Thoughts From The 6th Of February (2017)

Hi there Wonderful Listeners!

Well, today has already been a quite interesting day if I do say so myself. Honestly, I want to just jump right in actually.

So, it’s Monday. I have Thesis II at 11am but I didn’t really get to spend much time there. Why? Well, because I had a special luncheon to go to. Sincerely. I did spend about 40 minutes in class but that was because I had to talk about my project proposal for the class.

Last semester I focused on anxiety disorders. This semester, I’m jumping into ideas that I really want to focus on, like storytelling and sentimentality. Well, I presented my ideas to the class and they gave me some wonderful feedback. Honestly, it inspired me to continue on with what I’m doing, mainly because it validated that my ideas were acceptable ones. 🙂

Well, after going through that, I booked it across campus to the art building. I was to meet with some very important people from the APR program (it’s a board of people who review the current condition of the School of Art & Design at my university.)

Waiting for the elevator inside the art building, I ran into Augustine. He’s a wonderful guy, who has an amazing handsome 11-year-old that’s spontaneous and full of life. His son’s name is Austin. Anyway, I know him from seeing him around the painting studio when I was taking painting. He’s a painter so that’s why I saw him there a lot.

Aside from our past, we caught up with each other while waiting. We ended up realizing that we were going to the same place, funny enough. We exited the elevator and went to the room which the conference was supposed to be held. Strangely, though we were right on time, no one was there in the room.

See, we received emails that designated the location and time yet, it seemed like maybe we had both gotten it wrong. Well, we hadn’t. It turned out that the APR people were just running behind schedule. Apparently, they had on their schedules that the luncheon was to take place at 12:30pm, not 12pm. So we ended up waiting there, along with the other students who received the invitation for 30 minutes.

30 minutes is a long time to wait sometimes… Especially for art students!

Thankfully, the food arrived before the APR people did. I feasted my eyes on it. Jason’s Deli was sounding absolutely spectacular, especially considering that it would be my first meal of the day! How lucky of me right?!

My mouth was watering already at this point…

One of the APR members walked in not too long after the food arrived. She sat down and insisted that we go get some food. Of course, there was some playful banter going on, what with some food spillage and being discombobulated about particular times and whatnot. It was all a rather light and open environment.

Though I didn’t catch her name, she reminded me of the women in my family strangely…

After serving ourselves, the rest of the APR members came in. It was just two other gentlemen (one of whom I had to compliment about their shoes since they were dapper!) One of the gentleman was elderly but extremely friendly, and one was much younger but clearly had an accent. I thought that perhaps he had heritage from Germany or France. I couldn’t really tell.

Anyway, we began our discussion promptly thereafter. I tell you, all of us gave some rather amazing input and critique about the Art & Design program at my university. We were all open and casual about our experiences and frustrations. Turns out that it helped out the APR people a lot in figuring out what changes should be made for the future.

In particular, I found myself talking about scheduling conflicts, professor evaluation, the Photography department as a whole, and the interactivity between art majors. My input, I felt, was helpful and possibly lacking in clarity at some points. Thankfully, the other students present helped build up that argument/critique for me.

We spent an entire hour there just talking and reviewing. Time simply flew by but they had a schedule to keep, and we as students had places to be. So, we concluded our conference. The APR members gave us their thanks and insisted that we take a plate for the road. I declined since I would be returning home.

Walking out of the conference room, I ran into some of my professors. I saw Erina (my History of Documentary Photography professor) and Barry (Head of the Photography department) and greeted them. They were excited to see me, and of course, Barry had to ask me what I had to say about the photo program. I, of course, insisted nothing but good things, which was true. I even let him though that I specifically put in a good word for him as a professor. He gave me a content head nod.

Then walking out of the building to the buses (because I had missed the rest of Thesis II), I ran into Chelsea and Dayann. Chelsea was going to a class but we chatted for a good 4 minutes. Dayann also came out roughly around the same time. Her and I walked over to the buses together, just talking about what I was doing and things that were on her mind.

I told her to email me if she had questions about anything to do with writing. After all, I am good with that skill. I said that, mainly because she was worried about her writings for Jason (another photography professor.) I know Jason and have had him before. He does make you write a lot but he also has good reason. So I told her if she was struggling to take me up on my offer.

Anyway, I reached the buses, bid her a farewell, and went home. Then I got home, rested for a couple of hours, and then went back to school for Expanded Media III. Being in class with Liz was pretty awesome, especially considering that we were talking about race as provoked by Claudia Rankine’s Citizen.

I’m just going to say rather quickly that I found this work to be so powerful. As a Black person in America, I relate way too much to the honesty of experiences described in the video above. Nonetheless, I’m glad that my classmates and I were able to tackle such a big topic. It’s not easy but thankfully, we got the ball rolling which provoked ideas about how to address the situation.

We actually had a really stimulating conversation about race. It was even more interesting considering that I am the only Black individual in the class. So, of course, my situation was considered on the topic. Thankfully, my colleagues and I are respectful people and we could talk deeply about the problems of race, micro-aggression, and spectacle. Though we were interrupted by time constraints, I know we could’ve gone on forever about the topic.

After that experience, she informed us about our first project. I’m excited for it! I wonder what my poetry skills and body image will have to do with this project’s development? I’ll have to keep working on that to find out I suppose!

After class ended, I headed back to Sabinal (the Photo building) because I had a Middle Grey meeting with my officers. Since complications came up over the weekend, we met today after classes on campus. We had a really great meeting to be frank! 🙂 We even ordered pizza! I love my officers… they’re so wonderful. We talked about a lot that I can’t tell you. 😛 But just know that it was good for me.

Well, that’s my day for ya. Hope you’re all doing well. I’ll catch you later. Cheers!

If you could give feedback to someone who had control over your school’s inner workings, what would you say (or have said while you were in school)? What do you think of Rankine’s work? What are your thoughts on race? Leave all your thoughts below!


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