A Recap Of My Semester In No Particular Order (Part 2)

Hello again Wonderful Listeners!

So I’m back to talk more about what I’ve been up to since I was away. I’m not focusing on the academics as far as classes are concerned. Nope, I’m focusing on the extracurricular this time and these things have kept me just as busy as class has! So let me not waste time, I’ll get right to it.

The best way to talk about all of this is probably to split it up between the following subjects: Middle Grey, and Exhibitions. Be warned, I’m going to have a lot to say so please be prepared for quite the read. Alright let’s go!

Middle Grey

Oh boy! Do I have quite the mouthful to say about Middle Grey. I love Middle Grey right, but y’know, there come some pains with being a part of it. I mean, well, no, before I go too far I’ll start at the beginning.

Let’s go back to late April – early May of 2016 (Junior year) when this all started. I can’t remember exactly if I said this or not earlier in the year (around May it would’ve been) but I had been nominated for the position of Secretary for the Middle Grey officers. So I was super excited about that! I mean, it would’ve been nice to get like Vice President or something but, hey, I count my blessings.

I found out at the very same moment that Melanie (Treasurer), Miriam (Public Relations), and Chelsea (Vice President) were all nominated to be officers as well. Oh, but once we got to deciding who the President would be, that’s when things went wayward.

It was between Deidre and Nancy (whom I both like.) But they both tied for President so we had to revote. Funny enough, I believe Nancy won so we were settled on that being that. To be honest, I wanted Nancy over Deidre but that was because I know that Nancy is very organized where as Deidre isn’t. Regardless, what Melanie, Miriam, Chelsea, and I found out later was that there was a dispute behind the scenes.

Turns out that somebody reported rigging the votes or something along those lines. And so, Jessica (my professor and the faculty representative for the club) decided to just split the presidency between Deidre and Nancy. Deidre was to be President in the Fall and Nancy would be President in the Spring. I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t happy about that but the rest of the officers and I just swallowed that hard pill. We had to because he had no say over the matter. Even worse, we found out from other people instead of from Jessica.

Well, after that whole conundrum, Summer vacation came. I went through the Summer and came back around late August just before school started to meet up with my Middle Grey officers for the Fall semester. We went through planning for the semester, figuring out what would get done and what we had room to do otherwise.

At first, we were all on it. Deidre held her own as president. We were getting many things done but some time around, I believe, mid-September when the club meetings began again for the semester, things started going downhill. Though none of our club members would know this, there was turmoil among the officers of Middle Grey.

See, because we are all a part of a technology swamped generation, we communicated a lot via text message. Don’t worry, we held bi-weekly meetings to specifically talk about how the club events are going and other things. Still, a lot of things got worked out in our group chat.

What we noticed over time was that Deidre was quite condescending towards the rest of us as officers. She didn’t directly say offensive things; however, small remarks suggested otherwise. She often came across as baby-ing us or thinking that we couldn’t handle our jobs. That was annoying. And we definitely had to sit her down about that.

***

But before I get to that part, let me focus on something a bit happier. So we planned a show called Beginnings at this gallery called CAMIBAart. We received all of the artwork from our club members and we went to go hang the show. (If you want to know more on how planning the show went, check out this post here.) Around October 1st, we all met to hang and, well, to sum it up, there was hidden tension even during this time.

I was picked up by Deidre, who was late, and therefore I showed up late to the hanging session. In fact, everyone else was there before Deidre and I, which is disrespectful if you ask me. We couldn’t get started until everyone showed up anyway so that put us like an hour behind schedule.

Luckily, Jeanette, a fellow colleague, was there to show us how to hang properly. It was definitely an experience learning how to properly hang a show but thankfully I’m anal about measurements and getting things correct so that’s nice.

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Jeanette is in the center. The rest of us were just glad we weren’t in this alone!

We managed to get the show hung but we kept Troy, the gallery director, an hour past closing time (and I’m still irritated by this.) But, at least we did get the show hung.

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It looks rather good if I do say so myself!

By the way, small things that annoyed us during this process was that everyone seemed to be working hard except Deidre. In fact, she was on her phone most of the time. But I wasn’t in the mood to fight so I let it slide. I figured that it was more experience and practice for the rest of the officers and I.

After hanging this show, Chelsea, Miriam, and I went to grab a bite to eat. I wasn’t interested in going back with Deidre. We ended up at Chili’s and we were all able to vent our woes out about the tension among the officers. At the same time, we were able to laugh everything off between jokes about how we all love food. We even managed to talk about racial experiences at some point, which was really delightful!

(Just to jump back in time a bit, there was an event Middle Grey went to called 4×5 Photo Fest. I have a whole post about it here so go read that if you’d like. This takes place before the Beginnings show.)

I wanted to go to the show when it opened a few days later but I had things to take care of. What I did manage to do instead was snag a photo of the sign-in book to see all who came to our show. I got this photo later, after the show was taken down, but I wanted it for the sake of memories.

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Look at everyone who came out to support Middle Grey!

***

Now to jump back to sitting down Deidre to talk about her communication with the rest of the group. We had to schedule an “emergency meeting” with her but we decided to meet before our classes started for the day, at Mocha’s & Java’s. To be honest, none of us were looking forward to it but we had to do it.

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Aside from trying to wake up, none of us were having it. At all…

Well, Deidre was late yet again (because she’s never on time.) We got her to sit down but we were all diplomatic with our grievances. It ended up that she became more aware of how she was coming off to us, and she showed change in how she communicated. Although, it was short-lived. A few weeks after our “emergency meeting” she was back to her condescending self again. But by this point, we just dealt with it. We were almost halfway through the semester and didn’t want to make the rest of it a bummer.

