Monday, May 24, 2010

One week down...

I hadn't realized that it had been two weeks since I last posted! 

My one "off" week went pretty well.  I did prep work for class, but didn't feel quite prepared.  I'm teaching a 6-week class this summer.

Last week was my first week of teaching.  It was mixed.  I thought I had prepared enough material for three days of class.  Instead, I lectured all the way through Monday AND Tuesday's class material on Monday.  Monday night, I expanded what I had originally planned on being Wednesday's material, and taught that Tuesday.  It went very well, and I was very happy.  However, I was now out of class material.  I threw together a slide set for Wednesday.  It was a disaster.  The lecture not only was short (the class periods are 75 minutes, and I only taught for 50 minutes), but I found myself reading the slides off the screen!  It was the great faux pas of presenting:  never just read the slides!  Thursday, I redeemed myself slightly--the class was 60 minutes, and I was back to presenting, rather than reading.

My sleep schedule was wonky, too.  I would go to bed at midnight, wake up at 4 am to prepare for my 9:30 am class.  Then, in the afternoon, around 3 o'clock or so, I would go home and nap for 4 hours, wake up, continue preparing for class until around midnight....rinse, repeat.  I lost all sense of normal time.  I would wake up from my mid-day nap panicked, thinking I had slept through my class.  Things that happened earlier on the on the same day, I believed had happened the day before.  

And yet, it was a good week.  I had burned a penny-sized hole in my carpet (a story for another time).  I went to Lowe's, looking for a carpet sample so I could cut a plug out of the sample and patch my carpet.  Lowe's didn't have sample sections of carpet there, but they called the manufacturer, and had them sent me a carpet square directly--at no cost to me.  I love Lowe's. 

For carrying lunch, I bought a food storage container from the Rubbermaid "Premier" line.  As someone who had been using the disposable Ziplock food containers, the Rubbermaid was a revelation.  It was actually sturdy, and the plastic was glasslike in how clear it was.  I used it for carrying black bean soup (yes, the same soup I wrote about in my last post).    

I finished up my leather project!  Expect photos of the purse revitalization project in the near future. 

For school, I bought new shoes, and for my upcoming summer trips, I bought a new camera.  It's a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35.  To go with the new camera, I took out a book from the library: Photography: The art of composition by Bert Krages.  

I still plan on using my current pocket-sized camera for most of my shooting, simply because it is much easier to carry.  Plus, I'm never been much of a technical person when it came to photography.  I guess I've always seen it as an art, and not a science.  An interesting point made by the book--I've read the first two chapters--is that artists don't spend alot of time arguing about tools, their pencils and brushes, but it is not uncommon for photographers to spend countless hours arguing about which camera is best.  At some point I really do need to get into the whole technical side of the art--but right now, I'd like to figure out the art side fo the art.  I have to be able to see first, right? before I start trying to get a machine to copy what I see. 

The exercises in the book are supposed to teach one how to see objects as points, lines, and shapes, and is based on theory from Betty Edwards book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain".  The first exercise in Krages' book:  photographing still points: Rocks.  This means that in the next few weeks, expect to see photos of rocks on this blog.  (The section of photographing points ends with points in motion: birds in flight, and moving balls in a sports game.  I then graduate to the section of photographing lines, starting with still lines: Forks!  Rocks and forks, I can't wait!)  But I guess that's the point (ha, ha) of having a person photograph common objects--it forces a person to see things they normally overlook. 

Anyway, one week down for teaching.  Five more weeks to go.  This will be a short teaching week for me, since on Thursday there is an exam. 

Happy Pentecost!        

The penny remains.