So much for updating this blog. I worked so much this summer I had literally no time to even sit down at the computer, let alone scan in images to post. I'm back at school now though, and I'm making a lot of work, even if they're mostly studies. I hope to post something soon.
So I'm taking this class at SUNYBrockport which I just knew was a bad idea from the start, but I have to get my last two gen. ed. requirements out of the way if I want to pull off the double minor. The class I'm taking is Modern World, and it fulfills an Other World Civilizations credit. And holy crap, is the teacher stupid. I mean I've had some interesting teachers before, to say the least, but this professor's idiocy just blows my mind. She is one of the most ignorant and closed-minded people I have ever met, and she claims to be just the opposite. Of course I butt heads sometimes with my professors, and I always have, because teachers tend to be more liberal, and I'm fairly conservative. Not to mention I'm a Christian, so I'm constantly having to defend my views in that as well. In my senior year of high school I took AP English, and I had this teacher I couldn't stand. He was so mean to me, he always pointed me out as being wrong in front of the class, and he disagreed with every single thing I ever said, and drove me to answer questions in ways that would display my ignorance. However, I had always respected him because he was incredibly intelligent, and even though he often upset me we still had very interesting discussions. Toward the end of the year, I began to realize that he was teaching me something that mattered, something I would never forget: how to defend myself, how to use my emotions to my advantage, how to be strong and confident in the face of opposition. He noticed that I was catching on, and in the last week of school he told me I was his favorite student, that I had done better than anyone else in his class and that he absolutely loved having me. Looking back on it now, I realize he was the best teacher I've ever had, and probably ever will have.
All that to say I have disagreed with teachers before. I've debated them in class; I've won and lost arguments and I've learned a lot. But this professor baffles me. I know I have absolutely nothing to learn from her, save how to put up with idiots for the sake of my grade.
Yesterday she was lecturing on the Protestant Reformation, and how wrong the church was. (Of course I'm not going to argue against that, they were pretty bad.) Then she began to draw parallels between the medieval mindset of the Catholic church and Christians today, saying that ignorance only leads to downfall, and that that's exactly where Christians are headed. (I kept my mouth shut.) She proceeded to tell us how idiotic it is that Creationists are trying to remove evolution from public school curriculum, and that no Creationist knows the difference between scientific fact and superstition. Now, this is a topic I feel fairly strongly about, since people often form preconceived notions about it without considering all sides of the debate. (And believe me, going to school I have been forced to consider all sides of this debate.) I raised my hand and very calmly told her that most supporters of the intelligent design theory are not in favor of removing evolutionary biology from the curriculum, but instead offering the idea of intelligent design as an legitimate alternative to the Big Bang Theory. I said that in fact, many Creationists even consider intelligent design as a precursor to the possibility of evolution- that maybe God designed us to change. (That's not necessarily what I believe, but I know of plenty of people who do.) Suddenly, she cut me off and ranted for half an hour (literally) on how ridiculous everything I had just said was, how I don't even know what the theory of intelligent design is, and how she couldn't be bothered to explain it to me. She said no one thinks the way I had suggested, and that I obviously hadn't read or thought enough about the topic. All Creationists are closed-minded, superstitious and idiots, she continued. None of them know a thing about science, logic or reason.
I was so offended I didn't know that I could even continue, but I tried to get a few words in explaining why I disagreed with what she was saying. Finally she cut me off with a furious wave of her gigantic arm (this woman is so obese it's actually comical), and exclaimed "The Big Bang Theory is a FACT." (Theory? Fact? What?) "It is a FACT and if you are not willing to accept that, then you are not a modern-minded person and you will not survive long in this time."
WHAT?! I'm sorry, I didn't realize that I had signed up for a lesson on how to be a fascist, instead of a class. That is just the sorriest excuse for a lesson I have ever heard! She's supposed to be a teacher! I don't expect her to agree with me, but I do expect her to calmly explain to me why I'm wrong, not make personal attacks. Honestly I learned nothing from the whole thing. She didn't present one fact or statistic or even logical statement that would help me to understand her point. She just forced me to sit there quietly while she verbally stomped me into the ground. At the very end I said "I'm sorry, I was only trying to say that not all Creationists fit into the same mold," at which point she laughed obnoxiously and said with as much sarcasm as possible, "Well, thank you for explaining that to me. I really needed to be corrected by you when I woke up this morning. I feel so much better now."
