Back at Olin. Room unpacked onto desk. I'm ignoring the desk for now. Tired, but contentedly so; Kristen baked good bread (I have not had good crusty bread straight from the oven for ages) and I'm waiting for the drowsiness of carbohydrates to kick in. Meantime, I'm lounging in the purple chair, enjoying the soft tiredness that comes from long stretches of reading and even longer stretches of design.
Homework is being procrastinated until 3pm Sunday when the design sprint Eric Munsing and I are on has finished. I have too many books; a 4-tier bookshelf and a yaffa block set can barely hold what used to be half my technical collection. The SCOPE projects are too shiny for me to decide rightly; I'll be happy in most all of them, so I could hypothetically pick it like my major (by dartboard).
A passage in the book I'm reading says that the creative span multiple worlds in an occasionally painful way. Double major or more, can't make up their minds as to what they like or do, physically and personality-wise androgynous (I'm still mistaken for a teenage boy), they "lead hyphenated lives," and I think this sounds awfully familiar and that it's not so much painful as it is mostly lonely, but the contrast of it makes the sweetness of learning and the rare rush of connection with another person that much more vivid, more worthwhile, and I wouldn't trade it for the world although of course sometimes I do.
It is the first semester since being a freshman that I have not been a NINJA for the freshmen, and I find myself jealous of my friends who are. I miss it already, not to mention feeling like a slacker. Plus the classes have improved as usual. (They had to stop grading math homework the semester I take a sabbatical.) But I know I have to step out of the compulsion to do other people's work so when I do go back to it, tutoring is a choice and not an addiction. Which it was, and is. You can be addicted to most anything. It's just that the stuff I become addicted to is usually seen as "productive."
In Prof. Donis-Keller's drawing class, finally. I'm looking forward to seeing how drawing is taught, because I do not know; I have not really been taught before, but I know that what I do is as far as I can get by myself for a very long time because my last quantum leap in drawing was when I was fifteen and noticed the fine structure of nostrils and ears in a magazine ad on the plane to Italy. Since then I've sketched, but it's been a long plateau, no real improvement from when I was a kid except that I see tiny bits more and can shade with anything, even a leaky ballpoint pen.
It felt good to hold a pencil and have a big swath of paper and a big hunk of graphite and get my fingers and the knife edge of my palm smeared with black ("artist's hand," I call it). I have not used an easel like that before and took a long time to figure out what all the knobs did, and I wonder why they are made of heavy wood and not thin metal. We drew our self-portraits and it felt good to turn the words and numbers in my brain off and think in drawing again, although I have not done it for so long that it feels stilted, rusty like speaking your native language for the first time in years. I can see edges of clumsiness in my sketches that I cannot articulate and can therefore not yet clear. I remember why I wanted to be an art major, and I wonder how long my wrists and fingers will last, now that I draw, and also write and code and keyboard more and more.
My eyes and my fingers, and the remnants of my ears. I rely on them tremendously, and becuase I rely on them I use them up so quickly, so my glasses grow worse and my wrists get cranky. I do not know how long they will last.
I am beginning to stop thinking in words now, so I will go to bed.