Archive for February, 2008

Proper practices… paying off

February 27, 2008

Monday was another serious series of ups and downs. We’ll start with the downs.

In the morning, the very-recent ex decided that we should be talking again. We got heated, it ended up in the same place though. We just cannot be friends right now. He wants me to not date (not that I am trying right now anyways), but I told him that I probably will when I am ready. But none of it will be serious… I am not ready for another serious relationship. Not for a while, at least. So I was upset, he kept putting words in my mouth, so I cut him off and went out to do things that I needed to do before class.

Upon arrival of my first class, I remember that we were supposed to have ideas for our presentations all figured out for that day. I not only did not have an idea, but I did not have a partner either. I think fast, “What photographer works with end-time themes?” Nothing. I got nothing. Another photo nerd gave me the idea of David LaChapelle and his body of work revolving around the end of time. Check. Now, who to work with? I look around the room, scanning for people I know. She will work with him. Him with him. Her with him. Class beings, still no idea. Then, he walks into the room. His beautiful eyes, unique looks (which means he is typically kind of homely, but attractive in his own way), talented photographer, the object of my desires. Straight (I know, right? Always happens to me). I ask him, he is stoked for not having to work alone and agrees. (We are both kind of loners… but it is by choice.) Check, that issue is taken care of.

On to my next class, Workshop. I knew I had to leave early for a scholarship benefit, but I developed my film and showed the contact sheets to my instructor. I hated them; I knew I was going to redo the whole project with a new idea. He hated them, told me I was right and sent me on my way.

I arrive at the Scholarship Reception and immediately look out for where they hung my work. …They only hung two of the four pieces I gave them. And two of the photos were supposed to be hung together… but only one was up. Whatever, there was “limited space,” so I did not make a scene. I found that a bunch of my friends also received scholarships, so it was not going to be that awkward of a time. The whole point of the reception is to meet the people that funded your scholarship. My contributor had passed a few years back (which I found out after I looked and looked and looked for her) and she did not have any benefactors coming to represent her. I was livid. I loathe missing classes, and I missed four hours of class to not meet my supporter. At the end of the night we were told to take our stuff, so I headed up to the small space where our work was and I stopped to talk to a friend on my way out. That is when it all happened…

This guy, late twenties/early thirties approaches me. He addressed me by name, “I am assuming this is your work,” pointing at my photo. I said yes, still in shock. He then told me he had been looking for me all night, that he really loved the piece, but he could tell that there was more to the story. We talked for maybe thirty minutes, back and forth about the school, the program, what my goals are, etc, etc. I am horrible with names, so naturally I have no idea who he is. But I do know that he graduated from my school in 2000, and is currently a curator somewhere. (I wish I did not get so nervous when talking to people and could remember very important details like that.) I did not exchange any contact information with him (stupid! So stupid!) but I am going to try to find out who he is and get in touch with him and thank him for his words.

Not meeting with the people who support me really bummed me out, put a damper on the whole evening; but meeting someone who genuinely enjoys my work and process really made it all worth it. I just put it up; there was no caption with it, just a single photo with a label. And it generated something in him. It made him think. That, that is what I want from a career in photography. And now I feel like there really is a possibility of it all happening for me.

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Always appreciative

February 24, 2008

I am the ever-grateful son. I love my parents dearly, and I make sure to check in with them at least once a week. They moved to New Mexico in December and they are still adjusting. They are not used to being so far away (I mean, before they were a ten hour drive, but now they are in a different time zone). But nevertheless, I still try to be as helpful as I can and keep my finances to myself. They know I just moved and have still been trying to get everything for my place, so a couple weeks ago they offered to pay my credit card off for me. I said it was not necessary, but mom was not letting up. So I lied. I told her that it was about half of what it really was. I did that because I knew I could take $100 from each of my paychecks and still be okay and just pay it off over time. I am just a little proud.

Yesterday I talked to my dad for about an hour (and we both say we hate talking on the phone). Then later I called to talk to my mom. I was cooking dinner and I had to put the phone down to cut my onion. She asked a few questions and found out that I was cutting it with the only knife I have… a butter knife. She started yelling at me. How could I not have gotten my kitchen put together, etc. etc. She asked why I had not bought knives… I told her. My credit card is at that level that I do not want to put any more onto it (which is about half way to the max). She asked me how much was on it, and I told her that I was fine and that I had it all planned out. But she knows that I have to get supplies for school (which is, oddly enough, about $50 a week, or more), so she went to her computer. She logged into my bank account to see what was going on. And she told me that she will pay off my card in full…

I still cannot wrap my head around that. Now I know I was not in deep, but I was defiantly being cautious to not overspend on anything. I know I am not working as much as I have in the past (only 25-30 hours a week instead of 30-40 hours), but I am trying to focus on schoolwork right now and hang out with my friends more often. I just could not believe that my mom did that… It was not really a huge stress in my life, but that weight being lifted is really appreciated. Now I have to find a way to pay them back… help them with moving my grandmother from Maine to New Mexico. Or them from their rental house to their new house. Or do something really special for them in August for their 25th wedding anniversary…

Love tore us apart

February 20, 2008

Valentine’s Day is meaningless to me. Never have I really felt the need to celebrate it. I do not really celebrate any holidays… Christmas is about family time to me, not the gifting bullshit. Birthdays are just another day to me. Valentine’s, just another day.

