December 2013 M T W T F S S « Sep 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
So I finally made it…it is the end of the semester. I have one more final project for textiles then it is back home for a break. I had a lot of fun and did a lot of work. No wonder why people go to school when they are younger, I am exhausted.
I learned some great stuff this year and I am happy with my decision to go to this school. I made a few friends and look forward to next semester. Next year I will take another full load and one extra class, all academic and no studio classes. And I will be at the San Francisco campus most of the time so that should be pretty cool.
So what I have learned:
Don’t leave the house without your coat.
Don’t lose your BART ticket.
Try to get on the school shuttle first because I’m to tall to for any of the rows after the front seat.
Don’t procrastinate about a project.
Marshall Mcluhan was a genius.
Slavoj Zizek is a genius.
Basket making is very hard.
Final Cut Pro is easy.
When mid-terms and finals week occur I eat a lot of candy (I think it is a stress thing).
I can fall asleep on the BART like the locals.
The Berkely Bowl is the only market I will ever need.
Heat from a radiator is superior.
I can find my way around usually without a map.
Modern Art is mathematical.
I prefer to use public transportation.
Cookies sent from friends taste the best.
Being taught by artists is fantastic.
The club sandwich at the school cafe is an unbelievable bargain because you can have half for lunch and the rest for dinner.
The San Francisco skyline is inspirational.
Do your laundry and dishes early Monday morning because the dorm is practically empty.
Professors here are great, helpful and pretty cool.
And going to college is good…
Thank you all for your support, I can’t wait to get home and just hang out. Cook in my kitchen and play with my dog. Ooh and showering with out flip flops!
So we kicked off the semester with a change from Bowie and after a few months of intense school Freddy and Dave sum up it up pretty good.
Oh and I added a new tab at the top of this page so you check out my growing portfolio.
Well it has been almost a month since my late update. Not that much has happened, but I am so busy I usually have no idea what day it is. If it were not for my phone with its calendar and alarms I would never know where I am. I can honestly say that I have never worked this hard in school, but I am actually having fun. I don’t sleep much but that seems to be pretty standard around here.
So I am learning all sorts of new things. In my 4-D class, which is an intro to Macintosh, Photoshop, Garage Band and Final Cut Pro I am learning to play with all sorts of digital media. When I finish a project I will post it. Right now I’m putting together a slide presentation of the apocalypse, sort of in the style of La Jettee. Basically putting together a series of images to tell a story. Anyone have any soundtrack ideas? And with Garage Band I am making a sound piece out of a story I told to the class.
In my Foundations of Critical Studies class we have been studying philosophies from Hobbes, Locke and Barthes. I enjoyed Hobbes, Locke is a windbag and Barthes is constantly in my head when I study images. Luckily I enjoy reading Barthes because he is a major component of my major, Visual Studies.
I hate my math class, but so do most of the students. It is actually interesting; we are looking at geometric patterns. I don’t like this class because the homework requires us to make art, or as he says work this into your art practice to which I respond, “I don’t have one.” So he is open to me writing research papers if I like but really I just want him to grade my artwork a little easier because you should see the amazing work some of these people bring in. I have been doing some embroidery but it is simple and I have to explain how I used math.
In textiles we finally started weaving! It took us forever to get started because threading the machine is a bit complicated. Also there are a few students that are having way too much trouble getting the basics. I looked around and there was one student who just had a giant knotted ball of string and a very stressed out face. I think this requires a certain amount of common sense and she just cannot get it. So we have to spend a bit time waiting for our very patient instructor to help her and then go on with the rest of us.
And my visual studies class is the best!! The professor is amazing!! The lectures are interesting, informative and just plain fun. We look at tons of images, advertisements, commercials, clips from Mad Men, American Psycho, Fight Club. Along with documentaries on sneaker culture, Negativeland, and the approiation of art. The discussions are always interesting and the assignments are short essays once a week. I love that I don’t have to make art for this class. Here the tables are turned and the art students are upset the have to write so much
I have discovered some of the perks to being a student here. From shuttle from Oakland to SF campus, that is a 5 dollar BART trip! And I get into the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for free and student discounts at the other museums.
I am trying to go out at least once a week and explore SF. I have discovered that my favorite places to go are Japan Town (think little Tokyo) and the Mission district (think Silver Lake meets Tijuana). J-Town is nice and clean and there is a great movie theater there. I saw Social Network, it was pretty good and Howl. After I saw Howl I went over City Lights Bookstore and bought myself a copy. After I saw Social Network I posted on my Facebook page while still sitting in the theater. I also went to the world famous Fillmore auditorium to see a concert. It was very cool being in a place that holds so much musical history!
