Stop feeling badly about yourself

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Lately I have not felt like myself, and have not had much motivation to blog. Right now I’m in one of those ruts where it’s very difficult to motivate myself to do anything, especially school work. I’m burned out.

Art school is demanding. No matter how creative you are or how much you love art, you’ll reach a point that you will feel like you’ve been sucked dry of imagination. It’s not that it is hard, but you’ve crossed the line between something you used to do for enjoyment to something you are now doing to make money. Then there is the criticism that makes my eyes roll so far back into my head. It’s not that I can’t handle constructive criticism. I feel it is necessary in life so that we can grow as people. Yet, I do not believe we should change who we are to meet the approval of others nor should we change our artwork to suit the likes of others. There have been several times I’ve had to scrap projects and do them all over again just to meet the satisfaction of a Professor even though I put a lot of effort into my project. Art is subjective, or so I thought. So I began to question myself and if I am doing the right thing. Is my artwork good enough to not be bad, but not good enough to be great? Then my confidence goes out the window and I start doing things the way other people want them rather then what I want to do.

Then comes the peer comparisons. There will always be people who are better at something then you are. As an Artist you must acknowledge and accept this from the beginning. Comparing yourself to others is discouraging. Competing with others is unproductive.  Being pretentious and full of yourself is ignorant. Admitting that you make mistakes, learning from them, and continuously working to improve yourself is honorable.

In times of frustration it is important to remember this.

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Math fries my brain

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I will most likely be on a short hiatus for the rest of this month because of school. It is usually a little difficult to juggle both school and work, but this month it seems impossible. Right now I am tackling the class that I feared the most, math. It has always been my least favorite subject and my worst. Although this is called a “basic” college math class, it seems to encompass way more then the basics. The class touches on geometry, probability and statistics, graphing, algebra, etc. There is also a PowerPoint presentation I must complete for a scavenger hunt assignment as well as a library research project. The scavenger hunt took me HOURS. Those hours could have and should have been dedicated to learning the required material. I’m not too concerned about the research project because I actually get to do something some what creative.

Anyway, this is week two of the class and I already feel burnt out. I tried to approach this class with an open mind. My goal is to maintain my 4.0 and I’m not so sure that is possible at this point. After not taking a math class for about 12 years I feel like all of the information I retained and still know is really all of the information I need to know. Having basic math skills and some knowledge of how to manage money is necessary but the rest of the things you learn in math class do not apply to daily life. At least they do not apply to my daily life.

As I sat down last night and started working on re-learning fractions I thought to myself, “wow, this is not as hard as I remember.” Twenty minutes in I just wanted to rip my hair out. I realized that it is not that I can’t learn math, it is just that I don’t want to. My brain just shuts off no matter how hard I try to concentrate. I transpose numbers incorrectly and find myself needing to pull out the calculator just to check simple problems like 9×7= whatever. Is there such a thing as math ADD? If so, I think I may have it.

Only 20 more days left of this torture.

 

School Journey Month 4

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As the final week of my fourth class wraps up, I let out a sign of relief. I am so glad this one is finally over! This month was incredibly tough for me. Before I started this Art History class, I believed that I would enjoy it. As long as it is not math, I figured I was prepared to handle anything. This class just flat out frustrated me. The workload was similar to every other class, yet I found myself stumbling through this one. Like the other classes at Full Sail, this one required a lot of writing. I don’t mind writing and I feel that I am able to write about any subject once I get into the flow. During this class I found myself typing out a few sentences, going back and deleting them, re-typing them, and after an hour or so I’d be lucky if I managed to write one paragraph. It is not that it was particularly hard, I just could not decide on what to write. My Husband said my problem is that I am looking for the right answer and in reality, there is no right answer. I agree, I believe that art is subjective. Each of us are drawn to certain things about an art piece. What I see, others may not, and vice versa.

I understand the importance of an Art History class especially when you are majoring in art. There are certain things in composition and techniques used that are great to know. I admit that I did learn some things that will benefit my career in the future, but it did not make it any more enjoyable.