This is the first time I have ever gotten anything. My very-recent ex decided that it would be a good idea to send me a sad puppy stuffed animal and some chocolates. A nice gesture, but totally unappreciated. He also sent a note. And it was that note that sent me off the deep end. It was very sweet. I know that much, but it should not have been written in the first place. He told me he missed me, loves me, and will wait as long as it takes. And over the two weeks prior, we spoke about how we were not going to say things like that to each other. I do not want him waiting for me; I have no idea how long it is going to take me to be ready for a relationship, nor if he is the one I want to be in one with. I just want him to get over it all, but I understand that it is hard.

He got mad at me because I did not respond to him right away. He knew I was going to get upset, and our mutual friend did not understand why he did what he did. But I guess that is what I will never seem to understand about love. To some, that is love, to me, its upsetting. The only way I feel like he is going to get over any of this is by not talking to him for a while. We decided that a few days after Valentine’s Day. I thought it was an agreement. But of course, he had to break it. He texted me today asking me to talk to him again.

I do not plan on responding.

No reward for proper practices

February 12, 2008

I take a lot of things very seriously. School is one of them. If I did not care so much about school, I would not bother spending almost 30-grand a year for my education that really will not pay off until God knows when. That is the thing with going to art school; there are no promises of a job when you are done. That is one of those questions that you have to answer all the time. Almost every time you meet someone new and they ask what you do… “Oh photography. That’s interesting, but what are you doing to do when you’re done with school?” I really wish people would not make me think about that. It is too much.

But I digress from my original intent of writing just now. So I am a serious student. I do all my work, I do it well. I apply myself to all aspects of my education, trying to soak up as much as I possibly can from the people around me. Working in a ‘creative field’ is just like playing a sport in my eyes. Actually, everything can be compared to a sport… In school, we are all working to better ourselves, but in perspective, we really are just trying to be better than the person next to us.

I did not originally come to school for Photography. I came for Graphic Design… but that did not work out. I ended up in photo by taking an elective class and really found it all to be so interesting. Something about it drew me in, and by what I come up with now, I can see that it was the right decision. Everyone else in the program had a camera since real early in their lives and knows so much about the equipment and established photographers. All I know about photographers is what I learned in Photo History… but that does not really help in the aspect of contemporary photo.

Sorry, let me get back to the point. I am a serious student. Always working on something or another. I always do the homework, be it shooting, editing, reading, writing… anything. I just have a guilty conscience if I do not do it. Like I let the instructor down. But really, doing the homework just prepares you for class or creates a stronger understanding of what was taught. In my Studio class (photographic studio lighting, etc) I was getting picked on. Normally I am okay with it; being the school geek that does all the work, always right, because I am a perfectionist (which is more of a curse at times). But today it was not just the students picking on me it was the teacher too. He was annoyed that I knew all the answers to his questions. He was bothered that I knew how to light these “tricky” subjects. Everyone just looks at me like I am a know-it-all… but really, it is just because I did the reading. I looked through the assigned chapters and learned before class… like we were told to do…

Last week in this same class, I was getting bored and sleepy in class. As I was falling asleep, he woke me up and my first reaction was “I know the answer.” And I did. Why? Because, as we were assigned, I read. But what is the point of doing the homework if we just go over it all, word-for-word in class? I am wasting my time, both outside and inside of class. And there does not seem to be a reward for this… just criticism.

And for this class in general, I am quite bored. I feel like we could just breeze through these first eight weeks of assignments in maybe four, and then do more creative projects. But he insists on slowing it way down. And he tells us to get creative with the assignments. But how do you get creative with, “Light a box on a seamless white background so three sides are shown, and each side has a different tonal value.” Not only was that exactly what we did in class, but there really is not any room for creativity. I am just finding it real hard to sit in a class with a bunch of slackers and have to suffer through class because of it.

The recluse

February 9, 2008

I know if I felt like I messed everything up I would do anything for a second chance. But this is all so new to me, and being on the other end is so confusing.

The very-recent ex came over today. He had some of my mail and wanted to talk, so I said that it would be okay. The last thing I had heard about him was that he had an anxiety attack over when I was not responding to his text messages. He had to go to the hospital to calm down. I felt so awful about that. But today he seemed rather light-hearted. I know he is still hurting, much like myself, although I try not to show it. We talked for a bit about our relationship… I could tell that now he actually is using his head. He said he has been spending time with friends (something he never, ever, did when we were together), with co-workers, and even been going back to the gym (something he used to love to do). He is going to be going back to school and should be teaching within two years if he follows through. He actually has some goals now, something to work for. I told him that what I really could not stand about him was how he settled.

But this is all kind of bittersweet. I am happy for him, but I still do not want to be in any kind of relationship with anyone right now. Something about the whole thing really made me throw up my guard again. I do not want to get hurt, nor do I want to hurt him any more. He did say something that really stuck. Something along the lines of, “I know you don’t want to be in a relationship right now, but you probably won’t want to be in one until you meet someone you think you might want to be in one with… and you won’t think of me at that point.” And that is completely true…