In other news there was a shooting across the street from the dorm. It was very loud, automatic gunfire and then return fire and then more return fire. Two people were hit but were not killed. I guess it was some drunken fight at a night club on the corner, there are windows with holes in them and they beefed up security for a week. I feel very safe in the dorm. You have to go through 3 different electronic locks before you can get on the 5th floor and then of course my door has a lock. We also have overnight security and escorts to and from the public transit stops.
Well I guess that is about it. Sorry if I owe you a phone call or email. I am constantly reading, writing, making art, sleeping or watching Mad Men and Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia. So feel free to call me because if you wait for me to call you it may be a while, semester doesn’t end till mid December!
Also I will be in LA next weekend, Oct 14th -18th if you want to see me live in person. I can’t wait to go home and eat a chili cheese burger, they just don’t have them up here, weird.
Mid terms start next week, wish me luck!
“Loved ones, loved ones visit the building
Take the highway, park and come up and see me
I’ll be working, working but if you come visit
I’ll put down what I’m doing, my friends are important” – Talking Heads
The wait is over, I give you the “Back to Basics” egg poacher/toaster.
Here are all the parts, steamer tray for making hard boiled eggs, the one that is not a little pan is the pre-cooked meat warming tray, the little non-stick egg pan and the lid.
First you add water to the heat element, you add a certain amount depending on how hard you want the eggs cooked.
You grease your little pan and crack your egg.
Then you select egg/toast…
You can see the lid getting all steamy. The toast finishes before the egg so it does not pop up until the egg is done. Basically when all the water is cooked out.
I added cheese on top and put the lid back on to melt it.
I also scrambled one, I realize now I should have scrambled it more but didn’t think to try it till I cracked it into the little pan.
And here it is. I must say it was cooked really well, I don’t have any salt or pepper so it was a bit bland but it was a really tasty. And it was only 30 bucks, since I can’t have a microwave in my room this is great. Now I’m just wondering what else I can poach/steam. Also this was fun it felt very much like playing with an Easy Bake Oven except this actually cooks things with electricity instead of a light bulb.
Any cooking suggestions?
They are the eggmen ~
Ok so it has been one full week of school, I’m exhausted. I have been to 4 of my 5 classes. One of my instructors postponed class until this coming week. So far I like my classes and absolutely love a couple instructors. I spend most of my time on the Oakland campus and out of the two it is my favorite. It has more of that hippy mellow vibe and there are trees and a cute neighborhood around it. The SF campus is the complete opposite, very industrial area feels very modern and on the go. Also getting back and forth is a drag. I can take the BART or the school shuttle between the two campus’s. Up side is the shuttle is free but the downside is it’s totally packed and takes twice as long. I will give it another week and then just spend the 5 bucks on the BART since it’s only once a week.
So the classes I am taking :
4-D Design : we will learn how to make movies and edit them, use Mac software and take a lot of photos. Also we will need to start a blog (I can check that one off the list). It has been pretty interesting so far. It is a basic class, I took it because I really don’t know Macintosh but it really is very basic. Our first lecture he explained what RAM is and USB and Firewire. I’m not that basic, learned this stuff long long ago like a decade at least so for now I’m ahead.
The Art of Math : Well it’s math so it sucks. We will do the regular type problems but we get to make art projects. So will see how this goes. I have yet to get the book in the mail so I’m not sure how tough it’s going to be.
Intro to Textiles : We will learn weaving, dyeing, knitting and some other fiber arts. On Friday we learned how to hand spin raw wool into yarn. It was pretty neat but also really tricky. It seems it will take a lot of practice but it was fun and our instructor is pretty cool. This class is 6 hours long once a week so we will do a lot of work in class. We start weaving next week!
