Made it to Ottawa! Finding the school itself was easy. Finding the places where I needed to go took a little bit longer. After going in a few needless circles, we got things sorted. With passes in hand, it was time to move into dorm! It took a few trips, but we did it.
I have what is probably the worst view. But I'll get to that in a bit.
(The image to the left is the kitchen pace I share with my roomie. The picture to the right is one angle of my bedroom. I've done my best to make it as homey as possible)
We made a quick trip to the nearby Dollarama to purchase a few necessary items like toilet paper and soap. Useful to have. Then it was unpacking and trying to get things sorted. One of my plants got slightly damaged during the trip, like, pretty much right when we arrived. I’m sad about it, but hopefully the rest will be able to settle into this new environment well.
I was able to meet the first of my travelling companions for this journey. My roommate! So far, we connect well. I look forward to getting to know her over the next few months. I’m grateful to have someone my age and with whom I already get along.
But, day one has exhausted me.
And the next couple of days weren’t much better. My bedroom window is east facing. It will certainly help having that brightness for waking up for morning classes, but not so great when wanting to sleep in. Plus, my view is absolutely spectacular, as I mentioned earlier.
(This is what I get to look at every day for the next 8 months)
Those garbage bins are stunning. But . . . why the picnic table? It is my conclusion that the pigeons here are extremely sophisticated and require a table for their afternoon soirees. Perhaps I ought to observe and capture their likeness on paper. I can make no promises on that, but perhaps in future days when I am not in a state of confusion and, “I don’t know what any of this is but I guess we’re just rolling with it,” mentality.
Sunday was my last day with my parents here. We took a tour of Ottawa on a fancy shmancy double-decker tour bus. After making one round trip, we walked around the closest areas to fully immerse ourselves in the sites. Ended up waiting far too long for lunch at one restaurant, but the food was tasty even if it should not have taken as much time as it did. Oh well. Such is life. At least dessert was FABULOUS! My gosh. Best pecan tart of my life!
(It even looks glorious!)
We ended up taking a second round trip to wind up the touristy portion of our outing. As it had gotten to a much more manageable temperature, we sat on the upper deck. Our tour guide was fantastic, but I certainly hope he took a chance to breathe and get a drink of water after that hour and a half of nonstop fact vomiting.
(To your left you will see the silver topped visage of the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica. And to your right you will see the most epic portion of the parliament buildings that looks wonderfully castle-esque.)
(Again on your left you will see Maman, which is a sculpture of a giant spider representing motherhood. She even carries marble eggs in her abdomen. I didn't think she'd mind a hug. And to your right you will see one of the lions set as guard outside the post station. Not sure why this post station requires such fearsome guarding, but it sure looks cool.)
Supper, then saying goodbye and parting ways. I’d say parting is such sweet sorrow, but I’ll be seeing them again soon enough when I fly back for Comic Con. No shed tears here. Plus, they’re used to sending me off places so, this is nothing new for them.
Monday was a break day due to it being Labour Day. I took some time to wander with my travel companion, exploring the nearby area as well as the grounds of our lodgings. A few events were taking place for fellow residents to participate in, but I care not for games and opted to observe until I got bored. Which happened fairly quickly.
Tuesday was orientation day. I met up with a group of travellers headed in the same direction as myself. Honestly, I’m a little bit out of the loop. Mainly because I’m older (though I'm not the oldest as I'd been expecting, which is awesome!). We’re at different walks of life, but so far everyone seems lovely enough. I hope I will be able to get along well with them all, and perhaps find a smaller number of them to consider as friends. I am excited to learn together with and from them, and to see how I will improve along this journey.
Being orientation, a lot of information was given out, and I’m not sure I’ve been able to process it all. I tried. Really, I did. Some of the systems set in place to help students are actually just confusing. I would love to be able to organize what seems to me like complete disorganization, but I guess I’ll just have to figure things out eventually. I’m sure that’s what this first week of classes will be; trying to figure out how this is all going to work and what will be expected.
To ease the minds of the overloaded, a carnival had been set up as a fun way to connect people. Again, I more-or-less observed. There were too many people who would not be in my usual crowd of companions, but it was a beautiful day outside and I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to enjoy it while such days last before winter hits.
(I know it's not the best view of the carnival. There are rides in the background if you look close enough. To the right, just off the screen was bull riding. That I found entertaining. I just took this shot because I thought the tree was gorgeous!)
I will say, I was able to spend some time with a few wonderful youths. I’m grateful they accepted me into their circle and even seemed to enjoy my presence.
As classes begin tomorrow, I opt for an early bedtime. Well, earlier than the last few nights. Better start making sure I maintain the good habits I’ve built over the years lest they attempt to convert.
Got up early for the first day of classes. This adventure is really starting to take off now! At last! I can officially say:
IT HAS BEGUN!
And I’m also officially lost. Seriously. All we were learning in our Animation Drawing class was how to draw a circle and fill it in. In principle, that doesn’t sound like it should be hard. But there are lots of different buttons, and this class is unfortunately virtual, so it’s difficult to see exactly what’s happening on the shared screen to translate it onto my own.
