Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More Photography

This assignment in my photography class was to take a picture from the point of view of a coffee cup and then do corrections on it.  I got an okay grade on it.  The color correction was a little off. 


Another English Paper

A couple of days ago I got my second English paper back.  I only got an 88 on it.  My grammar still had some problems but was better.  The main problem was that he thought I didn't follow the prompt very well.  The paper was supposed to be about a disappointment and how we dealt with it. 

Finding Myself

The word “loser” had been skittering through my panicked brain. I had been job hunting for two years without luck and I was desperate. Career aptitude tests suggested hairstyling so I went to beauty school.
I was terrified on that first day of school but I was also hopeful. Throughout the year each teacher assured my classmates and me that we were on the road to greatness. We were constantly regaled with tales of graduates who had gone on to fame and fortune.
Like my classmates, I worked hard for my promised success. Every time I did something well I felt a rush of pride. That feeling intensified when I graduated, with honors, and when I passed my licensing exams with high scores. I went out ready for the future.
The first places I applied to were nice salons with advanced training programs and high pay. I had three interviews, out of more than thirty applications. All my classmates had similar jobs but no one wanted me.
After months of being rejected I started applying at the cheap salons. They seemed about as eager to hire me as the high end salons and I was ready cede defeat when I got a call back. It was a three hour bus ride and it only paid minimum wage, but they wanted me.
The first day of work was like that first day of school, full of hope and fear as I familiarized myself with my station and my duties. The salon was slow, hardly any customers walked in. The people who did come requested specific stylists and I was left with no one in my chair and no one who had time to train me. I filled the long hours with busy work and I watched my fellow employees. The few times I had a customer were horrible. Cuts I had done well in school turned into horrible hack jobs when I tried them at work. If I felt that I had done a good job I would be told the next day that the customer had come back unhappy. Work had become a nightmare. I had been working for a month and a half when I decided I couldn't do it anymore. I quit.
Suddenly I could breathe again. There was some guilt over giving up but the feeling of freedom was so much stronger.
There were a couple of interviews after I quit but no call backs. I started to fear getting hired as much as I feared not having a job. I had even missed an interview because I had spent the night before lying awake, heart pounding, until the sun rose and my sheets were soaked with sweat. It was a relief when the interviews stopped coming.
A year after my graduation I was left wondering, “What now?” What was it that I really wanted to do? The “loser” word threatened to come out again so I made a decision to go to college. That first day of school was filled with hope and fear but I knew that this time, it would be different.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


In my Beginning Design class our first real assignment was all about line.  We took a master artwork, found the movement of the piece and reinterpreted it in our own abstract art.  I chose a piece by Mucha.  

We were limited to black and white and just lines, no shapes.  I got a good grade and my teacher kept it to use as an example for future classes.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Personal History Photography Assignment

One of my assignments in photography was a personal history without a self portrait.  Then we had to do global corrections, color, sharpness, etc.  I got a 3.5 of 4.  I did too much contrast I think.  My teacher's critiques aren't very clear.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Stuff From Photography Class

These photos are from my first photography assignment.  Mostly it was just a bunch of pictures at our highest and lowest settings, with and without flash, and one that blurred motion and one that froze motion.  I won't post all of them because that would be 20 photos and some of them look terrible.  I did get a good grade on it though.  Here are the cool pictures.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

An Essay.

I started community college a few weeks ago and I've been writing essays in my English Composition class.  It is fun but apparently I am terrible at grammar.  This is the final version of the first essay I wrote for the class, posted by request.  The assignment was to do a descriptive essay on a place from our past.  I got a 92%.  My teacher found it very descriptive and marred only by grammar issues and problems with sentence fluency.  My poor little paper was handed back to me full of red marks.  He even used one of my sentences as an example on the board.  Perhaps someday I will fix it and turn it into another post.  I don't know.  And yes, pretentious title is pretentious.  I couldn't think of anything and I had to have one so I put in the most ridiculous thing I could think of.  It was the Fourth of July and vodka watermelon was calling my name.  Hope you like it Alex, and anyone else bored enough to stumble upon my little blog.

Feathers and Ashes in the Valley of Childhood

I can remember seeing a feather, impossibly black against a blue sky. I must have been four or five and I was standing in the parking lot behind my apartment building. I seem to be four or five in all my memories of that parking lot, as if all my years there were one endless summer. The parking lot was a place of light, ringed by dark, mountainous, apartments painted brown. I lived at the far end; by the alley; a dry moat separating us from the house with the giant tree, and the boy who lived in its branches.
The best part of the parking lot was a weed choked plot behind the convenience store. It had a morning glory covered hill to climb with tiny stalks of white flowers with heart shaped leaves perfect for bouquets. We called it the dump and made up stories about things that had been thrown back there. Hand dug holes dotted the hill where we would look for bugs. We were sure that they would be mutated by chemicals we believed had been poured there. My brother was chased by just such a creature, a mutated spider that could not be killed. We decreed that the area was off limits until the spider was no longer a threat. Later we were climbing the hill, the spider forgotten as we battled monster vines and tree sized weeds.
Only cautiously did we leave our hidden kingdom to pick blackberries and see the burned carcass of a house down the street. The cops drove by often and we amassed a fortune of plastic badges whenever they stopped in the alley. We wore them proudly and took turns wielding a rusted machete, dropped by pirates, as we chased each other over the faded black asphalt that never seemed to hold any cars. The adults watched us from the perimeter, only able to make brief strides into our land before being propelled out and back into the fortress of apartments. From lazy afternoon till the sun started to set that lot was our own.
I learned to ride my bike while in that parking lot. It was there that the training wheels came off, turning the black field into a racetrack. My first kiss was there, underneath a discarded a truck topper with the boy who lived in the tree. It was hot and smelled of sweat and fiberglass, a little island at the center of the world. We said that kiss would be our secret. On another day I would kick him for being mean, ruining relations between our two territories.
In the years since my brothers and I left that parking lot behind, I have seen the building I once lived in. But the apartments, though painted the same brown, had shrunk and become distorted. I didn't go into the parking lot. After all, I was no longer a kid and wouldn't be welcome. But I remember my time there, hands open to catch that glossy black feather. Only to have it turn into black ash that disintegrated into an oily stain at my touch.

Hello again.

I tend to have this cycle of creating a blog, posting for awhile, not posting for awhile, being embarrassed by all of my posts, erasing my blog,  waiting a few months or a year, and then starting a new one.  I'm at the starting a new one part.  Let's see how long this lasts.