After this “unsuccessful” intervention, we shifted our focus to the annual bake sale. This fundraising event went really well though! Plus, it was easier to deal with since Deidre wasn’t around to see most of it happen. Ironically, the only picture I have of that event is one where I wasn’t there.

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Aww… Look at them. Iconic moment!

Don’t worry though. I definitely helped rake in a lot of money for the club, with the help of my fellow officers of course. We made at least $400 after all was said and done. But that’s pretty good since we were only granted two days to be there! Of course, we had to thank our club members for donating to the sale, otherwise it wouldn’t have taken place anyway.

***

Now we come to the House Show part of the story. Around this time, we’re at the end of October somewhere (the 22nd I believe.) Now, we had our members submit their stuff again but this show was more relaxed. In fact, it wasn’t a show, it was more of a party really. It was held off in Austin, Texas somewhere, at a venue that is purposely used for big parties. But that wasn’t my idea, it was Deidre’s. (Surprise!)

Well, I didn’t have the time to help hang the show, but I showed up to support the show this time. Now, I admit, it was just the members and their personal friends but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I’m not really one to go to big parties but I did have a fun time. There was good music (and I will give Deidre props in finding an awesome DJ), food, and above all close friends. Plus, what party is complete without beer pong? College tradition I suppose.

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I find it easier to get by when I’m observing…
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But in intimate spaces, I really thrive. That’s why this photo is so great!

I spent most of my time with my friends actually. Benjamin (whom I wrote about in this post), Chelsea, Jason, Abbey and a few others were who I hung around during the party. There were moments where I did separate to talk to people I didn’t know and I did enjoy myself for those moments. But they were few and far between.

The best part of that night for me was when my friends and I left the party and went to IHOP at like 3 AM. Half of them were still drunk but it made for a fun time. Me being sober, I was quite entertained by their inebriated shenanigans.

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Waiting to be seated for a party of seven. I still laugh at remembering these moments.

How inebriated were some of us? Well, Jason stated singing. I mean, he went all out and you know what, he was killing it! I didn’t know he could sing that good. And we threw so many jokes at each other, oh, it was just a fun time. Plus, IHOP food is amazing at 3 AM. And I wished I remembered more, but all I do remember was that I had fun, but only after we left the party.

However, we weren’t just done with the House Show. Turns out that when Deidre took all of our members prints back to campus, she didn’t keep them in the best condition. Many of them complained to us about how their prints were damaged. But then again, we as officers made it clear that this wasn’t an offical show and that it was a party. We kind of assumed that our members would donate usable prints but not high-quality prints. Turns out we were wrong!

***

Anyway, skipping ahead to early-mid November, we had another show coming up for our members. It was to be held in Sabinal, the “Photo Building” on campus, where we hold Middle Grey meetings. We had our members submit to that but we took care of everything except for the image choices. That was determined by our sponsored Juror for the show.

See the “Sabinal Show”, which was titled Reality and Perception: There Is No Truth In Photography, was really sponsored by the Photography department faculty. So they wanted something to put in the building’s gallery and they called Middle Grey! But we did everything from scratch with this one.

Luckily, Jessica was around to help us out with this. Now, Jessica is super-duper anal about making sure a show goes right. And thankfully, I understand that because I’m the same way. Jessica taught me how to really measure properly for framing work, how to cut properly, handle large prints, etc. It was a wonderful experience. Although, it took forever. We actually spent a whole day just getting everything into their frames.

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We were relaxing before Jessica showed up. 9 AM call times aren’t so fun…

During this whole process, Deidre was very down-to-earth and understanding. I mean, she was starting to be enjoyable to be around. Too bad that by this point, there wasn’t much time left to be around her…

Anyway, after getting everything into the frames, we took another day to get all of the photos on the wall. It was CAMIBAart all over again. Thankfully, we didn’t spend six hours getting the photos on the wall like we did getting them into their frames and all cleaned up. It only took like, four.

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It takes a team/village to get these things perfect. Oh, and a break here and there.

Once we got the show up though, we relished. We were all so glad to be done. I mean, like, we just left to go home and get some rest. It was pretty great.

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Don’t it look so beautiful?

Turns out that this was the last show of the semester for Middle Grey. So, as in tradition, we invited our members to come see their own work. And we were actually surprised by how many people showed up!

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A surprising turnout! And some people even dressed up!

(I really don’t blame our members for not coming to the reception. Considering that they would see this work every day of the week since we all basically live at Sabinal on some days, it’s just a hassle to come back.)

And then we ended the semester with a potluck party. It was a nice gift exchange and fun social for those who attended. At this point, we as officers had been through a lot. We were sad that Middle Grey was basically done for the semester. We were annoyed with having to deal with Deidre all semester. We were happy that we kept things together to help Middle Grey grow. We had been through a lot.

And you know what? Now that it’s basically over and all of our meetings are done, along with planned events, it’s refreshing. I have time for myself now. And, I’m glad (and so is everyone else) to be getting close to Nancy and thinking about next semester so we can leave this one behind us.

Ooh! Before I forget, I wanted to mention what Middle Grey had to do with me as Secretary. I ended up sending out lots of emails to members about information, meetings, events, etc. I also was in charge of cleaning up our archives since they are a mess but that’s gonna take some time. I was at least thankful in the end that I ended up Secretary because I am really good at it. (Thanks Scott for beating your methods into me. Artpace really is with me forever…)

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