Archive for school

Getting Lost

Posted in personal, school with tags , , on August 29, 2009 by Cristina

 This week I returned to classes. And let me just say this: I’m lacking sleep already!!

Anyway, on first day I was at the library with my sister and she was telling me about her day.

Sis: …and guess what?!! I spotted a freshman!

Me: you what?

Sis: yeah, I recognized a freshman, I feel so old now!

Me: how do you know it was a freshman?

Sis: Well, the girl was walking really slow, had one of those big colored maps they give you at orientation, and her eyes were huge and darted everywhere. She just looked totally lost and a bit scared. Freshmen get lost. We can find our classes just fine. So how was your day?

Me: *mumbles*

Sis: huh?

Me: I got lost.

Sis: *laughs* did you sit down to watch people to figure out how to get into the building like that one time?!

Me: no. *glares*

I can’t believe she remembers that incident.

See, on my first semester of college, I took an insanely hard math class that I didn’t understand and wasn’t even probably my correct level**. So I struggled. I was so lost that when the instructor told us about a tutoring thing the math department offered, I immediately decided to check it. I was THAT desperate.

The only problem? I couldn’t find the place.

Oh I found the building alright, I mean it’s on the MAP! No, the hard part was finding a way INTO the building.

Yes, yes, at this point you might be questioning WHY college would let me IN on the first place if I can manage to miss a door, and let me tell you –you are not the first one to question that. But on my defence I can only say that math overloaded my little brain and that the door WAS kind of hidden.

The C building sits tucked between buildings A and B on a complex next to the library. It’s a building where classes aren’t held at, but is home instead to floors and floors of long hallways full of tiny tiny offices. Walking with building A to your right, rounding a boxy thing and going down a ramp you can find a small dark lobby that takes you to the first floor. This is where it got tricky to me. The tutors were on the fourth level, but as much as I looked I didn’t find any stairs, or elevator, or magic carpet or anything to take me there. So I went back outside and circled the building a couple of times thinking there might be another way. I even walked THROUGH the boxy thing, which is a room where directly in front of the door you came in you find ANOTHER door that takes you outside to the door leading to the lobby.

At this point, any other person would have probably asked someone where were the stairs. But it was me. So I –and I now know it wasn’t the smartest thing– sat infront of building C to observe how people got to the upper levels.

I sat there for like an hour,.after which I concluded that since people went in and out of the boxy thing, it might be more than originally thougtht. So I approached it with a critical eye. I opened the door, and saw the other door, and was confused for a moment, except that time I also looked to the SIDES and saw…

TWO elevators!

I’ll add that yesterday, as I walked to building B I noticed some white letters painted on the boxy thing. They spelled “ELEVATORS”

But hey, I’m there to LEARN.

 

 

**but SAT’s scores said otherwise. Damn all that guessing

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Wired

Posted in musings, school with tags , , , on August 16, 2009 by Cristina

I’m feeling a mixture of alarm and excitement about the impending return to school.

One would think that after so many years of schooling I would already have learned the drill. But I can’t help it. Every beginning of term I become a little bouncy ball of nerves and thrill that fantasizes about the upcoming semester.

I blame years and years of back to school ads.

Back in the day, like in primary school*, the beginning of school inherently meant getting a fresh set of colored pencils to replace the ones I broke/lost, new uniforms that weren’t permanently stained, knee socks that actually stayed on my knees, notebooks with the paste still attached, and books that weren’t completely doodled on! Agony was the time I had to wait since all this was bought until the beginning school. My fingers itched with impatience to use them!**

So, fast forwarding to the present, I think my brain got wired to expect a new set of colored pencils and to be eager for school to start.

 

 

Of course, the whole experience has sort of de-sparkled a bit by the fact that it now also means I have to buy hella expensive books, and this semester in particular to pay for a raised tuition.

But still. I can’t wait for school!

 

*okay I admit, if we consider it’s not THAT way back as it seems to me.

**of course, self-history says the rush lasted about a week.

Criticisms

Posted in musings, school with tags , , on August 9, 2009 by Cristina

I have read one or two things about how to handle criticisms of your work –mostly from authors talking about books, but you know –same feeling.

I actually don’t have a problem with people giving me criticisms. Okay. Okay. Lets be honest, sometimes I do when they are totally negative, or personal, but hey who likes to be told “you suck!”? Anyway, I’m an art student, and people seeing and judging what I do is part of the package. Hell, it’s part of class. It’s how I learn. If I couldn’t take it, then I would long be gone from the art department [let‘s forget a moment here my double majoring thing]. The thing is that I’ve learned and accepted that you can’t please everyone, and that sometimes negative reviews can bring up excellent points.

No. The [my] problem here is when you have to give criticisms to OTHERS. I’ve heard the most difficult thing is to self-criticize and analyze what works and what doesn’t with your own stuff. And sometimes that’s true. It’s too easy to hear what your mom says and believe your are a GENIUS! And that your work is a MASTERPIECE! But most of the time I’m a harsh self judge [and cuz she is my mom –I don’t believe her praise. Sorry Mom!].

But criticizing others… man, that’s difficult. I’ve gotten somehow used to do it in class. It’s something we all have to do, and that we don’t [try to] take personally. But what about when friends ask you to revise their work? And I’m not just talking art here, for some weird reason people ask me to look at projects, essays, novels, you name it. There’s usually no problem when they are good. Or when they just need some editing and polishing, BUT when they SUCK with a capital S is there a way to say it nicely? I’m of the belief that, no matter what you do, to be good you have to practice. So I advise that. That You suck? Well, keep trying! But somehow that message sounds mean –even when I try whatever means to make it less so.

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen people have their dreams get crushed by a harsh critic [not my doing, I swear!], but I fear the moment I become a dream crusher. Yeah, I worry about that stuff. I mean, should I tell them the truth so they can potentially make it better? Or would that hurt them? Should I just lie? And that’s not taking into account the insecurities about my qualifications –I’m NOT qualified!. I mean what if I’m wrong?! What if I tell them they suck [as nicely as possible, of course] and I’m WRONG? Oh Questions, questions! The truth is …sometimes [most of the time] I moderate my comments depending on the person.

Does that make me a wuss? Probably.