I recently completed what I hope will qualify as the hardest semester of my academic career. Seven classes, eighteen credits, one very exhausted artist. Yet, I feel enriched and I feel accomplished. I spent the better part of twelve weekends working in the library on research papers, texts that will find their way here shortly. I wrote my first research paper in a foreign language, which was absolutely the hardest of the lot. Foreign language acquisition is a bitch, but I’m getting the hang of it now, going into my fourth year. Deutsch! Ich lieb dich!
Perhaps the most rewarding experience of the semester was as a Teacher’s Assistant and tutor for Modern Art History. Obviously a topic I love, I took liberty to run with the opportunity and really threw myself into helping other students see with different vision. I created an arts writing workshop that specifically addressed techniques of visual analysis in concert with crafting an academic paper; I broke down the processes of seeing and writing into similar, digestible parts and presented students with an easier way to tackle the oft despised task of composition for a grade, showing how each part of visual interpretation mimics a stage of writing. It was a crowd pleaser!
I feel like my life has been on hold for three months, overcome with a fury that I like to call Academic Masochism. Nonetheless, I think I nailed it, and considering I just applied to one of the most well-respected public institutions in the world, I would have been foolish to otherwise relax. Right?
The plan now IS to relax – I earned it. After a few days of doing laundry, cleaning the apartment, whispering sweet words to my studio, begging him to take me back into his arms, I will then head off to the Mojave Desert to celebrate das Neujahr, and prepare myself for what will hopefully be the home-stretch of my departure from San Francisco. More to be said about that indeed, as well as catch up on all the art making and art writing and art displaying and art trading that really fuels who I am.
Above: San Francisco, violent grey, diagonal living, transitory, absurd, home; acrylic on paper, Chloe Watson 2012