It seems like I’ve been having about one life-changing crisis/event per week these days. Oh, Katherine’s career plans are changing? Must be a Tuesday! Katherine wants to fly to London for two weeks after graduation? Must be a Tuesday. Katherine’s computer is making this funny grinding noise? Her life goals have shifted? She’s no longer going to grad school immediately after graduation? What else is new?!
This most recent crisis did not occur suddenly on a Tuesday, as it were. It started as a tickle in the back of my mind, slowly clawing its way forward until it blossomed into a spark. One particular event surrounded that spark in a dense cloud of gasoline vapor, which ignited and caused a series of domino explosions which in turn wiped out electricity to most of the eastern seaboard for the greater part of an afternoon. As it were.
Remember restoration? I want, very much, to do art restoration- it’s the perfect blend of art and science, and it may surprise you to know that I am rather fond of science. For an artist. I wanted that, figuring that I’d probably be good enough at chemistry to be able to do it, so I figured it would be a good idea to take a chemistry class and find out.
Well, two things.
First: I am really, really, really not good at chemistry. Second: as it turns out, graduate programs prefer for their candidates to have a strong background in chemistry with a little bit of art- not the other way around. She and I were just not meant to be, it would seem. I’m not too upset about it, though- I mean, I still get to go to the museums, and see the things, and read the papers they publish. None of that is any less interesting to me than it was when I started. It’s just that now, I can appreciate all the more what they do. Because I am so not good at chemistry. The event which surrounded the spark of the hyperbole of a few paragraphs ago was a chemistry test. I got a very bad grade on it- and it was a very bad grade significantly lower than the times when I say I got a very bad grade on something and that grade was a B. This time is not like those times. I’m happy with watching from a distance, and, well- I don’t want to be the person that blows up a van Eyck because I didn’t know my chemistry.
So, that doesn’t seem like a major change- except the result is, actually, fairly significant. Usually, you hear of people going to grad school right after they complete undergraduate, or not at all- and that is most definitely the case- for the sciences. See, there’s not much [cool] stuff you can do with a science degree without at least a master’s (I am sorry, I’m generalizing here, don’t scream at me!)- but that’s just not true of the arts. In vis comm, you’re actually less likely to get hired with a master’s and no work experience, because they think they have to pay you more, but you don’t have any applied knowledge yet. Everything vis commies need to know, they learn in the field anyways. So- with art restoration (an artistic science, but a science nonetheless), I was planning on going straight to grad school. Now, suddenly, and rather forcibly, I find myself in the position of needing to start a career once I graduate. Scary. My general plan now is to spend some time (5 years? 10 years? who really knows? If I decide now, it’ll just change next Tuesday anyways…) working in design, and then go back to school and get my master’s. Then I might teach at a university too! I had this talk with Rusty, and he said he thought I’d make a good professor- and man, I’ll tell you, it pretty much made my year. There’s a pretty much unanimous agreement that your students won’t respect you if you don’t have some kind of actual work experience, though, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This is less of a crisis of what to do with the knowledge of the shift, or even of what to do with my life (because, remember there were three options. Now there are two. If anything, this makes my life easier…) – no. It’s more of a large scale shift in life goals that I am not yet on comfortable terms with. It’s still sort of eating at me, just a bit. People always say if you don’t go to grad school right away, you’ll never go back- but that’s not what art people do. I’m having issues breaking down that wall in my head, telling myself it’s okay to wait a few years- to just kind of roll with life for a bit and see what goes down.
I’ve looked around and there are some interesting jobs in publishing that I would love to have, so I’m going after those. After all this, there are two things about my future that I am absolutely certain of. The first, is that I won’t go into advertising. You couldn’t pay me enough to get within ten and a half feet of advertising after I graduate: I simply won’t do it. The second, is that I wouldn’t teach at anything other than the university level. After high school? That’s when the going really gets good. All the studio space in the world couldn’t convince me to go back to high school, even if it wasn’t my own. Don’t get me wrong, there were some lovely people at my high school, but seriously- we have unmanned space missions and automatic bread slicers and pens that write upside down- and we haven’t figured out a way to genetically engineer the ‘raging teenage hormones’ portion of human development into submission? What’s that about?
But I digress. There’s one lovely looking job at a publishing company that I’m actually very fond of, and obviously I probably won’t get that one, but reading that job description was sort of like a gateway drug into ‘don’t worry about your career plans changing again this close to graduation. Everything will work out just fine!’… so you know what? I’m not worrying. I’m doing other, more productive things than that- like having a tea party!
It was a glorious time- we tried to be ladylike and talk about things that ladies at tea parties talked about, but eventually we just hung out and giggled over how awesome it is to have tea parties. Emma is blogging about it from her point of view, and with additional pictures, so you can check that out if you like.
We had apple scones, and lemon bars, and the hostesses (Emma and I) poured the tea, as is proper, and there was cream and sugar, which turned out not to be bad additions to tea at all, and we all had a generally lovely time. Emma even brought out her hipster doll, Henry, for some show and tell.
Also, my tea pot polished up to a brilliantly shiny silver- except in the spots where the tarnish wore all the way through the silver plating. I’m kind of okay with it though- that doesn’t stop it from being a really awesome teapot!
I hesitate to say that the flapper dress is done, because in all actuality it’s not- but it is wearable, which is more than was true of it a week ago. I don’t like the way the arms and neck are finished, and the hem of the chiffon layer is machine sewn, which isn’t right, and I want there to be more feathers at the hipline. All this will happen, though. Just… not with a deadline.
Halloween is quite possibly my favorite holiday, and this one was no exception. It was fun to see everyone dressed up, and (when I’m in the mood), I love getting weird looks from people. You can fight it, guys! You don’t have to grow up! I’ll still be dressing up for Halloween even when I’m old and I have 92 cats. That’ll make the kids want to come trick or treating at our house!
What I don’t like, however, is hooligans.
Namely, hooligans with eggs.
Did you know that when an egg dries, it binds into a sort of protein based glue, and the only way to get it off is to pray to the pagan gods of Hallow’s Eve that you find a chemical strong enough to get the egg off, without making it so strong that it takes the paint/wallpaper/flooring/whatever else with it? Also, the removal of the egg is very time sensitive. The longer it sits there, binding proteins and smelling like sulfur, the harder it is to get off. I don’t know why we got egged, or why they chose to egg the airlock instead of limiting themselves to the outside of the apartment building, but it took me 3 hours and 2 trips to Wal mart to find the right chemicals (409, ammonia, and goo gone) to get most of it off. Unfortunately, the fragrant scent of rotten egg is going to take its sweet time dissipating, it would seem- and now that it’s mixed in with fake orange scent from the goo gone, and ammonia- I just don’t know anymore. I’m done.
I guess I’ll leave you with a photo of the topic of next week’s blog post: