and trace the images through the paper for a final layout and inking).  What also came to me was the possibility of using acrylic inks as a color overlay on top of the Layout paper, utilizing frosted acrylic or polyester sheeting (I’ve seen it called “vellum,” but that term also applies to other art surfaces; it may only apply to the texture).  Then both the Layout paper and the sheeting can be scanned in and aligned in Photoshop, with the color layer set to 100% transparency.  At that point it can be printed at less than 8.5″x11″, cut and hand-bound.

Then there are the uses of graph paper, or paper with dots every 1/4″ (I’ve seen this as well; more often in Japanese stores), to fit a comic layout to a grid.  I think that most of the papers I have are not as big as 18″x24″ (as in my dreams), though!  It would be laborious to draw out something that big, anyway.  I’m sure I have something around 11″x14″ or 14″x17″, but I’m not sure the sizes match.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking on how to make the story I began last Spring into an actual, fleshed-out, written story.  But I don’t know whether to narrate it in prose, or whether to use it as a basis for a series or body of art pieces.  I do have a bit of a dream of putting it in a book:  but books can contain much more than, well, writing like I’m writing, here.  I can put in illustrations and storytelling, and prose poetry (it gets better with editing, which I don’t do much of, here).  And if it’s an art book, it will probably be OK.

I haven’t posted about the topic of the story recently, because if I do plan on going big with it, it wouldn’t be to my direct advantage to speak about it in its natal stages.  On the other hand, I probably don’t have to worry about anybody “stealing” my story, because that is in effect, impossible, just from my disclosing synopses.

The story is born from me, it is spun from me; that individual touch is going to permeate it and distinguish it from any inspiration others may take from my ideas, in order to make their own stories (which would actually most likely be about a different set of concepts than my stories are).  Authenticity and cohesion is palpable, and multiple people can take the same prompt in very different directions:  another thing I learned in Art classes, which wasn’t as visible (if you will) in Writing.

I have decided to go ahead and get a couple more packs of these Signo 207 pens, though, for drawing practice.  They’re just…really nice, even if they aren’t waterproof.  I’m also, as I said before, scared of ruining the good pens (my Microns and Copics) with pressing too hard on them during practice (and not even necessarily drawing anything serious).

This happened to me with a Micron 005, where I bent the fiber-tip and then had to hold it weirdly to be able to get any ink out of it, and it was starting to happen with the tiny Copic nibs (I purchased the disposable ones, so there is no going back and replacing the nibs on these pens, as is possible with the more expensive, refillable Copic fineliners).

I realize that the Signos, being roller-gel pens, are not going to discourage that habit (they have metal tips, not fiber tips, and will in fact incise the paper in finer nib diameters); but at the same time, they’re relatively inexpensive compared to Microns — about $1.50 each.  They just have a nice feel — like I could play with them and run the ink out of them and not worry about messing them up, or about whether anything I happen to draw with them has to be “good”, or worthy of the use of such expensive instruments (as Microns or Copics).

Originally, I was going to give them a pass:  then I was playing around in the margins of my notes the other night and used both a Medium (0.7 mm) and Micro (0.5 mm) tip on a few of the drawings I’d made (really just doodles, but it’s…kind of astonishing, to me, that my mind does this).  The very fine distinction in line width actually matters.  It’s visible.  It surprised me.  While I wouldn’t use the Micro to write with, it comes in handy when illustrating details, and anything you don’t want to have a heavier line weight.  The 207s come in an Ultra Micro (.38 mm?) and a Bold (1 mm), as well.  I’m planning on picking these up for more options.  (Plus, I get irritated when I can’t find any good pens…)

Of course, though, I am in Finals; so my only sure time to be able to play with these hardcore is coming up in — HA, 10 days; though I work on five of them.  I’ve just got to be sure to prioritize things appropriately, given that I have somewhere along the lines of 242 hours left of the semester.

I did spend three hours at the library today, researching and collecting items for a Diversity assignment (fairly interesting, I’ve got to say:  I have three days to work on it), and trying to do research for my last group project (the meeting for which would have been rescheduled to Sunday, but I ran into people online anyway; the take-away from that meeting is that we may need to simplify our approach).

Luckily, I did stay up late last night to complete the paraphrasing of my Librarian interview; so the hard part there (the part I was dreading and avoiding) is over.  (It helps that I was a Creative Writing major; I can extrapolate the meaning of my interviewee’s words and restate it, rather than aiming for exact word-for-word transmission [which would not be possible without a voice recorder, which I don’t have].)  What remains is to add my Reflection piece and edit; then I can turn it in (even though yes, I am scared of getting below 85% on it — my professor is tough).

The only other big thing is a paper on Privacy, which…hasn’t even really been assigned, yet, though I can start working on it after I finish my Diversity paper.  Then there is something to write up as practice for the last element of the program (!) …yeah, okay.

Those are the major assignments; plus saving my records to my friggin’ portfolio (which I don’t entirely know how to do, yet; I should search for tutorials).  I have a hard copy list of everything in total that’s due before the 12th, though.  It’s not looking nearly as bad as it was last night, so that in itself is awesome…