fbpx En Route #27 — PCA

En Route #27


Locked In

What a week. I feel like I say this every week, but every week we get closer to finals I find the sentiment still holds true. It’s not just me, I think everyone’s feeling the fatigue at this stage, we’re just too busy to let it set in. My trick for knowing when summer break is almost here is when I forget what it feels like to be on summer break. For most students at PCA, summer promises freedom and sweet relief. But for 10 undergraduate seniors, summer is just the beginning. For us summer means something different now, freedom but not any kind we’ve experienced before. It’s hard not to look the Future in the face and be somewhat daunted, but I’m comforted by the knowledge that we’re all just figuring this out as we go. Anyone who says they have all the answers has obviously never been a senior in Art school.

While the amount of question marks after May 12th has begun to accumulate as we tackle crucial post-grad questions like “do I actually want a roommate or should I just get a cat?” and “am I truly an independent adult if I still use my parent’s Netflix account?”, the rest of the semester has solidified into stark clarity. There are three weeks until the end of the semester. This is not a drill. My only saving grace is the fact that we still have four weekends for me to tie up all my loose ends and stick these landings with some measure of grace. By my calculations the odds are running 60/40 in my favor, but I’ll keep you posted as we get closer to the finish line. Besides keeping existential dread from creeping in prematurely, I’ve had my hands full with work, slipping in some moments of play here and there.

Most of the graduating seniors gathered this week to discuss the End of Year Exhibition. It was a good bit of excitement as well as an all too solid reminder that we’re going to be in caps and gowns a lot sooner than we’d like to think. I’ve had my fair share of critiques in which I had to display my work, but this will really be the first time I’ve put out my work in an official exhibition. It’s really interesting to listen to everything that goes into the planning as almost every department is involved in the production from the marketing and graphics to actual building of the display tables. While I was mainly there to listen, it was cool to feel I had some sway over how my work would be displayed. I didn’t have much time to dwell on the excitement of the exhibition as my main job these days is making sure I have the actual work to exhibit.

My printing saga continues as I’ve narrowed my choices down and chosen the print shop I’d like to work with. We’re given a budget to help cover our printing costs but for the ones who want things just the way they picture them, it can start to add up. I’m really quite proud of how my designs turned out so I’m willing to cough up a bit more to get the book of my dreams. I sweet talked my French speaking friend into accompanying me to gruff French printer #3 and even managed to set up a rendezvous to do the actual printing. The business of printing anything in Paris often requires at least three separate meetings before the final product is placed in your hands. I’ll have my third next week so fingers crossed we’re almost done.

Apart from the usual classes, my calendar app giving me heart palpitations, and cheating on my usual bakery with the one down the street, I did manage to steal away to the Terra Foundation for an afternoon and finish up the last leg of my research project. It’s been nice to invest myself in a topic I care about and interact with the French students. Whenever I go to the Terra Foundation I always feel rather cool as I enter the beautiful Parisian building and take the ornate glass elevator up to the 4th floor (I took the stairs on my first visit and am still catching my breath). It’s a truly beautiful space and perfect for studying, the librarians are quite kind and have my requested books at the ready. This time I was knee deep in my research into Asian American art before I realized that three hours had passed in the blink of an eye. Bliss for the book nerd in me, not so great for the pile of homework awaiting my return at home.

After I returned my books, I was approached by the evening shift librarian who attempted to have a conversation with me in French. Whilst living in Paris I’m proud to say my comprehension is pretty good, but my ability to reply is still a bit limited. I managed to “ouais” “non” and “c’est bon” my way through, almost certain I knew what he was asking. He was in the middle of asking me something else when my eyes went wide. The bookshelf behind him was inching across the floor, by itself. I let out a squeak of surprise and we shared a giggle that needed no translation as he explained that the bookshelves are attached to the floor and automatically roll together at the end of the day. Having learned about the inner workings of libraries and sufficiently embarrassed myself for the day, I hurried to catch the bus back home.

With a fair share of things to juggle it’s been a bit hard for me to locate my motivation these days, and all too easy to slip into a negative mindset. Someone recently reminded me that the most productive attitude will always be a positive one, and after some deep breaths and soul searching, I’m ready to lock in now. I hope you’re all remembering to stay healthy, inside and out. As long as you keep calm and just put one foot in front of the other, it will get done.

We’ve got this!

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