fbpx Abroad in Baltimore #3 — PCA

Abroad in Baltimore #3


Second Week, Second Chances

Stepping into week two, a realization struck me:

This is where things get real.

Now that we’ve crashed back to reality in week one, week two is where we start to get messy, roll up our sleeves and actually get to work. This is no longer a drill, the semester has indeed begun.

After a delightful first week of sleeping in and generally lazing about, the alarm in my head went off on Monday and after a half hour of hand wringing, I plunged into my homework headfirst. Now I am in no way an expert on this, but the one piece of advice my Mom has always told me from her Law School days is: “The busier you are, the more organized you have to be.” These words often echo in my head when I’m panicking over all the homework I have to tackle.

Since I have quite a packed schedule, it’s going to be absolutely essential that I remain organized and on top of things in order to not be scrambling around late at night. No more staying up past midnight to get work done. That might have been fine in my youth, but at the ripe age of 20 my mental and physical health just can’t operate on anything less than 6 hours.

If anyone reading this is pulling all nighters regularly, please please please find a way to adjust your schedule. Sleep is not optional and your health should never be put on the line, especially these days.

On a happier note, I did manage to make some time for fun and the group of exchange girls and I arranged an outing to see the new Marvel movie followed by dinner!

We got to the theater a little before 5 and they were shocked to see that it was practically empty. I explained that everyone was probably at dinner this time on a Friday, which shocked them even more. I had to laugh. It’s really cool to understand both sides of things, the American and European perspective. Though I admit that 5pm does seem too early for dinner.

Another time we went to dinner they all asked my help to calculate a tip, half annoyed, half confused by the process as I explained a helpful shortcut (move the decimal to the left one place for 10% then double it to get 20%, simple!). One of my exchange friends, Silva even went so far as writing out an equation on the restaurant’s copy of the receipt. They all laughed when I told her, “You don’t get extra credit for showing your work!”.

After the fun of Friday, I spent the weekend paying for it in blood, sweat, and hours of homework. Unlike the Renaissance painters of yore, it turns out I can churn out an oil painting portrait in the better part of an afternoon. Although, since it’s been nearly three years since I’ve picked up a paint brush, half of the time was spent trying to stop her eye from looking like it was about to fly off her face. I suppose I’ll find out during the next class critique if I was successful.

As much as I lament the loss of summer, it feels good to be working towards something again. School has been the guide post against which I’ve measured myself for the better part of my life, I think I’ll feel a bit lost after I’m out of it. Being a Junior, I still have a bit longer to hide under the covers, but make no mistake, there will come a time when there’s no one to tell me what I should do and I’ll have to decide for myself how I want to continue to push myself.

My Typography class mostly consists of Seniors and even after hearing snippets of their conversations about what happens next make me grateful to still have this year to focus on learning. It sometimes hits me how lucky we all are to study art or anything creative. To be able to focus on learning something simply for the sake of wanting to be better at it.

My gratitude is only slightly soured by the pile of homework calling my name, but I’m going to do my best to remind myself that it’s really meant to be fun.

Enjoy yourself out there!