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The Great Debacle

Dear Winterites,

It has been a little while since my last letter. The Christmas holiday was wonderful though busier than I’d anticipated. There were a few projects I’d hoped to get further advanced in; alas, they fell by the wayside as my time got consumed by visitations and outings. So, as I said, wonderful, but not the sort of wonderful I’d been hoping for.

(The picture on the left is the Zebrasaurus I commissioned from Lady Lilith for my nephew. I love it. It's hilarious and adorable and perfect. The image on the right is our family Christmas dinner. Mashed potatoes with gravy, ribs, chicken strips, jello, and some unnecessary vegetation. I kid. Veggies are great.)

(The left image is a gift from my cousin. It's awesome. And the image on the right is the activity my family worked on while I took over baby watch duty.)

(And this was just a little bit of fun. The snow called to me, and it was a gorgeous day out!)

As my time in Manitoba drew to its end, my thoughts returned their focus on school. I had been placed in the afternoon class, which I didn’t want. Thankfully, most of the younger students don’t fancy waking up early, so it was easy enough to find someone with whom to switch.

Unfortunately, getting back to Ottawa proved to be quite the hassle. I flew to Manitoba with my close compatriot, and we had scheduled return flights for Sunday, January 8. Saturday, my compatriot went through the process of checking us in online only to discover that our flight no longer existed. There had been no alert, no email warning us of the cancellation. We got refunded, but the new flights we were able to book cost double the price of our original flights. Frustrating, but at least we would have flights for Tuesday. There was a Monday option, but it was even more pricey.

Due to the delay, I was able to spend a little extra time with my darling nephew. The silver lining for me.

When Tuesday came around, I woke up early to prepare for the commute to the airport only to find that our flight had been delayed to Wednesday. That would not do. I was already missing my first classes of the semester and my compatriot needed to return to her work. So, she spent more time online trying to book new flights, but for whatever reason, it wasn’t working. That being the case, we determined to head to the airport anyway and see if we could get things sorted out there. Surely there would be someone there who could help us get booked onto a flight so we could still fly out and make it back in time for our respective duties.

(Got myself some new luggage. It wasn't 100% necessary. The smaller bag was really all the additional space required for the transport of items acquired over Christmas. But with the flight fiasco, I ended up having to pay for a carry one and check in (another bit of nonsense I won't get into), so I bought a new check suitcase. I was able to spread things out and it'll come in handy for future travel, but that was slightly annoying.)

Apparently not.

There is no live human being at the airport to help with the booking of flights. It must be done online or via telephone. We emailed the original airline and received no reply. Online booking still wasn’t working, and there was, of course, a long wait on the telephone.

After quite a lot of frustration, we did manage to get flights booked with another airline for a way too expensive price, plus a layover in Toronto.

Seriously, it would be better to fly overseas than within Canada!

Tempting. The fact that it costs so much is ridiculous. It ended up being a very expensive Christmas, one that I really could not afford. I am thankful for parents who have generous hearts and helped to cover the cost.

To be quite honest with you, I considered dropping out of school and staying in Manitoba just so I wouldn’t have to deal with this great debacle. What a headache!

Anyway, we made our way through security where I had my bag go through additional screening because I had forgotten to move a heat/ice pack that I’d gotten for Christmas into my checked bag. Why did I have to surrender it? Because it was over the allotted liquid allowance.

I didn’t realize liquid contained within fabric that can’t get out without the fabric being destroyed was so dangerous!

And then my bag wound up getting checked anyway due to a crowded flight so . . . that’s lame.

After grabbing some food, I felt a little better. And the flight itself went smoothly. Our connecting flight was only one or two gates over, so we didn’t have to go on an airport hunt. Instead, we checked out the nearby cuisine and found a place that offered soup and a bun for $5. Chose the broccoli and cheddar which really hit the spot. It was comforting after such a long day of nuisances. And then our second flight was barely worth the gas it took to get up in the air. At least we made it to Ottawa. I’ll be playing a little bit of catch up with classes and assignments, but I made it back.

The Wednesday class went about as expected. We’re starting the semester with my least favourite class (another reason why I wanted to not return), which is taught by the prof who . . . doesn’t teach. We watch videos and are left to our own devices to sort things out. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if I’d known I’d be teaching myself, I wouldn’t have paid money for this.

I finished one assignment. Creating yet another Pinterest board. Well, four of them, to be precise. Had I known this would wreak havoc on the algorithm, I would have made a school specific page for all these things. Now, instead of seeing fantasy settings and anime characters, I’m stuck with seeing skateparks, skyscrapers, and stairs. Alas.

Since I still had time, I started working on the focus assignment by constructing the foundation boxes for my staircase design. Good start.

(Voila. Stairs.)

Thursdays are going to be busy with two classes and only an hour in between, but we have the same prof for both, so that’s awesome. We started the day, same as last semester, with life drawing. This first class, since most of us had been neglecting to draw over the break, was essentially reminding us how to draw. Despite not getting to do as much with art as I’d been planning over the three-week holiday, I was pleased with the overall feel of my gestures though I still can’t seem to finish any of them. My line quality has certainly improved from when I started in September, and I was able to add more exaggeration into the poses.

**Warning, as it is a life drawing class, the models pose nude. If that triggers you, please ignore the photos or stop reading here.**

(Just a few poses. I finished one sketchbook with these, so that was a good feeling.)

(This was the better of the two long studies I did. I'm actually quite impressed with myself with this one. It's not perfect, but I think it looks quite lovely.)

With it being a new semester, our classes got switched up a little bit, which means a few new faces in our class. There’s one girl who I think might end up becoming my hangout buddy. I don’t have one yet, so it would be nice to have a friend. We ate lunch together, along with most of the rest of the class.

It’s certainly fun that we can all sit together and enjoy each other’s weird company.

Our second class was character design! This is one I’ve been looking forward to. As an introduction, we got to draw ourselves in the style of our favourite show or movie. I decided to stay away from anime since that’s what I usually gravitate towards, and I should probably try branching out into other styles as well. You know, to grow as an artist. It was difficult to think of anything though, and I eventually settled on Hercules. I think the drawing turned out alright. Not my best work but certainly not my worst. I kind of wish I had more time to play around with drawing myself in other styles, but I already have too many projects on my plate that I won’t have time for as it is.

(My prof told me something along the lines of, "I usually never tell anyone to do this, but in this case, tighten the waist.")

My Friday was consumed with the design assignment. I spent all day on it and only finished one thumbnail out of three. It was so much work!

(I don't hate it. The coffin rug is my favourite part. The bat coffin wall art was also fun.)

The other two will not be given as much attention or detail because I just want to get them done. Hopefully I can get them drawn up this weekend while still having at least a little bit of spare time to still have a weekend.

So much for having time to write. Or a life.

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