Friday, September 16, 2011

whew! almost a month I haven't managed to post even once! Shameful! Would it help if I said I've been reeeeally busy? Although I know I've been no busier than anyone else I have felt like I've been run off my feet lately. Part of that is good. Part of it not so good. Classes keep me extremely busy and I've managed to squeeze in a couple of fun activities like swing dancing classes at the Rec center on Tuesdays (soooo sooo sooooooo fun!) and Bible studies and other activities with friends. Unfortunately I've been feeling really under the weather for the past week and am now finally feeling a bit better. On top of a sore throat I've been having a lot of body aches and fatigue. This week I fell down a couple of steps on my way down to the PRT and scared myself. The first thing I thought when I hit the ground was "Oh my goodness...did I break something?" As a ceramics major if I broke a bone, especially a hand or arm, I'd most likely have to drop out for the semester. You just can't take 3-6 weeks to heal a broken bone...there's no time! I'm very grateful that nothing was broken, but I twisted my ankle and the next day I had to go to classes for 8 hours and fire a wood kiln until 9 pm. I was worried it would be really bad with a sore, slightly swollen ankle, but it went alright. In fact it was quite enjoyable. Jeremy and I took the 4-9 pm shift and at one point Erica brought her class down to watch us stir and stoke the kiln (which was about 2000 degrees at this point) and when we opened the box door and flames shot out the kids all said "whoa!!!" and as lame as it sounds we felt pretty cool for dealing with all that flame and heat and impressing the 240 class. Jeremy was a good wood-firing partner and he didn't get mad at me for asking a billion questions about what we were doing. I just hope that the following shifts were able to get the kiln to temperature. I have yet to be a part of a wood firing that makes it all the way to temperature...maybe this will be the one.

So far this semester art school has been kicking my hiney and I feel exhausted all the time. And physically sore either from lifting heavy items or from dropping wood onto my feet while moving wood or firing a kiln, smashing my fingers between heavy objects while moving things, etc... Not only am I exhausted I'm tired of feeling like I look like a 35 year old male construction worker at the end of each day (not that I have anything against 35 year old male construction workers...I'm just not one of them and I'd like to feel more like a 22 year old girl). I find that on evenings and weekends I wear lots of skirts or cute shoes and things like that to compensate for how icky I feel during the school week. I don't remember feeling quite like this in past semesters...this year has been particularly dirty so far.

All in all I feel like this semester is good in that it is pushing me to see how much ability I have to make quality pieces in a short amount of time, and it is making me look forward to the day that I (hopefully) have my own studio and run my own schedule. I also feel like it is reminding me that my whole life isn't just ceramics. I have passions and interests outside the studio that I want to develop and friendships that I want to build and maintain and my appreciation for them is greater now. Chinese class has been great. I am really enjoying it. I got an English partner from Hong Kong. She's awesome! I think we're going to be friends. :) She helps me with my mandarin and I'm supposed to help her with her English, but she's pretty fluent already. I think if I wasn't a ceramics major I might want to be a Chinese studies major. It's pretty great. Swing dance lessons have been a huge highlight of each week and when I leave the meetings I feel so happy and can't stop smiling. I'm so grateful to be back at my church and involved again. It is so lovely to see families and work with kids and alongside adults and see families and people of all ages instead of only college students. My roommates and I are going to be hosting a Bible study at our apartment through our church this semester and I'm really looking forward to that as well. My roommates are both encouraging and inspiring to me. They're such godly women who are so intelligent and kind and have different interests and goals. I couldn't ask for 3 better girls to be friends with and live with.

Of course there are obstacles too. I feel quite discouraged a lot. I feel insecure about what I'm doing...but I'm trusting that God allowed me to be here and will use this time and degree in some way in my life. I'm more convinced that life is all about serving God regardless of your degree, job, location, etc. I read Ecclesiastes this summer and feel like I'm watching it played out before my eyes. I also miss my parents and sisters and wish I could see them more often.

Anyway, all in all the semester is going by rather well and although it has its share of things that wear me out and drag me down it also has its share of encouraging, lovely times and people. I am trying to choose to be grateful for all of it.

So maybe my next post will include pictures of things I'm doing at school and around town. And maybe it will not be a whole month before I get to another posting. :)

Happy weekend, folks.

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