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En Route #20


Good News, Good Week

As every student knows, there are good weeks and there are bad weeks. As a veteran student myself, I can tell you that the difference between the two often comes down to minute details. Changes in the wind, a bad hair day, or a sale on strawberries can be the feather that tips the scale one way or another. Bad weeks you can usually smell well before if you know where to look. Things start to pile up, homework, laundry, dishes. A good week however, can often come as a surprise. This week, I’m glad to say, was a turning point. For the first time this semester, I managed to get my feet under me and not let the week sweep past while I stumbled behind it.

It started, as most good weeks do, with good news. The more we move about in adult spaces, the more familiar we become with the quirks you just can’t understand until you experience them yourself. Among my favorites is “The Life Changing Email”. As a child I never imagined emails would be all that exciting, but at the ripe age of 21 I can confirm that a good email can get your heart racing just as well as any roller coaster. These emails almost never come when you expect, and this one was no different, the notification appearing on my phone while I was at a food stand with my friend helping her pick out a ripe avocado (another purely adult joy, “The Perfect Avocado”). Like a kid on Christmas I tore open my inbox and wasted no time in unwrapping this present. I was not disappointed at what I found inside.

This week, I received the very excellent news that I had been selected to participate in the Terra Foundation Research program. Naturally, I was thrilled. Selecting a topic, conducting research, and giving a presentation isn’t everyone’s idea of fun but, fellow students, I’m afraid it is mine. There are only so many opportunities to invest yourself in something you’re truly passionate about and I never want to waste one. This program is something that had been on my radar ever since my Foundation year, but hadn’t thought about applying for until my Thesis professor suggested I take a closer look. Once I had, I knew it was right up my alley. I’ve always had a soft spot for the liberal arts, and was actually almost an English major (don’t tell my parents) before I decided on the much more practical path of an artist.

This program allows me the best of both as I’ll be able to flex both my visual and verbal skills over the course of the next few months leading up to a final presentation in April. We’ll be working in collaboration with a group of students from a French university’s art history course which makes things even more exciting. I have the first meeting with the students this week so I’ll be sure to report back on how it goes. I’m really looking forward to getting to know them as I don’t get the chance to talk to many French students. I actually live near two French high schools and often see the students outside on their lunch break, smoking and generally looking intimidatingly cool while I scurry by with my bag of groceries.

After getting this good news, the rest of the week fell into place quite nicely as all my classes ended up being tons of fun. I’d been struggling with finding motivation these past few weeks, but somehow just getting myself invested in the work helped me regain my bearings and really settle back in. Sometimes it really is just a matter of getting the blood flowing and putting your hands on a project before you realize that you were dreading it for literally no reason. My friend and I often call each other when we need a second opinion on a font or page layout and I was struck with a very real fondness for the work we do as students. At this point I’m very well aware that my time in school is coming to an end, and I’m just grateful to have a few more months of these moments before we say goodbye. I’m really going to miss debating the virtues of serif and sans serif fonts, these kinds of discussions that really only make sense in art school.

Wrapping up my week I again ventured to another museum and found myself at the Petit Palais, a truly brilliant advertisement for floor to ceiling windows if I ever saw one. I spent an hour just marveling at all the artwork, but honestly it was the building itself that made the visit worth it. I remember one of my peers told me that multiple studies had shown that high ceilings were actually conducive to greater levels of creativity. After going to the Petit Palais, I definitely believe it.

Have a good week!

f t p