And my absolute favorite is Visual Studies, that’s my major.
this course will relate the historical and theoretical study of visual culture – from painting, photography, graphic design, architecture, and film – to contemporary life, popular culture, mass media, new media, advertising, and communication. Topics we will discuss in class are the effect of consumer culture on our habits and surroundings; the impact of communication technologies such as the internet and television on our understanding of and approach towards the world; the question of identity in subcultures and as it is expressed in visual media such as graphic novels (e.g. Adrian Tomine’s urban stories); and the effect of the politics of art production, display, and criticism on contemporary artists. The goal of this class is to develop techniques of critical analysis and interpretation of visual phenomena and to learn to understand the complex social, cultural and political power structures that govern them.Classes will consist of lectures, screenings of videos and documentaries, in-class discussions, and student presentations. Students are required to read and discuss various texts, submit written responses, take two in-class quizzes, create and present in class a mid-term visual culture critique, write and present in class a final research paper.
I love this class. I the first lecture the professor mentioned so many things I love, artists, writers, musicians, movies, books and video games. I was completely awestruck. I had heard good things about him and they were all true. It will also be my toughest class due to all the writing, but that’s why I’m here. In fact when he was going over the workload many of the students got a nervous look on their face. They are artist not writers and researchers so in this class I feel I have an advantage.
One of the great things about this school is how cheap most of the textbooks are. Most of the instructors post text online so it’s free or have “readers” for their class. A reader is a bunch of textbook pages and notes put together like a book made at the local printing press. They are really great because the instructor can pack it with just the information you will use. The one for Textiles only cost 14 bucks.
So in other news I got a toaster! I didn’t realize how much I missed toast and bagels and it has a egg poacher thingy. I have not used that part yet but it makes good bagels. Now that toasting bagels is easy getting them home is another problem. I’m used to shopping once a week filling the cart lots of items. Now I have to think about how much I want to carry from the bus stop. It’s only three blocks but you would be surprised at how heavy 2 bananas, half gallon of milk, and some other small items can be. When I shop which is now a few times a week I have to really think if I want to carry that can of chili this time or just wait. That is actually ok though because I have a tiny fridge and small shelf for non refrigerated items so I don’t need much. I have to admit I really like walking everywhere and taking the bus is interesting. I am pretty tired after a long day and sleep more than I used to but I got some good shoes so my feet feel great.
Here are some pictures of the Oakland campus, click on them and you can see a larger version.
Oh I almost forgot, we got free tacos! The alumni association paid for a very tasty taco truck to park at school and gave us all a free lunch. Since we don’t have a cafeteria here just a small cafe they are always giving opportunities to eat for free.
Without an education, might as well be dead ~
So here I am in Oakland and my very first blog post. I have been here a week and a day and so far so good! I spent the first few days shopping for dorm stuff and unpacking. I had orientation on Sept. 3rd and met my adviser and fellow Visual Studies students, there are 10 of us….in the entire school. It’s a small group but we get to sort of pick and chose the classes we want to take to fulfill our degrees, it’s pretty cool. Next semester I am taking a class on video games
I have spent the rest of the time working on art for the student exhibition and getting to know Oakland. So Oakland has a bad rap of being a scary place but really I saw more crazy crap in SF on one day then I have seen in a week in Oakland. Something I find very unexpected is just how friendly and polite everyone is. Both of the times I have crossed the bay I found people on the street in SF to be more uptight, not so willing to start a conversation. SF may have more cool things to do but I prefer the mellow atmosphere of Oakland. (I know, Oakland mellow, there was a major riot here in July, the Rite Aid they are in front of is my local BART stop!)
Something I have notice about Oakland is the consistent smell of pot, I mean not a day goes by that you don’t smell it. Upon doing a little Googling I have discovered that I am across the street from a dispensary, there are only 4 in the city. Also there are a few store fronts that have been rented out as a political headquarters for this coming years elections. I don’t know much about the various measures, this article explains the most recent information. I really enjoy being in a place that has so much action going on.
I am learning to love like life in a dorm. The best way to describe it would be like living in a hostel. I have my own room, we share bathrooms, kitchens, and common living spaces. It has its problems, the kids are messy and it’s only the first week. They are always leaving their stuff in the bathroom, soap, washcloths and someone left their toothbrush on the sink for two days, with the bristles down. I woulda thrown it away, gross. Luckily we have janitors that come every few days to restock and clean up. I have to say I did get a pretty nice room. I am right across the hall from the only single bathroom on the floor, the other one has a bunch of showers and toilets and I am next door to the kitchen. Also my room is on a corner on the top floor so I get a nice view and a nice breeze (which sometimes smells like weed).
So that is what is going on so far. Tuesday, the 7th is my first day of school and my birthday, I am so excited. I could not have asked for a better gift!!
“Pretty soon your gonna get older” ~