Monday, December 8, 2008

Portfolio Day / Interesting Weekend Pt.1

Dear Globlets,

Every time I read the word "goblet," I read it as "globlet" now! >.<

This is a terribly long post so I suggest you take a pee now and grab a snack and/or beverage before continuing. Thank you for your cooperation.

[A huge chunk of this glob just got deleted - no idea how - but it cannot be retrieved... so I'm rewriting it. Fuck!!!... Sorry.]

On Friday, we not only got our new stove, finally , but I also spent a long time picking and printing photos for Portfolio Day. I'm very grateful to all my friends who helped with that. I really didn't expect so many people to pitch in and actually take time out of their day to help with their suggestions.
The printer was taking longer than we had anticipated to print the pictures. The last few to emerge from the printer were printed while we were all ready to leave; ourselves equipped with jackets and shoes while Lucy, the cat, was waiting downstairs by the door, hoping to get out.
We tried to made the 19:00 but missed it by a few minutes. We'd driven as fast as we could without drawing flashing lights, sirens and cozzers with a licence to ki... give speeding tickets too close.

I got on the 21:00. Waiting for the ferry to arrive, I was reading my book. At one point I looked up and saw the ferry arriving and I thought to myself, Okay, cool. Shouldn't be too much longer. I'll put the book away after the stampede of people goes by. Some time went by and I heard only a few people walk behind me. I didn't pay too much attention to it but maybe I thought it was just a really un-busy ferry? At 10-past, I looked up to see the ferry was moving! I thought the 21:00 ferry was leaving, without me and for some reason without all the people who, at that point, I began to assume were going to the Gulf Islands instead. My heart was racing and I was panicking, but still trying to keep my cool because my assumption had yet to be confirmed. I thought my missing the 21:00 ferry was because I ignore the ticket-people when they give me my ticket and tell me which berth to go to, since I go back and forth so often, it's always the same berths and I walk to them without even thinking, and, well... What if this time it was a different berth? Oh god. Turns out, my mini-heart attack was unnecessary but still managed to take off a few days of my life. I'm going to die so young, I swear.
I could barely concentrate on my book on the stupid ship. I rarely can. Sometimes I enjoy the ferry ride... but it isn't a common thing.

My grandpa picked me up and drove me to my friend, S' place, after much confusion about how S and I were going to get there in the morning. I stayed the night so we could go to the Uni. together in the morning.
I had actually forgotten to print two of my favourite pictures, (the shoe one and the brick wall one) but my grandpa printed them out for me, even though his printer is kind of crappy, and we picked them up on the way, Saturday morning. My grandma made us sandwiches and gave us some cake in a paper bag; they came in handy, to say the least. >.<

[Awww man! A chunk got deleted here too! RAWR!!! SO MUCH, too.]

I got there some time after 23:00. S and I went over our portfolios and spent a good deal of time arranging my photos in a visually appealing way, narrowing it down to 13. 10-15 pieces of work was recommended due to the time period you'd have with the ECU person; 10-15 mins. We went to bed just after 1:00, I think.
We woke up at 5. It was horrible. I took a quick shower because... well, I'll let you fill in the blanks here. We got ready and then headed off to the nearest Starbucks for some much needed caffeine. I got my soy mocha with no whip in "grande," foolishly thinking I'd actually be able to finish it. I drank half.
"Venti" is as foreign a word to me as George Water is to young, pop-loving teenagers of today - just less tragic.

We arrived at the Uni. at around 7:20 and stood at the end of the semi-short, yet rapidly increasing, lineup. 98% of the people there were Oriental - just a factual/observational statement. At 8:00ish, they opened the doors, unleashing the mob of people like water through a dam which made the early birds unjustly lose their place. It was so disorganized, not thought-through, and caused general mayhem and confusion. I was really disappointed in not only the school for their inability to anticipate and logically organize this widely popular, yearly event, but also in the people who must find courtesy irrelevant or a setback, if not an obstacle, when one is attempting to achieve their goal. The whole thing was just stupid.

After four+ hours of waiting on concrete and of being uncomfortable whether standing or sitting, we were finally let in to see one of "The Big Guns" of ECU. We were in the first round.
And now, the moment of truth:
My designated Big Gun, Rodney, whose name I had to ask twice after he told me ( =bad ), gave me a lot of good advice on how and what to take pictures of in the future. He said he would have liked to see more of my thought process, before and after taking pictures, and I agreed with him that it would be a good idea. I'm all for having a notebook to jot down my thoughts and inspirations and whatnot. I was quite appreciative of what he said in that regard, however, he also made me feel like I was wasting his time; that I was nothing compared to any of the other students who clearly wanted to get in to ECU much more than I did. He flipped through my work pretty darn fast too.

What would I have done differently, knowing what Big Gun, Rodney, would say? I would have picked more pictures, maybe picked different pictures, and not spent so much time worrying about the visually appealing arrangement of each photo in the portfolio (although I cannot say if that was unappreciated altogether). I would have liked to get more criticism on what I already have in my portfolio versus what I don't have. That's more along the lines of what I was expecting. I mean, on the back of the registration form they handed out, was the checklist that the Big Guns fill out, assessing your portfolio. I thought I would do pretty well in most aspects: Experimentation, oh yeah, I have some of that; Variety, yes, I've got a lot of different kinds of photos; Documentation and though process, oh, don't have any of that but maybe I can just explain it to 'em; etc. Yeah, not so much.

He told me I needed to show more variety of arts. I needed more paintings, sketches, drawings, writing, sculptures or industrial 3D stuff; all art forms I'm not interested or experienced in, nor even good at, excluding writing.
My main woman, Fi, had recently told me that the reason she's not interested in ECU is because they focus a lot on other art forms - not just photography. I see what she means now.
In most Uni's, I believe you get in with what you are interested in, with what you've accomplished in that field, and then you take other courses as well, after you've been admitted. For ECU, the first year is the Foundation Year which consists of mandatory courses in many different areas of art - like the ones previously mentioned. The thing I find silly is you have to know a decent amount about all other art forms and you have to be somewhat experienced in those areas. So... what? I have to spend money on courses to learn how to paint so that I can get into the school I like, to which more money will be given, where I will have to work on many art forms while I really only want to study photography? I know I don't have to take courses, but I would feel more confident in showing my work to a Big Gun if I did, naturally. Sure, they'd say that they would look at the deeper meaning, behind the obvious poor attempt at a drawing, for instance, but would that really make my portfolio worthy of acceptance?
Rodney said that students often change their interests to something else during the Foundation Year. That's great. Maybe if I were remotely interested in other art forms, it would be an ideal thing to work for. Music and literature are the only other two art forms I really love. Maybe it's because I've never tried sketching or painting, but nothing about it is really "calling me". I have no motivation to seek skill in the other departments. If I had the choice, I'd spend the rest of my days solely with my piano and other instruments, my camera + equipment, and my computer or pencil, doing the things that I love.

Maybe one day I'll be interested in sculpting. But maybe one day I'll be interested in medicine?
In the end, I've decided to pat ECU gently on the head and walk away to focus on what I'm currently interested in.
I'll do some college courses. There are some great sounding schools near me, so why not? If I feel ECU is right for me in the future, then I will try again and abide by their expectations now that I know what they are. Until then, photography is my passion and will be practiced for as long as my heart wishes...
... indefinitely.

[Part two of "interesting" weekend will follow shortly in different post.]

- Ori.

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