Back to school, creative crushed.

This is a pretty accurate follow-up, I’d say, from my last post.

There is something about school in general – but especially about the end of the school year – that pulls my eyelids closed and stoops my shoulders and lowers my head. I feel a little tiny cry for help inside me: “Let me paint! Ooh, let’s design something! Hey, can we write about that??” but it is buried deep underneath a pile of assigned responsibilities.

Tests, tests, tests, papers, projects, assignments, due dates, reminders, meetings, oh and don’t forget to secure that part-time job over the summer. And what for? Don’t get me started on what for…

This is the moment when I’d normally break off on an impassioned rant about the role of education in our society, how it’s stiflingly outdated, and how it could be so much better…

but I’m tired.

And right now I have to pull another one of those classic college “one-of-the-three-but-not-all-three” decisions.

To shower,

to sleep,

or to study.

This “one-of-the-three-but-not-all-three” decision has been dressed up in many ways over the course of my college career, and I think I can say with confidence now that it is truth. (Am I still making sense? My brain checked out a long time ago apparently…)

Anyway, I’m choosing sleep this time – or rather, I’d actually say sleep is choosing me.

To any fellow students out there, crawling their way through the end of the semester, I’m wishing you the best of luck. Try to give your sanity a hug when you are all through, no matter the grade, no matter the GPA, no matter, no matter, no matter.

 

Break from school, full time creative.

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For as long as I’ve been in school, I have lived for the breaks.

There is something about school that sucks the life out of me. Not to be melodramatic, but it takes my soul and squishes it into maybe the tiniest little grey box that you have ever imagined. And like, this box isn’t even recyclable – it’s just the worst box ever. As a college student, I live in that box for about 9 months of the year. (Shit… I’m taking summer classes this year too…this is gonna be an 11-monther, dammit.)

But then the breaks.

Oh my god the breaks.

At my old college, a break was nothing more than an average (extremely stressful) school week, only you don’t go to classes. But big university life comes with breaks that actually mean something – a break.

And I lose my mind in the best way.

It doesn’t matter how long the break is, the second I am out of school and have had a few hours to regain my energy and temporarily yank back the soul that academics had been crushing in that tiny grey box, I am flooded with ideas. Thoughts, visions, sounds, projects, endeavors, life goals, to-do lists, flood into my mind, and none of them wait their turn.

But I adore this part of my brain that is just a little crazy. Because for 9 (or 11) months out of the year, I have to scold my crazy, tell my crazy to shut up and write a serious paper or study for a serious test, or do something meaningless and mind numbing and soul-boxing. But then a break comes, and I let my crazy be free. And there are a lot of things that I don’t like about myself, but I do love to watch myself just happen. Because that’s my natural state – creating. And when I’m in this zone, it doesn’t matter what thought or vision or sound or project or endeavor or life goal or to-do list it is – it’s going to be meaningful, somehow in some way, and things with meaning are beautiful.

So this break, I have: planted an entire indoor vegetable and herb garden, drawn a bunch of shit for my art class (the one class that didn’t actually have any assigned work for the break, whoops), written almost 20 pages of free verse poetry, written one short story, experimented with acrylic painting, shot and edited an entire video that I think is pretty sweet, listened to a bunch of inspiring podcasts, put together some freaking killer outfits, tried to put a ton of weird stuff in the coffee maker (but don’t worry – it was so good!), started a serious collection of ideas to pursue out of college in regards to living a life I can love, and also begun to name the first few spinach sprouts that have popped up in the last week (I named the first one Ireland). I have done absolutely homework, but I don’t really give much of a fuck because I feel great.ย 

This is me at my happiest, taking care of myself by letting myself happen.

 

Comments on the first class of spring semester:

stats-is-fun

As a psychology major but also just as a human being in general, I find it funny how people behave. For example, I arrived pretty early to my first class of the semester yesterday morning. The class started at 9:30am and I was there about 20 minutes early. When I first arrived, I wasn’t convinced it was the right class since the room was so dark inside. But as I peered through the door’s little window and my eyes adjusted, I could make out little round heads scattered all about the lecture hall.

“Lol,” I thought to myself and opened the door. Everyone looked up at once when I entered the room. I don’t have some kind of amazing presence about me; the room was just so dark and quiet that any noise at all was bound to turn heads.

I let the door close behind me and found a seat, but let’s all take note of the fact that I totally neglected to make any moves on the lights. The lights stayed off, even though it was kind of ridiculous that a room full of 20-somethings were all too chicken to turn on the light.

((Psych. major in action: analyzing why none of us turned on the light. I’m gonna guess it’s something to do with normative social influence. Also, hilarious.))

Fast forward: lights on. (To anyone interested, it was the teaching assistant who made the move, coming from a position of more power than any of the students. Sweet, thanks, J.)

My next observation was how demographically skewed the class was. Mostly white female, way more white female than any of my other classes. It’s a level 2 research methods and statistics class, so I wasn’t particularly foreseeing any kind of skew.

stats-is-fun-beard
Edit: Oops, forgot he has a beard.

Fast forward: professor arrives, syllabus day begins. I’m actually pleasantly surprised by his personality…I mean he has one, which is great and I’ve learned not to take for granted at big universities.

Glancing at the schedule on the syllabus, I’m definitely, yeah 100%, growing a pit of dread inside my stomach. I’m in this class only because it’s required for my major. Flashbacks of last year’s spring semester and the absolutely agonizing statistics class I took then flood my mind as I read the words: “…SPSS data analysis…” It’s tear-worthy. I already need help.

But I’ll end on a good note, something that made me laugh. As my professor was explaining how the Psychology department has always had a hard time getting support from the University to be recognized as an actual, empirical science (which it is), he said:

“There are all these misconceptions about psychology and psychological research that people outside of psychology have. Outsiders, skeptics, they say: ‘All you do is show people pictures of blue triangles and butterflies!’ And to that I say: ‘First of all, no, we don’t. And second of all, that’s not a butterfly, it’s a picture of my step-mother strangling my younger brother.”

So there you have it. Perfect psychology joke + flawless execution. These are the notes on my first class.

Damn the blinking cursor

There is something so dreadful about a watching a blinking cursor on a blank document. It’s as if it’s not just blinking, but blinking at you.ย 

What’s your thesis gonna be, huh?

What’s it gonna be?

That’s a load of bull. Just how do you plan on supporting that?

You haven’t even done half of the readings, have you?

Well?

Well?

Well?

Here’s to hoping that this new semester will be kind with the writing assignments.