Somehow, I survived. Asked a few questions directly to the professor after class, studied up a little bit by reading a couple forms, and did my best to not let myself feel too overwhelmed at this stage in the game. Eventually, all of this will be second nature. It just takes time and practice. Sucks that it can’t be immediate, but that’s how it is. And I’m here to learn, not to know in an instant. So, I’m going to keep struggling up this slope of knowledge until I have attained victory and can stand firmly on the peak.
All in all, I do think it was a good class. My mind automatically thinks about other ways of teaching that would have helped the information seem more organized for my own personal preference. I don’t even know anything and I’m already trying to put it into a lesson plan. Hah. You teach once, and I guess it sticks with you. I’m certain though that had it been in person, things would have been different. I would like to say easier, but that’s undetermined. It might have at least a bit easier to ask for direct feedback throughout the process.
I will definitely have to work hard to manage my time well. Between classes, homework, keeping myself physically healthy, and building a social network, I still want to get time for writing. And proper rest. Rest is important. And I don’t just mean sleeping.
I’ve got my work cut out for me. What have I gotten myself into?
(This is what I achieved after my first day. I know. Super fancy.)
Second day of classes, and there were two of them today. Started things off with Life Drawing. It was my first time taking an art class like this. I took art back in high school, but I remember very little of the art from then. I remember my teacher telling us that drama teachers are crazy, while my drama teacher told us that art teachers are crazy. My art and drama teachers were the same person, obviously.
I enjoyed the class more than I thought I would though. The professor is super cool, and I got to try something new. I will have to stretch myself in my art skills in this class, and I’m looking forward to that so much!
Being someone with little to no art background is going to be a bit of an advantage for me. As I have no previous style I’m comfortable with, or a set way of doing things, I can easily absorb all that my teachers throw at me. Fingers crossed on the “easily” part. But the fact remains that I can be taught without having to defend my pride as an artist. And after day one, I’m quite proud of where I’m starting at. I’m not great, nor am I terrible.
I’m at the perfect level for improving, and I look forward to looking back to seeing just how much.
(The drawing on the left is gesture drawings with a time limit of 2 minutes. To the right is my first ever long study drawing at 50 minutes. Definitely not the most amazing art I've ever seen, but an excellent starting point.)
Our second class, Environment and Visual Problem Solving (hereafter just called Enviro), was more of an introduction. We even ended early. We’re going to draw trees, rocks, doors, and walls. Sounds super fun, right? Perhaps not, but either way I’m excited just to learn whatever I can. And I hope I can maintain this positive outlook even when things get tough, which they absolutely will.
After class, I had a one-on-one with my Animation Drawing professor because, well, I had questions. Now, I was always the kid in class who never asked questions and barely made their presence known. I’m so grateful to have developed into someone who isn’t afraid to actually ask for clarification when I’m feeling lost.
I’m here because I want to be here, and I want to learn. To learn, you must seek. Seeking involves asking for direction.
And I’m sure I’ll be asking for said directions frequently.
Last class of the week. Okay. Rolling out of bed and into my thinking chair. Turn that brain on and get prepared to learn and absorb all the new information.
I was not as prepared as I had hoped.
Though a great class, I had a difficult time following along. Again, I blame it being virtual as opposed to offline. I got lost about halfway through, found my place again, got lost again, then waited on the side of the road for help to arrive. Thankfully, our prof is a wonderful person who actually wants to see us get the hang of this, so she stayed later to do one-on-one’s with those in need.
I was in need.
Thankfully, I had only a few minor questions for her, and she solved them succinctly. I’m back on the trail, progressing forward. Not in as suave a manor as I would have preferred, but what can ya do? At least I’m moving.
The project assigned to us I understand. How to do it, I get the concept. Remembering all the steps, well, we’ll see how that goes. I keep being told that eventually I’ll get the hang of it, that it will become second nature, which I’m aware of. I get the gist. But I don’t want to just know which buttons to press to get the desired results. I want to understand why and how they work together to create a whole. That’s the more challenging part. Piecing it all together. Once I have a more filled out and working understanding of that, the rest will come more naturally. I just need to make a few more mistakes before I can get a better grip on what’s correct.
(Assignment #1 is complete. It's not perfect, but it's finished. Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out. I can always do better in the future. It would be sad if there was no longer any room for improvement.)
Outside of classes, the road is still not an easy one. It’s quite jagged, in fact. I’m making friends, which is awesome. However, it’s the behind-the-scenes parts that have my teeth on edge. To be honest, I’m almost at the point of being angry. I’m frustrated, definitely, but I’m also getting to the level of wanting to throw my laptop across the room.
Here’s the problem. I still don’t have my student aid. I won’t get into it, but there’s a form that’s been requested of me that I can’t get, and no one is responding to my emails! And every time I call, the line is busy, and the call gets dropped. It’s not fun. Payments are coming up and there’s no money. I’m losing my mind with not knowing what to do. Everything is overwhelming and stressful. I’m dealing with it, but I hate that it takes so long.
The other thing is that there’s an extra course that I should be able to opt out of because of my experience and history with English, but I’ve emailed about 5 different people now and still not got a straight answer. Such a headache. Hopefully this time I’ll get someone who actually knows something so we can work this out. I don’t want to be wasting my time. I’ve got enough on my plate that there isn’t time left over for wasting. I’m not time wealthy.
And that’s my rant.
Besides those few issues, it was a great week! I know it’s just going to keep getting harder, but I’m excited and ready to see where this path to knowledge takes me.