Wow. Just wow. Jon was sitting behind me, and he laughed out loud at how idiotic she was being. (She didn't seem to notice.)
So the rest of the class yesterday I simply stewed in my anger in silence, furious at myself that I hadn't dropped this class when I had the chance. Like I said, I'm used to confrontation, or having to defend myself; I go to SUNY Purchase, the most liberal school ever. I love it there and I have grown so much in my faith, simply because I was forced into situations where I had to defend what's important to me. Honestly, I like hearing other peoples' views, and I like it when they listen to mine. I don't expect to change anyone, but conversations between people are important.
This was not a conversation. It was a series of one-sided personal attacks on someone who wasn't given the chance to defend herself.
So today she got started on the Big Bang Theory again toward the end of class, and she began talking about how revolutionary ideas are never really accepted into society until their opposition dies off completely... that it usually takes a couple generations for new scientific truths to come to be accepted, simply because those who grew up with the old truth are less willing or even able to accept the new one. Okay, I was with her on this. I could see what she was saying. Then, suddenly, she said "You know what I really and truly believe? This world will be a much better place when your grandparents' generation all die."
I'm sorry, what was that?
"Oh yes, it's absolutely true. Every one of them are racist and homophobic and closed-minded and religious. They grew up in a time when it couldn't be avoided. You know that when you talk to your grandparents you don't understand a word they're saying; it's all homophobic racist nonsense. The world will be much better when they're dead."
This is not an exaggeration. I wish I had a recording. It was just beyond horrifying. And then, she kindly ended the class with "Not to mention, it will be best when everyone who can't accept the truth of the universe, the Big Bang, is dead as well." And that was just when it was too far. She had just had that discussion (or lack thereof) with me twenty-four hours before. I couldn't believe it. She all but said she wanted me dead. I mean I know what she was trying to say was "superstitious people really have no place in modern society, so those who are left had better change" but I'm not a superstitious person! There are PLENTY of scientists, reputable ones, and not all of them Christian or religious at all, who strongly oppose the Big Bang Theory simply because it doesn't answer every question. It's just that: a theory, and whether it's more probable or less, it's still at this point a theory with some holes in it. How could she even say those things? I simply can't understand a teacher who makes personal jabs at people, just because they can.
When I come across a person like this it really makes me sad, because I realize that they have probably met some awful people in their lives who claimed to be a Christian. Someone who used Jesus' name to say some really hurtful things. But she's being closed-minded when she projects that anger, that hurt onto me. That person is not representative of everyone who follows Christ, and it's simply not fair to hurt me like that.
I don't know, I'd be shocked if anyone reads through this whole thing but it felt good to get it out.
My fiance works at Walmart, and today he told me a horrifying story. Someone returned a patio furniture set they had purchased, and since Walmart has a one hundred percent return policy, they had to take it back. Well, the table, couch, end table and two chairs had been assembled, and obviously removed from the box, so Walmart couldn't sell it again. Jon was instructed to destroy the entire thing in the compactor. He was shocked, and he asked the managers if there was any way they could donate it to an organization or church or anything, but the managers said absolutely not, that was against Walmart policy. He told me that today alone, the store destroyed the patio set, four lawn chairs, enough diapers for a month of use, and two carts full of stuff. That is absolutely disgusting- what an awful, selfish, money-worshiping company.
It was only this week in practically-Canada that the weather started to warm up above mid seventies, but now it finally feels like real, true summer. (Besides the storm we had this week involving hail.) I've been at my job for a few weeks, and things are in full summer swing.
