Fini!

Finals are over. My last presentation was made yesterday. Grades (for me, anyway) have already been posted. I made A’s in all my classes. I worked so hard to maintain that 4.0 GPA and I succeeded. Now I can rest. I’m taking a break this summer. But I’m already planning out my downtime. I’m taking today to map out what I’d like to do on my whiteboard, just as soon as I erase everything else.

End of Semester

 

I was so stressed out this semester, especially when it came down to finals. I went into this semester as an “A Student” and I’d managed to keep it up until finals. I didn’t want to lose it. How stressed was I? After I’d finished everything and felt good about my final projects, when I was just waiting to turn everything in and make my presentations, over that weekend I had a nightmare. I dreamed I made a B in one of my classes. At least I woke up from it and recognized the dream for what it was. Instead of being panic stricken I broke out into a giggle fit. It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself.

I’ve built more relationships on campus this semester than I thought. On the last day, there were people in the lab laughing and joking with me, saying goodbye for the summer. Some of my classmates even wanted to take pictures with me. When I go back in the fall I’ll be taking night classes and I probably won’t see them. I realized I’ll miss these people more than I thought…

I'll Just Think About That Tomorrow

 

Yes, I’m taking the Scarlett O’Hara approach on that one. I’m going to enjoy my summer break and I’ll just think about that tomorrow.

Final Projects: Done

Ahead of schedule, I might add. Well, with the exception of the presentations I have to give this week. If they would have let me give those ahead of schedule I would have given them all by last Friday. Alas, I must go to class next week anyway. I make my presentations on Wednesday and Thursday, and then I will officially be done. Grades will be posted on the 17th.

The past month has been fairly stressful. It started at the beginning of April, when we were preparing for the “Design Charrette”, an annual event where students spend one day working on projects submitted by local non-profit organizations. It’s a major part of our grade, but at the same time it’s nice to help local charities who need logo designs, brochures, websites, and other assistance they wouldn’t normally get because it isn’t in their budget. It gives the students the opportunity to see what it’s like to work with a client in a “real-world” scenario under a tight deadline, and perhaps make networking connections.

Of course, this falls right on top of finals. Because of the Design Charrette, regular classes were cancelled in order to prepare for the Charrette on Friday. Students had time to work on projects they received ahead of time. Downside? No lecture time for upcoming final projects.

One would think we hit the ground running the following week, but we were behind schedule. We had presentations from projects we’d just completed. We lost two classes there. GAH!!!

Finally, the week of April 22, we get lecture time and details on our final projects – projects that are due in two weeks.

Oh The Stress
OMG!!! I’ll never make it!!

 

Tangent warning

Words of advice to all of you college students out there: One class/One professor. Never take more than one class from a professor during a single semester. I’m taking three classes this semester and they’re all taught by the same guy. When I saw this, I thought, “Hey, at least I’ll only have to adjust to one teaching style.” That may be true, but he gives all his assignments on the same day in all of his classes. Just remember, if you’re ever in this situation the curriculum won’t change just because you’re in two or more of your professor’s classes. And I don’t know about you, but those classes blur together. I go to the wrong classroom every now and then because I associate the classroom with the professor. Perhaps I’m “The Absent Minded Student.” 😉

 

Back to the subject at hand

Somehow I managed to complete these projects ahead of schedule. I’m still trying to figure that part out. I didn’t do a slapdash job. I even had time to create portfolio layouts for my professor to print.

Last night was the first night I quite literally had nothing to do. I surfed the ‘net a bit, then I just sat on the couch and watched movies. It was … odd.

 

It’s been so long since I had free time I don’t know quite what to do, but I do know it’s time to emerge from my cave.

Sun+Goddess
There is life outside of my computer room!

It’s almost over!!

Well, at least for the semester. I’m in the final crunch, everyone. I’ve got three – count ‘em – three final projects due in two weeks. I’ve got hard deadlines of May 7 on all of those projects. The projects are broken down into work packages (hmm… sounds like project management). Each work package has its own deadline coming up much sooner.

On top of final projects, my InDesign prof asked me to work with another non-profit who didn’t get their project worked on at the Design Charrette. I need to get that done. He’s also asked me to design the certificates they’re going to give all the students who participated in the Design Charrette. I’m more than flattered. This guy thinks highly enough of me to ask me to do this? Sr’sly? But I just looked at my whiteboard and got a bit overwhelmed.

Bottom line – I won’t be coming up for air until this is all over.

Picture Not Available

2013 Design Charrette

This morning I was a tightly wound spring, so what do I do? I go to Starbucks to get my quad-venti-caramel-non-fat-latte (that’s a 4 ounces of espresso in a 20 ounce cup, for those who aren’t familiar). Now, Starbucks has these re-useable cups, but they only come in a “grande” size (16 ounce). So instead of getting my usual venti, I grab my two re-useable cups and get two grande’s.