It is virtually impossible to learn about the ENTIRE history of art in four weeks and actually retain that information. Somehow Full Sail is able to mush it all together. Maybe my opinion is biased, and I’d actually like the class if I had enough time to digest it all. Again, the best thing about Full Sail is the fact that the classes are so short that you only have to deal with them for a month and then move on to the next.

I’ll be more inclined to dissect the composition of a piece of art next time I visit a museum. Usually, I’d look at a piece and would base judgement on it by first sight. If it was not visually appealing to me, I would not take a second glance. If there is one thing I learned during this class, it is to pay attention to the finer details.

Tuesday is the start of Designing Computer Graphics. This class is geared towards my major, so I am really looking forward to it!

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What is it like to go to school full-time online?

Over the years I knew that I wanted to go back to school but, I didn’t know how I would find the time or what I wanted to do exactly. I took a few courses at Community College about 6 years ago both online and at the college. I found that the online classes were much easier for me because I was not constricted to be somewhere at a certain time and place. At that time online classes were just beginning to get popular so most of the communication was done through a website setup like a forum. The one class I had to actually go to the school to take the tests.

I considered taking more online classes but, as any student knows, it costs a lot. Even going to Community College and purchasing books was several hundred dollars for just one class. I couldn’t get aid because I was only going part-time. So, I stopped going and every once and awhile would check out online programs through different schools. After high school I attended a trade school, not a traditional college. I got my Associate’s Degree in 15 months. Even though trade schools are accredited many of the credits do not actually transfer. So, I was hesitant to start an online program because all of the ones I researched were “for-profit” schools. Which basically means the schools are owned usually by a corporation that makes a profit from the school but pays money on the taxes. Whereas non-profit schools are usually owned by the government free from taxes and the IRS allows many tax deductions. I had once heard that for-profit schools were a joke compared to regular colleges. Honestly, that is not the case.

I ended up taking the plunge a few months ago starting at Full Sail University enrolling in their graphic design program, I mentioned this several times already on the blog.I researched other schools and programs as well as read reviews online about each school. Both had the same amount of comments both negative and positive. Full Sail offered the first class, 30 days, without any obligation. If it was just not your thing, you weren’t required to stay enrolled.

The enrollment process was simple. I made a phone call to the school and spoke to an admissions representative for about an hour just discussing the program and requirements. After that several other people from the school such as the financial aid department contacted me and took care of everything.

So, what is it like?

It is A LOT of work! Some reviewers mentioned that they failed certain classes several times. As long as you do the work and put effort into it, I think it is impossible to fail! It requires a lot of discipline and time management. When I get my weekly assignments I begin to plan my week out around the due dates. Some assignments can take hours. Seriously. There have been times I worked on a single assignment for 10+. Breaking it down into a few hours a day really helps.

I have found that some of the classes are less engaging. At Full Sail they have live lectures that all students in that class can participate in. Usually the teacher goes through a PowerPoint type presentation and you can communicate with your classmates via a chat box.  If you cannot make the live session they do record it and make it available for others to watch. Honestly, it was hard for me to pay attention because the video is less engaging.

The teachers have been really great as far as availability. They are reachable on AIM, email, and by phone. A few times the assignment instructions were a little cloudy but the instructor responded to me within 24 hours.

Is it for you?

I think online learning requires a person who is incredibly self-motivated. If you are capable of guiding yourself through the materials that the school provides and sometimes teaching yourself, it may work for you. It can be really overwhelming, especially when you take on this responsibility in addition to your everyday responsibilities.

Do you recommend Full Sail University?

As I mentioned, I obtained a degree from another for-profit school which pales in comparison to Full Sail. While I can understand the hang ups that some people have said, I think it is a great school. The curriculum is unique and streamlined towards your specific major. I think it may be beneficial for new high school graduates to attend an actual college for the experience. Additionally, take some core classes that are transferable. Generally for-profit schools credits do not transfer. For someone like me who has been in the job market several years now and knows what they want to do, it is a great opportunity!

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