I've been trying to put aside some money for the wedding. I mean I've been trying to for a while now, but I keep having to dip into the fund every now and then in emergencies. It feels like I've been taking two steps forward and one step back, which is better than it being the other way around I guess, but I still feel as though we're not any closer to getting married. I worry about it all the time, and it really takes the fun out of being engaged. (Though, how much fun is left when it's already been two years, and there is still no wedding in sight?) I want everything to be perfect, and not that a less expensive wedding would be any less special, but you only get to do it once, and if I were to have a simple wedding I would want it to be because we planned it that way- not because we're young and have no money. Really I think I'll prefer a simple wedding, because starting off a marriage in unnecessary debt is simply not appealing to me. I would rather put more money toward a house and less toward a wedding than the other way around. As it stands now though, we can't afford a ceremony, a reception, or an apartment to live in afterwards.
We have such a long way to go.
Speaking of the future, I've been looking into some graduate schools, just to start thinking about what kinds of options are open to me. My bachelor's degree will be in painting, which leaves me with few career paths after school. I could become a working artist, which I really have no interest in at all, or I could become a teacher, which I'm sure I would love... but what I'm really interested in is therapy. Art therapy has many different forms and uses, and I want to learn about them all. Last summer, my youngest brother, Josh, was diagnosed with Autism at barely two years old. Since then, I've learned a lot about Autism, and the various ways in which it's treated. So, my true interest would be in using what I'm learning about art to help people like my brother find their voice. I read somewhere that people with Autism think in images, and using art as a form of speech therapy can be incredibly successful. That's what I want to do.
All that to say I found a school that looks quite promising: Eastern Virginia Medical School. (Who knew a little old art student like me would apply to med school?!) Their art therapy program looks incredible. The classes seem useful and interesting, and you end up being able to sort of customize your own degree by choosing three internships you're interested in. If I was absolutely sure I wanted to work with people with Autism, I would try to have my three required internships involve something in that field. I still have a lot of research to do, but the future looks promising again. I have to admit, after two years in art school, I was beginning to feel incredibly depressed at the thought of spending the rest of my life around some of the types of people I've encountered. Not that they're bad people, but I've never understood the idea of only making art for yourself, with no other purpose than to increase your popularity or fame within a certain group... not that that's what all artists do, but the farther I can be from that world, the better. I want to feel like I'm making a difference. Like I'm using my talent to change other peoples' lives, not simply to better my own.
It's not a profound or original thought, but it's one that's very important to me. If I could spend the rest of my life giving hope and a voice to people who never thought either thing would be theirs, I will die happy.
It's been a while since I've written an entry... so much for keeping up with this thing.
I'm home now and it's bittersweet. I love being able to see my family, but I often end up feeling guilty for not spending time with one or the other of my parents. I live with my dad, about half an hour away from my mom, and she constantly begs me to come over or do things with her. I love her and I love spending time with her but I love spending time with my dad and stepmom too. She ends up making me feel really guilty for not wanting to move back in with her, and it makes it hard to make time to see her when I just end up feeling bad the whole time. I suppose though that if my parents fighting over me is the worst of my worries, I've got it pretty good. Another thing is that I don't see my fiance Jon as much when we're home for the summer. We try to get together at least a couple times a week but sometimes it just doesn't happen. He's working thirty-five hours or so a week at Walmart and I'm working almost that in town, and when we're not at work we're with our families. It's unfortunate, but over breaks from school we usually end up in the mindset that we'll see each other all year, but we're only able to see our parents and siblings at Thanksgiving, Christmas and in the summer. Because of that we end up as a second priority to each other. We talk on the phone every night and all that fun stuff, but it's weird that we end up in more of a long-distance relationship at home than anywhere else.
It's also odd to come home and run into people from high school. Sometimes I'm really happy to see someone, like my friend Shannon who I saw at work the other night. We weren't exactly close in high school but she is one of the sweetest people I know, and it makes me so happy to be able to catch up with her and her boyfriend every now and then. Others stress me out; some because I know I should know them but can't for the life of me recall their names, others because I know I should try harder to see them but really I just don't have enough motivation. The latter is the saddest, because there are people that I really truly miss, but in the end I almost feel as though I've moved past them. Not that I'm better than them, but that they represent a part of my life that's gone. It's somewhat anachronistic to spend time with them, I think, and it's more weird than pleasant. Maybe that's ridiculous and petty, but I can't help it. I still love them and all, but I can't possibly keep up with everyone.
