21 August 2021

Senior - Week 01

Opening Convocation - Senior
Opening Convocation, FA21

Just finished the first week of classes - wow! I knew returning to Wesleyan for my senior year would be exciting, but not so busy! Getting settled in the dorm/apartment, re-meeting my roomies, rushing to classes, gathering equipment for courses, finding work-study, seeking an internship, organizing class projects, still contemplating honors! 

I am humbled that so many students (most now sophomore) greet me, stop me to catch up, and show a new eagerness for this coming year. We were first-years together last term (me a transfer, they from their various high schools) coming to campus during a pandemic with a huge amount of uncertainty and fear. Now, there is a greater sense of anticipation underscored by a nagging regret for what we missed; those longstanding Wesleyan traditions we see the new first years experiencing. There is a tinge of envy in our voices as we chat, for the time to have these experiences are passed. We do not blame the faculty and staff of our hallowed institution, nor do we blame the plague and fear prevalent through the last academic year - there is no blame to be laid. We are all proud to be the "Covid Class" of Wesleyan.

On a personal level, I am rather excited for this year. This is the culmination of my self-improvement and awareness journey. Relearning who I am and what I want to be while regaining a sense of my own worth which had been beaten and almost annihilated over time. I am proud of what I have accomplished while still eager to learn more. I am always eager now. A feeling that there is something new around the bend, just waiting for me to discover, analyze, embrace, and share. That is what this year is about now. And I fully intend to take advantage of the font of knowledge laid before me.

Art Club

I have made the decision to delegate more this term. Last term, not only did the club start late, there was a whole lot of me "doing" - which left out a lot of the members. I realized this over the summer as I assessed the club's accomplishments, and vowed I would not repeat that this term. I set up group pages on the WesPortal to help streamline communications and document sharing. Hopefully, the club members will use it.

We had a "welcome back" meeting over the week and have formed committees for various events and happenings. There is a prevailing sense of excitement for this academic year, and the club is coming together nicely. We will be recruiting in the next week, so this will be a good exercise for all of us. Plans for events and such are also underway, especially for Halloween.

The treasurer resigned, but the club quickly agreed to elect a new one on the spot, and she graciously accepted the honor. We have a good board leading this term, and I am confident we will do wonderful and creative things! I am very excited about the club's longevity!

Art & Photography

I am embracing art. Fine art, high art, the old arts - whatever you want to call it. Between the curator class (Art History) and the drawing class (Art101), I a reconnecting with the basis of what drives my creative spirit. I wish I still had all my old sketches and drawings - I'd be looking at them differently now. I meditate and use my memory of them; from the inspiration that caused me to pick up the pencil through every touch of graphite to paper - every stroke and curve - to create an image from my mind. Now, I am learning to use my eyes... and this isn't easy. The discipline of hand-to-eye coordination while drawing is... tedious. I have faint ripples of memory from my 6th-grade class where Mrs. Hiriasu taught us how to draw, and how frustrated I was then. Hopefully, I can keep my childhood self in check now.

Much anxiety and stress over getting a camera for this required course! With no clue as to the type of DSLR camera needed for the course, I didn't get one before coming to campus. Then, I find out I have less than a week to get one! For a moment I thought to drop the course and retake it next semester, but the timing and availability of other courses wouldn't allow for it if I am to graduate on time. So, yes, I panicked. It all worked out though, and what I need for the course are on their way. The camera and lens better get here on Monday, or I will be very put off (to say the least). I am really looking forward to learning the fundamentals and shooting. I do pretty well with the iPhone's camera; with a real camera - who knows! Pay attention to my Instagram account - I'll be posting photos there along with pics of my sketch works.

The curator class will teach me about establishing exhibits, curating from collections, and the finer points of item display. I know a lot from my career in marketing, but there (excuse the phrase) is an art to the process. I will learn about the historical collections here at Wesleyan, and even get a chance to handle pieces others can only gawk at. I am especially keen on viewing and studying the garment collection, with pieces dating back from the earliest years of this college over 200 years ago! I sincerely hope I will be allowed to take pictures of stitch techniques, fabrics, and construction - it will help with my personal sewing practices greatly!


