school's back in session. i haven't been writing much because i was majorly mopey and having anxiety for the week or two leading up to this one. now that the majority of uncertain things has been determined (which studio critic i have, who my semester-long project partner will be, what my schedule will be like, where i will be sitting in studio, and other tons of details), i am finally excited for school to begin. this nerd is totally excited for the readings in our cultural studies class, excited to learn new software/tools, and our studio project sounds pretty fun, too.
this semester's going to be tough, but i think it will definitely stretch and grow all of us a lot. i have five required, for-credit classes totaling 18 units. then on top of that, there is another mandatory "seminar" (a three-hour lecture once a week) that i must attend...for no credit. there is one elective that i very much wanted to take and has to do with the possible direction of my thesis project, but i absolutely cannot fit it into my schedule (and don't want to pay the extra for being over the unit limit). it will not be offered again as it involves the city and grant money. ah well, i have some ideas to see if i can still get involved somehow or do something related later.
so. goals for this semester:
1. have fun. remember that despite all the hard work, long nights, and painful critiques, that i do really enjoy this deep down. and as someone once told skims, "love your projects, and they will love you back." work on that which really interests me, immerse myself in it, and have fun doing it. too often i get stressed about the work itself, so it's not rewarding until after the fact, and even then, only sometimes.
2. be more assertive. like the studio critics said to us today, this is the semester/year to define our voices and start contributing them to the discipline and community. not only do i want to develop this, i realize i need to be bolder about getting heard, seeking out opportunities that will help me grow and to which i can contribute toward, and going after what i want. i want to be less shy about approaching guest lecturers, faculty, instructors, other students and stand out in a good way. also, while it's true that most graduate programs only give you what you put in and proactively extract from them, it's especially true at our school. if i want it, i have to go after it and appear to be doing so.
3. balance. heh, this one is pretty impossible, but what the heck. i know myself better from last year and what kind of routine i need, so hopefully that will help me work smarter, be efficient, and keep things in perspective.
i've got another few days of relative calm while the school is in thesis-frenzy, so i'll sit back, help thesis students/watch their reviews, and get mentally ready to dive in full-speed ahead.
oh yeah, and my final weekend of freedom was fun and food-filled--the orange county international street fair for sausages (swiss and german), souvlaki, and really good teriyaki (gratis, no less), food/drink/guitar hero at a friend's island in orange county (no, they just live on it, they don't own it), and a one-year old's birthday party.
see you in december.