It’s Certain Now

I’m graduating.

Some of you may know that my graduation ceremony happened over three weeks ago and be thinking, yes, yes we know, you actually already graduated, is it only now clicking?

Well I walked across the stage, shook the hand of the President of the university and was given a diploma holder, but three weeks ago it wasn’t certain I was going to graduate.

Now realistically it probably was certain based on where I was going into exams, but to be really, really literal, our final grades weren’t in yet so we had no way of knowing and I had one class, this oneeee classssss that was worrying me a bit.

You see it was an ethics course, Ethics in the Marketplace, and while a business course it was also branched under philosophy and the last philosophy class that I faced off with nearly got me. I just scraped through that one with a D and I honestly don’t know how I even managed that. It was required for my minor and heading in I didn’t know it was philosophy. The methods and arguments all seemed so confusing and it being an 8:30am class probably didn’t help a whole lot either. When I sat down in my first Ethics class in January, a required course for my major, and found out it was a philosophy course my heart sank. And then, to top it all off, 20% of our grade was reliant on participation. My last philosophy course had gone badly and I’d never taken a business course; I felt at rather a disadvantage.

A few weeks in, time comes round for the first assignment to be due and the instructions were a bit vague so I did my best and waited to see what my mark would be. The day the assignments were being handed back I logged online to peek at my mark before the papers came round and was floored to see I had a 0. 0%? How can you even get 0% if you handed anything, like literally anything, in?!

After class I went up to the prof because my paper hadn’t even been handed back and he was like, “Oh yeah, did I forget your email in my inbox? Whoops! I’ll get that to ya as soon as I can!” (Super chill guy, probably my second favourite prof throughout university. Has like flowing, shoulder-length, ringletted, white hair and a double piercing in one ear in which he always has a set of two hoop earrings. I say he’s the retired pirate prof)

So next class, before it starts, he comes and stands in front of me and says, “So we have a problem.” My stomach drops and I’m nearly panicking, did I do it completely wrong? Did I misunderstand everything? Am I going to fail? Am I not going to graduate? Am I going to have to stay another year for this one course? Whyyyyy crueeeeel worldddddddddddd…. Etc.

“Your assignment is really good! You need to speak up more in class!” Relief could have melted me onto the floor in that moment. And while the class did end up being one of my favourites overall it was still very challenging. I always felt like I was uncertain in what I was doing and yet my marks usually implied I was doing alright so the exam was going to be the final test (like, literally, cause it was the last test, but like it also determined like everythi-you get it, it’s a bad pun :P)

Realistically I could have gotten 0 on the exam and passed the course, not well! But passed. Well, my mark was entered into the system two days ago. I done good guys… I done good.

I’m graduating.

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Throwing our own Paint Nite!

Paint Nite has been becoming quite the thing in my sphere of friends lately. I hadn’t really heard of the concept before a few months ago but it seems to be basically a group art class. Materials (canvas, paint, brushes, etc) are all provided and the event is hosted at a local bar or pub or cafe and a host/instructor walks everybody through a painting step by step so everyone leaves with their own variation of the specific piece being taught that night. It’s quite a fun idea really! Problem is, when you’re a poor not-quite-but-close-enough-to-being broke student it can get a tad pricey.

Now I’ve always said I wasn’t artsy, never have I claimed artistic talent or much creativity. My area is video filming and editing and I enjoy that and like to think I’m decent at it, anything that involves drawing or paint however I tend to avoid. As soon as art classes were an optional course in junior high I took French or choir instead, I was out of the art room as fast as possible!

My friends wanted to do a paint nite though. We handily discovered there are a bunch of paint nite style tutorials on youtube and Karen, who is pretty dang artistic, had a bunch of canvases and paint lying around she said we could use so really I lost all excuses. There was a minimal fee, it was at a friends house, there was a tea party involved, how can one say no?

We decided to go for one titled, City Walk, Girl in the Rain which was quite pretty looking and when we arrived at Karen’s place she had the kitchen all set up as a little art studio! Canvases propped up beside paper plates for paint palates, cups of water and new packs of paintbrushes that Bekka had picked up for each of us.

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So we made us some tea and were ready to go!

