reality check

It's been a busy couple of weeks. As usual, I find I have less desire to blog when I have more to blog about. In a nutshell, the semester has gotten off to a good but busy start. The first week of classes was deceptively calm, I think in part because my first class was not until the second week. But because things went so smoothly that first week, I was feeling far from the well oiled machine I usually try to be the second week, when we really hit the ground running with lectures, meetings, etc. Of course, because of that rocky second week I've since prepared as much as possible for the rest of the semester, filling out forms in advance, putting together presentations into November, that sorta thing. Probably a bit of overkill, but this thesis thang is making me unusually scatter-brained.

Anyway, what I've learned is this: Teaching is exhausting. A blank stare is a frightening thing and I'm never quite fully prepared. But I still feel like I've finally found my niche. As for my own work, I've realized that I tend to approach every idea very literally and logically. After a pre-thesis-meeting meeting I realized that I'm at that point in my project where I need to abandon my source material a bit. I need to treat this project, to a certain extent, like creating a painting from a photo. Even if you're going for photo-realism, which I'm not, at some point in the process it's always a good idea to abandon the source material and let the painting have a life of its own. One more pre-thesis-meeting meeting and one official gallery meeting later and I'm feeling a wee bit closer to a solid plan. I even made some sketches and mock-ups today, and requested material samples, so I'm feeling somewhat ready for my first thesis committee meeting on Monday.

Of course, taking breaks now and then also helps. I tuned in to the Big Brother finale and the America's Next Top Model premier, both this week. I wasn't too surprised that Dick won BB8. He was fairly mean to a lot of house guests but he was pretty honest throughout the game, which is a helluva lot more than can be said of any of the "good people." Amber needs help, that's all I have to say. As for ANTM, Tyra is off to a predictably obnoxious narcissistic start. You have your summer camp, your reality television show, your talk show (at least I think that's still on), somebody actually let you sing and dance in a music video or two, why can't you let the center of attention fall occasionally on someone else every once in awhile? It would be so hilarious if one season, when Tyra makes her grand entrance to the 30 hopefuls aboard the cruise ship or wherever, they just clap politely instead of pissing themselves with excitement and feeding Tyra's ginormous ego. Otherwise, I think there are some gals worth watching, including Lisa, Ambreal, and Chantal. I like Victoria a lot, actually, but I fear she may just be too raw for the 9th cycle of the show. They'd have to whip her into shape real fast. And then, looking at the website, there are a couple of girls I don't remember seeing at all in the premier, like Sarah and Janet. That's never a good sign.

And then of course, there's the SYTYCD live tour show on Sunday. That's right, as an early birthday present I got tickets for the September 23rd show, in Hartford, Connecticut. Boston ticket pairs sold out on the first day, but the Hartford Civic Center is a mere two hours by car, and my brother-in-law is, apparently, the best, so we'll drive there and back on Sunday, still giving me much of the weekend and Monday morning to finish any last-minute prep work for my class and my meeting. I'll have a full report next week...

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