Archive | November, 2008

Panic Mode

30 Nov

I’m back at school after a homework-filled Thanksgiving break. I worked nonstop the entire time I was home. I don’t feel like I made a huge dent in my workload, but I really did. I’m starting to get into panic mode now, because everything is due all at once.

This coming week is our last week of class, and then finals next week. But for me, this week is like finals week. I have so much work due this week, and then only one final exam next week. So, after this week I don’t really have much left. The bad part is, I have to do it all right now, rather than having it more spaced out! I’ll have a pretty relaxing week after this, and have plenty of time to study for my final and finish my pieces for ceramics. I really hope I can get everything done on time! There is absolutely no room for procrastination or getting distracted!

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Occupational Hazard

29 Nov

After almost four years in college, I’m pretty sure I have developed carpal tunnel. It’s amazing that it hasn’t happened sooner, considering how much time I spend on my computer. For the most part, this is spent on homework rather than wasting time. I probably spend a good 3/4 of my time on my computer doing work, the other part playing games or on Facebook or writing here or just generally wasting time. I’m surely going to develop arthritis in later years, as a result of constant computering and doing art all the time. My poor hands are going to be so beat up!

Black Friday

28 Nov

Today is Black Friday, the day when Americans go out in full force and show how much we are addicted to buying things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like. My own personal Black Friday has been spent on my bed, isolated from my family, trying desperately to catch up on all the work that is due this week. It’s all due by Wednesday, pretty much. Which means I won’t have a lot to do the later part of the week, but all right now. I wish professors wouldn’t have any work the last bit of class. I know that’s impossible, but it’s so difficult to get everything done around the holidays. There are a lot of family and work responsibilities and obligations, not to mention the fact that it’s pretty hard to spend time with the people you love when you have to sit by yourself and do piles of work.

That’s the story of my life: sitting alone, isolated, working. Always working. I don’t think my parents fully understand this. I mean, really. I only sit at my computer all day. Not because I’m avoiding people or that I hate going outside. But my workload is such that I can barely get everything done. I’m past the point of taking breaks for a few hours to hang out with friends or go to a movie or something. It’s down to taking, maybe, a 20 minute break to write here, or look at Facebook, or take a quick nap. Or maybe, if I’m lucky, watch one episode of Friends or The Office. I can’t wait for this semester to be over. I know I will have just as much, if not more, work to do in the spring, but at least I will have a break for Christmas. I won’t have so much to do, other than try to get a head start on my art history paper or my senior show (both of which will take the whole semester, so it will be a good idea to get these done as early as possible). Hopefully, I won’t go crazy in the next few weeks. I have until December 11 to get everything done. Think I can do it? I don’t know. I really don’t.

Guilty

27 Nov

Lately I’ve been having a big internal struggle between the immature, materialistic part of myself that keeps a list of movies to buy and the more mature, self-sacrificing part of myself that wants to save the world. It’s a very difficult fight. I really do want to be a good person and help people less fortunate than I. And most of the time, I feel that it would be pretty hypocritical to have a nice house, filled with pretty things. I mean, if I work really hard and make money, and buy things, that would be nice. But there are people out there with nothing, which would make me feel guilty about having nice things. Do I really, honestly need all that stuff? Doubtful. I’ve been blessed (or cursed) with an eye for beauty and good taste, coupled with the strong desire to help others. How can those two parts of me learn to exist peacefully?

I know that life requires you to have stuff. I’m just not so sure anymore how much stuff it requires. Probably not as much as I have. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner tonight with my family, and we were all really full and lazy. I am thankful for this. But at the same time, there’s a little voice in my head that almost feels shameful, having so much food for dinner when I know there are people right in my own town who have nothing. I know it’s not my job to take care of everyone else. I’m not going to single-handedly save the world. But I would certainly like to try. There aren’t very many people out there who are trying.