Speaking of sewing, I am once again doing work-study in the library's Makerspace. Cleaning up and organizing the fabrics and machines were priorities this first week, but I have a good assessment of what is there now. I intend to hold a rag-rug workshop, I have to turn in the proposal to the library director first. A lot of the fabrics are scrap now, so I will also be looking for donations of new fabrics. I know we are going to have a sewing session with the President, and I also want to teach a crochet class or two - so there will be lots going on with the Makerspace this semester. We set up a display on the ground level of the library, and I will be curating another, more permanent display on the second level. The permanent display will encompass items made by other students as well - this should be fun!


This is something new to me - not the concept of an internship but actually being the intern! I've been applying for positions since June, especially for paid internships as a girl needs to eat! Any internship I take on will have to be related to my major (Advertising and Marketing Communications) while also fulfilling another graduation requirement - the Professional Development Experience (aka PDE). I could have waived this requirement - I have 30-plus years of experience which applies - but I felt that is too easy to do. When have I ever done things the "easy way"? Besides, keeping my skills sharp while also applying them helps keeps a girl at the top of her game! I was getting anxious as each internship turned me away. I did ask a couple of them why, and only one replied - they felt I had "far too much experience" for the internship position - however, I should feel free to apply for a directorship once I graduate!

There are other ways to fulfill the PDE requirement for graduation - a special project, paper, or campus service (as well as that waiver) - and I started researching each. However, I had two more applications outstanding that I would wait on: one with the Library (assistant librarian) and another with a non-profit here in Macon (web administrator). I felt the assistant librarian position would be perfect as I am already in the library doing work through Makerspace - and I would learn more about the library sciences in the process. I knew competition for that position would be fierce, so many other students were applying. Alas, the library director told me personally that she did select a student whose experience and courses are specifically suited for the role - another senior who had been already working as the assistant her whole time here at Wesleyan. I nodded with grace, for I was told I would have been the next pick for the position.

With one last internship opportunity to my liking, I started gathering info for a research project to fulfill the PDE. I think I have applied to 15 different intern positions since mid-summer. I didn't have a whole lot of confidence in this last one.

The interview was - awesome! The organization's principal and I hit it off so well, and we started talking about the website and the organization's needs right from the start. It is not a very old group - only 8 years since it started - but it has a worthy and commendable cause which I fully and wholeheartedly support. We talked about what is currently lacking, the "dream configuration", and some of the steps to get there. The interviewer hired me on the spot!

I am preparing a software requirements questionnaire for the program's stakeholders to fill out so I know how to proceed. I know I am good at structuring, building, and producing websites (done so in the past); especially when I am passionate about the subject and cause. Although this is a "temporary internship" - and there will be a stipend involved after 30days - I have a feeling I will be involved with this organization for a while. I told the program's directors as much - she may never get rid of me! She laughed, she loves that attitude! 

Second Minor

I am also starting 3 online courses toward a second minor in Digital Marketing. Things I had already been doing (social media marketing, email marketing, and viral growth) but need the basic fundamentals to solidify my understandings. A fourth online course will come next semester - and I will have 2 minors upon graduation! I'm just really glad these online courses are "asynchronous" - meaning I go at my own pace. I do not plan on knocking them out quickly though, I really do want to gain knowledge!


It seems like a lot - it really does. Getting everything into my planner book and projects up on the wall, all this becomes pretty organized and definitely doable. I do not expect to get bored this term. I also will not be farting around with constant scrolling through social media! That is a serious time-suck and one that really is nonproductive. My overall purpose is to be productive - to set my goals and meet them comfortably without stress or anxiety. I will even curb my gaming activities - which is expected. My UO accounts are idle, but secure and will be waiting for me when I do have a spare hour or two (probably over the breaks).

This brings me to thoughts of the breaks: Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring. I won't be leaving campus for them - which puts the money situation into sharp focus, particularly for meals. Roomies are international students who won't be leaving either, so we will be coordinating our cooking efforts. There is no microwave in the apartment, but we have two rice cookers! HAHA! We already had a discussion about the sharing of resources - and I will be bringing in a 25 lb bag of rice to start. Now how I'm going to get it from the grocery store to the apartment is another story! Ahh, challenges! I shall overcome!