The caffeine helps keep me on an even keel.

Goddess Caffeina

 

I taste the sweet nectar of the Goddess Caffeina and I can feel her soothing arms around me. I begin to unwind as I finish my drive to the campus.

I get onsite and claim my spot at one of the Mac’s. I sign in, check my email, and I see my client will be there in about an hour. I have some time to put some final touches on page one and get started on page two before she gets here!

I quickly find out how fast an hour can fly by.

Regardless, my client is more than pleased with the ideas I’ve got and work I’ve done. We talk about a couple of tweaks here and there. I get her input on a couple of ideas and show her what I’m planning for the rest of page two. She’s eager to see the final product!

Everything went amazingly smooth! When I was finished with that project I was able to help another student design a logo.

My InDesign instructor referred to me as his “star student” today then handed me another project that had to be done in under 2 hours (from concept to final). I did it.

This doesn’t even touch the surface of everything that went on today. There were so many students working together; giving feedback to each other… it was just amazing!

I left campus with such a feeling of excitement and accomplishment! I know I started this day out as a nervous wreck, but I liken it to a bit of stage fright. Once I got into the wings and stepped out onstage, that was the best show, ever!

Image from RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane
Image from RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane

A case of the nerves this morning

I don’t have much time to write. I have to leave in about 15 minutes. Geez, I don’t even have time to run a grammar check on this. :/

Our campus holds an annual “Design Charrette”, where non-profit organizations come in and meet with the students, and we get the opportunity to design any work they need done. Some of us were lucky and were paired up with a client earlier this week. I was one of the lucky ones. 🙂

I get to meet my client today and OMG I’m just a basket of nerves!

What

I’ll update you on my client and the entire experience tonight. Meanwhile, it’s about time to go. Wish me luck!

 

Oh, that’s not me…. that’s me? No… Um… yeah.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. I’ve been putting myself under a ton of stress over this one assignment in my Illustrator class. I’m so used to picking things up so quickly, this curve ball threw me for a loop.

The problem I’ve encountered brought up my “Inner McFly” voice. For those who haven’t read that previous post, McFly is that inner critic who tells you things aren’t good enough, blows things out of proportion, and eventually convinces you that everything you do isn’t good enough. If you’re a perfectionist, McFly takes the opportunity to shout at the top of his lungs, pointing out every flaw in what you’re doing.

That’s exactly what McFly’s been doing for the past couple of weeks with my Pen Tool assignment. Of course, as a result, I’ve become an expert on Edit/Undo and I’m behind on the actual project itself.

There’s this guy in another one of my classes I refer to as “Rain Man”.  I apologize in advance if I offend anyone – it’s probably quite rude of me to refer to him by that nickname, but he really does have that “savant” trait (and I never use anyone’s real name in my blog). His artistic ability is beyond words – he creates some beautiful pieces. He has classic autism. I couldn’t tell you where his functioning range is, but I’d hazard a guess it’s somewhere between moderately high and very high.

Rain Man strives for an A on all of his assignments. This is his personal goal. If he achieves it, he treats himself by going to dinner at the Hyatt restaurant, downtown. He’ll proudly tell you about his personal goal if you ask him. I found out recently what happens if he does not make an A…

Rain Man was distraught. He approached me in class and asked me if the instructor would count off on his assignment because he forgot to turn in the grade sheet. I explained to him that it was a part of the requirement, but he should probably talk to the instructor. Rain Man said that if he lost 10 points because he forgot to turn in the grade sheet, he would have to punish himself by “making a withdrawal from his account and going to the mall.”

I know it sounds funny, but Rain Man wasn’t laughing. Rain Man was dead serious and quite upset. And, really, perhaps going to the mall is punishment for Rain Man. Regardless, McFly is talking to Rain Man, too. It’s the same voice, but one of us has different filters.

I saw how unhappy he was and knew anything I said would only serve to further frustrate him.

Although it was taken to an extreme, I saw my own behavior. It was like looking in a mirror. I saw the frustration and anger on his face and how he was beating himself up for not being perfect, I saw what I’ve been doing to myself over this Pen Tool assignment. The only difference is that I’m not giving myself retail therapy.

I made a decsion at that moment. McFly can go straight to hell. If I don’t make an “A” on this one assignment, it’s not the end of the world.

Where is Duch?

Spring Semester 2013 has started up with a bang and I’m loving every busy minute of my full load! Alas, I also have the home life, personal projects, and a house that is quickly showing just how busy I’ve been (housework? WHAT housework???).

Not Enough Time in a Day
Not Enough Time in a Day

 

Give me a bit to settle into the semester, everyone. I’ll be back soon. 🙂