I think a lot of this feeling has to do with just finishing my paper and working at SADAC. Writing my paper, while enjoyable and very interesting, was hard emotionally. It sort of gets to you after a while, writing for weeks and weeks about poor orphans, forced to flee their homes with nothing, without family members or understanding of what is happening. I cannot even begin to understand what that must be like. Hopefully, I never will. But I now feel a strange connection with these people, having researched their plight so thoroughly. This is an entire generation of people we’re talking about, growing up without parents, a sense of safety, or basic necessities. What is going to happen to them when they get to be parents themselves? I feel that, knowing all of this now, I must do something. I can’t have spent so much of my semester dedicating myself to this project to sit back now and do nothing. I’ve never had anything school-related affect me this much. And working with alcohol and drug abuse recovery is opening a whole new world. I have no idea about anything in the drug culture. I’ve never done anything in my life, so I can’t possibly relate. I know what it’s like to have a big internal struggle, and hopefully that’s enough to draw on that I can be of help to them. I don’t think they’re bad people. They just haven’t made good choices. Does that make a person bad, though? Condemn them for a mistake?

It’s like I’m a totally different person now. Cynical, but at the same time hopeful. I don’t have much faith in the government or in big business to get anything done. It’s the little people I have hope in. The ones who do the small things every day to make someone else’s life better. Maybe it started with my paper. Maybe it started at the AATA conference. Whatever it was, something has definitely been nudging me lately. Telling me that I need to start looking for more opportunities. Quit trying to be good all the time, and just break down and be raw. And act. I have to do something. I can’t sit around anymore, wasting time and electricity and knowledge and oxygen and all the other little things we take for granted and are running out of. I’ve never been so aware of the world around me before. It’s exciting, but frightening at the same time. I have no idea what my future holds. But I have a feeling that I’m starting to figure it out. One vision at a time.

Basically, it’s hard for me to make out a Christmas list this year, knowing there are children who will get nothing this holiday. That makes me so sad. But at the same time, there are some things that I want, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without presents. Hard, isn’t it? It’s hard to be humanitarian all the time. It’s almost like letting your guard down, to let the materialistic, greedy side show through. I have to find a good balance between these two halves. How can I do this?

Do I honestly know what I want out of life?

I want to be happy. And I want to share that happiness with others, let them have some for themselves. I think everyone deserves this. I’m definitely getting to be bigger than my body gives me credit for.

Here We Go Again…

26 Nov

Well, it’s happening again. Keanu Reeves has a new movie coming out, something science fiction-y that guarantees he will be some sort of strange life form. This also means that he will be completely expressionless and devoid of emotion the entire time. He truly is one of the worst actors ever. My friends say I do a really good impression of his range of emotion, which is that of maybe a teaspoon.

Needless to say, whatever he’s doing in this new movie won’t be anything different than before. Chances are I won’t be going to see it. It won’t be anything I haven’t seen before. On the off chance that Keanu does manage to show some sliver of emotion, it will certainly be new and groundbreaking material.

Ten Things Tuesday – November 25

25 Nov

Thanksgiving edition. Ten things I’m thankful for:

1. That I have a major and future career that I love. I have no doubt that this is what I need to be doing with my life. It speaks to me, and will never be boring. I’ll always be able to learn from art therapy.

2. My family who supports me in many, many ways. I don’t tell them enough, but I really love them and rely on them.

3. My friends, especially my roommate. I think I’ve been taking them for granted this semester, but they are still my friends.

4. Having the chance to go to school. Not everyone gets to be this lucky.

5. My internship, which has really opened my eyes to problems of the world. I know how good I’ve got it, and I shouldn’t complain. My life hasn’t been all that hard.

6. Tea. It’s gotten me through many a night these past few months.

7. Traveling. I have to have somewhere new to go and discover. I love learning about new cultures and languages. Seeing something so different than where I live is always exciting.

8. Having a fairly normal, hardship-free childhood.

9. Being able to read, and enjoying it. I know I’ll always be able to find something new in a book, and won’t be bored. Reading is like finding new friends.

10. Art. I have to always be making something, or I go insane.

Irritation

24 Nov

I really think I have taken on more than I can handle. I don’t think I will be sleeping between now and December 11, when my finals are over. This is just schoolwork I’m referring to. There is absoultely no way I will get everything finished on time. I just got out of senior seminar, which only confirmed that I have no time or money to do anything. I’m going to have to work my ass off the next two weeks to get everything finished. And then for the rest of my life to get it paid for. I’m thankful to have gotten an education, but it’s extremely stressful and expensive. I have to find a way to make a lot of money really fast, so I don’t stay in debt forever. Don’t see that happening.

For now, it’s off to finish my paper, which is due tomorrow. Here’s to hoping I don’t have to stay up all night!