Thursday, March 08, 2007

Missing conversations

The long nights with no sleep got me tired, but after Tuesday this week things slowed down a bit. I don't know how I feel about the confusion and frustration that learning to work with flash is bringing to my long nights. Last Saturday as I sat in front of the computer trying to figure out how to make the movieClips do what I wanted them to do I almost cried. It was frustrating, though necessary and beneficial for my career. It'd be so much better, so much easier if I had the resources to get the work done without depending on the lab monitor hours and the reliability of the computers at the media center. I hope to be able to get a Mac once I graduate and don't have the tuition payments anymore.

It's also frustrating to have studied so much for the ancient art history test and still have done a mediocre job on it. I did what I could. I would change so much about the class.

I would change so much about the world, really. Specially about college culture in this country. Today, we had a meeting to prepare to go down to New Orleans during spring break. We watched part of the documentary "When the levees broke." It was hard for me to find out that so many people in the room didn't know what really went on in New Orleans after Katrina. It was sad, because it was just a matter of reading the articles in the newspapers, internet, or just turning on the TV and listening and seeing the images. Even now, 18 months after the catastrophe, people are ignorant. The whole thing made me think of April. We always talked about current, social, political and economic issues. She would take out a newspaper clip from her bag during lunch or when we were studying or just hanging around and would say "B, read this, I wanna know what you think of it." And from there it could go on for hours. We used to have Friday lunches and would go on forever talking about so many different things. Sometimes it would get to be 4 pm and we were still sitting in the back of the food court just talking. I miss those conversations. I miss those meaningful, intelligent conversations. The world needs so many more people like her. And I've been thinking of her so much more lately. The award in her memory will be given soon. Last year I got an email about being nominated and I don't know how, but I filled out the application. It was very difficult to do so because it's not supposed to be that way. There shouldn't be an award in her name because she should be here with us still. I got the email this year again, and I'm not applying. I just can't do it.

I'm doing the same with a couple of other awards I have been asked to apply for. It's damaging and I don't think it helps me grow to win or lose awards. The mere application process makes me feel uncomfortable. My sophomore year, when I applied for the volunteer spirit award I ranted so much about the application. I told my advisor all I thought about it. How it seemed ridiculous to me that they were asking for a count of service hours of the work I had done. That alone defited the point of service. Why do you serve? Who are you ultimately serving? Yourself? Is it just a way to accumulate numbers in a notebook where you can later go back and brag about in a paper application for an award that will later sit on top of the bookshelf just accumulating dust? I got the award, and my name is on a plaque at the involvement and leadership office, but I wonder if that will change anyone's life? I'm sure it didn't change mine. The service did, but having my name there... not so much. Then when I lose an award I feel bad and wonder what I did wrong and why wasn't I good enough to get it. It's sickening. The whole thing. It's wise advise the one given in the Bruce Mau Design's Incomplete Manifesto for Growth when in n. 26 it says "Don’t enter awards competitions. Just don’t. It’s not good for you." I now know what they mean.

I'll keep changing the world. On my own. No recognition needed, a simple bright smile will do.

Oh, and I'm ready for my 22nd birthday! Two more days, though for some people thought it was today.