Saturday, October 20, 2012


We're back online here at chez steph, after a week hiatus from internet while we tried to afford it.

Going without internet is a lot more stressful when I'm actively participating in two online classes. I'm so lucky that my neighbors are generous with their wifi, and tolerant of my driveway-lurking behavior.

I've managed to keep up with my coursework, by downloading everything I can when I can get it, getting work done offline, uploading my work when I have have access again, downloading, and repeating ad nauseum. It's tedious and tiring, but workable.

My poetry teacher has provided text for all of her video discussion content, as promised, but I still haven't gotten any captions from the disabilities people. My counselor and teacher decided the one video we've had so far that wasn't auto-captioned well wasn't really pertinent to the curriculum. So, that's how we deal with that, apparently. I'm just glad my teacher is being so helpful, even if the department assigned and funded specifically to help me access my classes won't.

Otherwise, school's great! Poetry is interesting and engaging, I'm liking it a lot more than I thought I would, though I'm still intimidated by some upcoming projects.

And the photo class is fun; it's easy enough so I'm not panicking, and I can complete assignments well enough with my little point-and-shoot, but it's still a little challenging. At least, I'm making it challenging for myself by not submitting any "easy" shots, so nothing I've shot previously (which some of my classmates are doing, and I don't get that at all. Isn't the point to learn and practice?), and I'm trying to branch out of my normal creative processes, so I'm experimenting with new angles and techniques as much as possible. My textbook is great, I actually feel like I'm learning something about the technical side of photography, after years of trying to drill it into my thick skull. Overall, I'm loving all the creative stimulation.

I picked up an extra course at the beginning of the quarter, unsure if I'd be able to keep poetry, with its caption drama. The first assignment for that course was to do a fairly complicated personality and career assessment on myself, and the results were fascinating. See, I'd always weirdly pegged myself as a worker bee, an office jockey doomed for accounting or some such horror. The idea was to have a practical career, something I'd nearly always be able to find work in, in a relatively stable environment. I lived in Silicon Valley, there's rarely a shortage of corporate-type jobs. I never thought my creative side was worth exploring, and I really can't tell you why that is. It's been in my head as long as I can remember that creative careers weren't for me. Being a writer isn't a practical job, can a photographer even make money? A painter? A designer? I scoff, there's a reason for the term starving artist. Would I be a failure my whole life if I pursued artistic endeavors? Better instead to find myself a nice, safe career that doesn't rely too much on creative talent. Enter accounting.

The why of this self-defeating inner monologue remains mysterious to me, which is irritating, but that'll be something to navel-gaze about with a therapist, one day.

Anyway, I took this career assessment profile thing and it told me I'm Investigative and Creative, which means I'd enjoy a career that requires problem-solving. I had to drop the class once I'd decided to keep poetry, but I plan on taking it next quarter, and I'm excited for what the rest of the curriculum will reveal about my inner workings.

My head's been about the same. I woke up with a headache this morning, which set the tone for a rough day, with not a whole lot of activity and frequent breaks during what I did manage to get done. Then, the tractor showed up to do some dirt moving around the property, in anticipation of putting in a septic system, so yay! But also, it was much too loud for my tender head, so I made a vegan spaghetti bake to cope and it turned out better than I expected. Eggplant, mushrooms, and homemade tomayta sauce baked over spaghetti; even migraining, it was hard to mess that one up.