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I learn by mimicing. I like to hear instructions and walk along them step by step. This seemed to be the perfect learning environment for that, especially as we could pause the video while we all finished a step before moving on.

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Mixing the colours was probably my favourite part. From learning to edit photos a bit I’m beginning to get the hang of balancing around the colour wheel and it was fun adding bit to make new shades and see things like that there was a significant difference in the colour results between, say, adding yellow to red, from red to yellow.

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We worked with a lot of orange. Like a lot. At one point I was pretty sure that there was no way it was going to finish off with the desired yellow dress and bright red umbrella. Everything was orange!

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But suddenly we were painting over the orange and, low and behold, the colours popped like crazy!

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To finish it all off we got to make drips and splatters, to extenuate the raininess I guess, and thaaaaat was pretty fun! First making water paint and then just splattering stuff everywhere!

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I got a little carried away while splattering a couple times, a few became more like splots!IMG_1156

And then it was done, we had created art! I found I actually was quite pleased with the end result of mine, especially for the first time painting anything since required art classes in grade six! Karen and Veera went with more muted backdrops for theirs, in fact Karen’s almost looks like its in a thunderstorm! Bekka and I stuck with the original colour scheme, not adventuring away from the steps quite yet!

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Our final products! (Clockwise from top right, Bekka, Karen, me, Veera)

I was surprised to discover I actually really enjoyed the evening, painting is a lot more fun then I remember! Hopefully we do it again soon!

If you want to give it a shot, it’s super easy! theartsherpa on youtube has a ton of beginner’s tutorials and all you’ll really need is a canvas, some acrylic paint, and some brushes! She even lists the paint colours and all the supplies that she uses in the descriptions of her videos to help you prep! Go forth friends, make art!

-B

#GrecoClass

Instantaneous responses have always been the best way to respond to something.

Someone’s choking? Instantaneous response required.
Basketball coming at your face? Instantaneous response required.
Thought of a really good pun? Instantaneous response required. (Please say it aloud, spread the punjoyment with us all)
In a class with memorable moments and great quotes? Instantaneous response required.

Wait, what was that last one? How does one respond to memorable moments and great quotes? Smile and nod in appreciation? Well, there is another option. Live-tweet.

Today Dr Greco’s Communications & Media classes live-tweeted their days, which for the Writing for the Media students, meant beginning at 9:50am and seeing how long they could go in the marathon of twitter.

Live-tweeting is the idea of posting updates or quotes on twitter as they happen. This can often be organized for a certain event using a hashtag. This meant today, that if one were to follow #GrecoClass on twitter, one would have found reams of tweets from Communications & Media students as they discussed their class.

My father asked me today, what the point of this exercise was. I was tempted to say that is was to catch up to another staff member who said that at one point he tweeted around 50 tweets a day, but the core purpose I believe was practice in reporting. That is, practice in finding the key information and sharing it in a quick, concise, and engaging way. Twitter limits you to 140 characters, you have to be able to draw out and display the key points in very few words. There is an art to twitter! (I don’t believe I have it…)

Whether or not we were successful in the second suggestion I suppose is for our poor followers to decide, however we definitely succeeded in the first suggestion of beating #50TweetsaDay. I was able to hit this goal at around 1pm after just over three hours of tweeting. (Did I lose followers you ask? No, I gained one. How…?)

Instantaneous responding may be the best way to keep followers up to date with an event and to connect with other people participating in the same thing, however, through experience I have learned that it is not exactly conducive to taking thorough class notes…

Mayday, Carpool Down!

I commute to school. Now commuting has benefits, I get to have a forty minutes adjustments period to allow my mind to slowly realize it’s awake and needing to function before actually being in class. I can study in the car. I can socialize with my friends. However, there are some downfalls when it comes to carpooling. If the driver is down, chances are the carpool is too, and if you don’t go to school in the same city, other modes of transport aren’t really an option.

Carpoolers rely as much on each other as they do on their vehicles. By saving the environment one less car at a time, they strengthen their bond of trust that they have each others’ backs, that they’ll get to school on time for their classes.

Turns out I have an unplanned day off tomorrow. Good thing I already brought home my textbooks to study for my midterm on Friday.