The worst part about being home is missing my friends from school. I hate that for eight months of the year I'm practically living on top of certain people and then have to go three and a half months without seeing them at all. I would visit or have some of them come up if they could, but I simply can't afford to take time off of work.
I realize how selfish I sound here- that I can't be bothered to see people because I don't want to or because I'm too busy. Or poor. I'm really not an awful person like it sounds, I just have an incredibly difficult time sorting my priorities into the right order.
Well now that the summer is officially underway (though it doesn't feel like it; it hasn't been over seventy degrees since I got home), I hope it can start to be a more productive one. I promised myself that I would do at least a few paintings this summer, but so far I've been unable to get motivated, or inspired. It's really not a good thing that when no one is telling me what to do, I simply don't make art at all. This is why I wanted to go into illustration: so that I would always have someone telling me exactly what they wanted something to look like. I'm really really awful at coming up with ideas on my own, and unlike many others I know, I seem to be unable to produce meaningful work when not given any direction. Assignments are a lot of fun for me, but when we're given a week to do whatever we want or in between classes, I simply can't seem to get myself to do much.
I have however started to sew again this summer, and so far I've completed one dress and one skirt. The dress is cute, but the skirt is a mess. I tried to use this stretchy t-shirt kind of fabric and I just couldn't seem to sew it in a straight line. The seams are everywhere and they cross over each other and I'm really pretty embarrassed of it. Oh well, you live and you learn. I won't buy that fabric again for a while.
Okay, well, I'm tired of this entry so that's it for now. 'Til next time.
Why is it that my school lets out at least a week after everyone else's? Not that I should complain; I really like it here and I don't mind staying, it's just odd.
There is no way I'm going to get better than a C on my Northern Renaissance Art final, which will bring my overall grade to a good solid B-. I can't understand how this guy thinks it's okay to give us no study guide, only the advice to study what we spend more time on (and we spend pretty much equal time on everything), and it ends up being so that we have to know everything about one hundred and thirty-five paintings by the end. That's a lot! I've been studying hard for a couple weeks now and I still don't have it down at all. All their names sound the same.
Some art history major I am.
I did quite well on one of my Painting III reviews, but it's hard to estimate how I did on the other. The same professor did them twice, so really she had nothing to say about my second one. It was frustrating, though, because she had plenty to say about everyone else's. I walked away in the end with the feeling that my work simply wasn't worth talking about. Which may just be a fair assessment. But then why did my first review go so well? The head of the department here is a pretty traditional guy when it comes to art, and he and I share some similar views. He was at my first review and not my second, so my only guess is that that could have something to do with it. My Figure II review went well, but I was confident it would; I've always been better at drawing than painting. She told me I have the best understanding of the pelvis of anyone to ever come from this school. Thanks?
My Experimental Book review is on Tuesday, and we've had three weeks to prepare our final book. Naturally, I haven't even started mine. Painting and Art History just took up all my time. I can't imagine what I would have done if my Psychology class hadn't been cancelled. I really can't tell whether it's my time management that's the problem, or if my classes were just a difficult combination. I think I did alright on time. I mean I feel like all I did was work. But then again here I am, not studying, writing this entry.
Tomorrow I'll hopefully start and finish my book, do my final and finish packing. Tuesday I hope to have everything moved into the new house and Wednesday I'll be on my way home.
Blogging has always struck me as being an odd thing. I used to do it a lot when I was younger, but it's just not the same as having a handwritten account you can hold and feel and flip through. Isn't it weird too that you're assuming the rest of the world is interested in what you're doing? I mean I really like to read other peoples' blogs, but then it makes me feel self-centered when I expect others to feel the same way about mine. Who am I that anyone else would give a crap? I suppose it's an easier way to update people about your life than telling them all individually, but even that concept bothers me.
Despite these things, I realize an artist in the present day cannot get by without a website of some kind. Why not post art and daily updates on my life? Of course I'll keep my paper journals closer than my laptop, but this will do as a complement.
So, all that to say, here I go with the first blog I've kept in years. I'll try to post as much art as text, but we'll see.