Sleeping on It 

I woke up in the middle of the night (4:30a.m.) when the cat in my room knocked over an empty birdcage. The birdcage was okay but my heart took a few minutes to get started again, and then a few minutes after that to start beating normally. Night terrors are really no way to get up in the morning, but it turns out that they are pretty good for keeping you awake after the initial shock. I couldn’t get back to bed, so I made breakfast, took a shower, and drove into school.

The funny thing about the morning class today was that the instructor spent about half of it talking about how wordpress was a such great blogging system for posting your photos. Sure, blogging is great (I’ve done it for four years now), but I think that the instructor oversold it a bit. He seemed to indicate that blogging was a great way to get your personal photos noticed by the general public. Over these four years, I have seen the kinds of hits I get from “the public,” and unless I do something to appear in the papers (like win the lottery), it seems very unlikely that my blog is going to get noticed more than by a handful of people a week, and those people are usually looking for something else.

Tomorrow morning, I go to court. I’ve got a traffic citation ($200!) that I need to get resolved somehow. I am hoping that I can get it reduced significantly because $200 bucks is a lot of money for someone who hardly has any. I was told by a classmate who has gone through the process before that the most the judge can reduce the fine by is 1/3rd, so it is still going to hurt, but hopefully not as much. I’ve never done anything like this before, so it will be interesting to see what happens, but right now, I really need to get to sleep so I can wake up and arrive to court on time.

25 April 2007

Drawing upon Thought 

Yesterday, I went to the first figure drawing class I am taking this term. I was initially nervous because I had heard that this particular instructor is a little demanding; and also, I felt somewhat nervous because I had been out of practice for some time, the type of classical practice a college art class seems to require. However, towards the end of the class, the instructor wandered over to where I was drawing and commented that my drawing was actually very good, the sort of compliment which makes me slightly embarrassed. I nervously smiled, laughed, and then tried to point out the drawings flaws: the composition wasn't very balanced, the model moved so the back look out of proportion, etc. The instructor countered each one, partly for encouragement.

Compliments, it seems, are always harder for me to take because I am always ready to receive criticism, deserved or not. And of course, criticism is always seems easier to believe, easier for me to mentally support, even if I know it is not necessarily rational. Not rational, just how it is. When I was ten years younger or so, I once overheard someone talking about receiving compliments and that it was generally considered polite to simply say "thank you" and leave it at that, advice which I remembered and took at this occasion.

Despite my various personal insecurities, I am looking forward to this class. It is not very often that I have the time (or, admittedly, the discipline) to explore my art in this way, a not-uncommon problem among artists and fellow art students. Plus, I am hoping to gain a few insights from the instructor about the larger context of the art business and world to somehow become more of a self-starter. I look around at the paintings that hang in the various small-time coffee shops and small galleries and have the thought, perhaps naive, that I could do something similar once I learned the "secret," learned the right techniques, and got introduced to "the scene."

In a connected way, I have been having a lot of thoughts about getting my master's degree in English again, to work towards becoming a college instructor. It is the other area in my life where I seem to have some ability, and have received enough compliments from others, mostly instructors, to make me think that I have serious potential. However, enough major obstacles remain to where these thoughts are not entirely developed: for example, I can't afford much more debt, the competition for those jobs are fierce, and the idea of facing 30 or so people per class is a little daunting, even if the students are all mostly young and have their own worries.

Anyway, these are the types of thoughts I have at night, when I am alone and the thoughts pour in like cool soaking water. I went to bed too early tonight (technically yesterday) because I was tired, so I woke up in the middle of the night and began to write this post. But I can feel the fingers of exhaustion slowly curving around my back muscles and crawling up to my neck. It's time for bed again. When I wake up, I begin work on my scholarship application. It is due by 5:00 p.m. and I still have personal statement to write. I highly doubt that much will come of this application because I already have a undergraduate degree. It is even possible that having that degree will automatically disqualify me for consideration, but there is nothing in the application that says it will for sure and I certainly won't get anything if I don't apply. Time for bed.

06 April 2007