Those Acting Things

Today in acting class we did those acting class things. We acted out candles melting, dolphins stuck in nets, swimming through marshmallows. I’m not very good at doing things that make me feel like a fool when there’s not a clear reason, but it is easier when you’re in a room full of people also doing it. We were doing it because we were focusing on movement and acting actions. How would you act differently when acting walking through a field of grass verses walking through a field of corn? You change how you move your legs, you involve your arms, you’re using your hands to push corn out of the way… Suddenly things are different that you may not have been entirely concious of before.

It was kinda weird, but interesting! =D

(Also I got 100% on my autodrama, yayy!)
-B

The Actor In Me

And now for your weekly The-Actor-In-Me update!

Today was a drama filled day (pun completely and utterly meant). The afternoon was our memory test for the play that I’m in. Now having only ever been in a drama club, we never had a memory test before we started blocking, we always were blocking as we memorized. I see benefits to both for sure, but this being a new experience I was a little nervous. I may have definitely sacrificed my midterm grade in another class focusing on memorizing scripts instead of studying enough but I think I can pull the grade back up in the rest of the term.

So we did the memory test. I think I did pretty well, I definitely need to polish it a lot more, but I have most of it down pretty well. After the memory test we got into blocking. In past plays I’ve been in the director has always just told us where they want us to be, what motions they want us to do, how they want us to stand. In this play we have much more creative licsense. I’m feeling a bit like a bird who grew up locked in a cage and now isn’t sure how to leave the cage even though the door is open. I get to have a major say in how my character acts! I get to choose (to then be director-approved of course) how my character is moving and behaving. It’s a creative freedom I’ve never had so I’m a little shy in acting on it… I think I’ll be able to get bolder as I get used to the idea. It’s gonna be a really fun play though, in blocking today I was loudly and rather shrilly yelling/talking/something right in someones face. Like literally inches from face so that was rather new, kinda fun!

Then this evening in my actual acting class we performed our autodramas. We had to write the five minute autodramas ourselves (of course, hense the auto-) and then perform them for the class using whatever props and stuff we needed. Mine was about how the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” has effected my public speaking/performance abilities. I like to think it was a bit amusing… I may make a video of it in the semi-near future as I haven’t made a video in over a month and I already have it memorized. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll wait til I get my mark back ;D

It was really fun to see everyone else’s autodramas too though, some people were super personal about heavier stuff and some people got more into light-hearted fun stuff, but everyone’s was super good! I like this class.

Talk to you tomorrow!
-B

Exceeding my Expectations

Today was day two of acting class and I’m sold. Last week I was slightly concerned because we did some straight up improv with no context and I was feeling a little lost. I’ve never been very comfortable with improvisation, kind of a side effect of being a partial control-freak, so I didn’t end up participating much (along with about half the class though so that made me feel a bit better) but it had me kinda worried because I was thinking, if this is what the class is gonna be like I’m either gonna have to learn by just doing it or I’m gonna fail! I don’t learn well by just jumping in and doing…

Todays challenge seemed like it could be harder than last class. We were given “contentless scenes” at the end of last class and told to familiarize ourselves with them. One was a conversation that was vague enough that it could be applied to SOOOOO many situations and have a scene created around it. The other was literally in pairs taking turns counting from one to ten.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

About an hour into class we got in pairs and started with the counting scene. We had to create a scene that was happening and each number was in place of a line of dialogue in the scene we were creating. So for example when I walked into the “store” holding up a “gun” and said “One!” I was meaning “Put your hands up”. When my partner said “Two” and put up her hands she was saying “Okay!” and complying with my demands etc. (Spoiler, she shot me.) So that was a fun exercise.

The next one was very similar in that we had to create the scene, except this time we had fifteen minutes to create the scene and characters and memorize the lines we’d been given. There weren’t many, it was a fourteen line sketch, but still, fifteen minutes isn’t long either! We did it though, it was fun. Everyone was super creative and it was great seeing all the different ways people interpreted the “scenes” and the good actors that we have in the class!! I’m really looking forward to next week!

Leaving the house at 7am and not being home until 10:30pm is pretty rough, but I’m really enjoying this class so I think its gonna be worth it =D (Also, I had like two naps today and got a bunch of homework done soooooo…)

Talk to you tomorrow!
-B