Done is good.

Sun 12/18/2005

Well, I survived finals week...BARELY. I'll warn you this is going to be one of those whiny "I haven't slept in a week" blog entries, so if that's not your cup of tea, I'll spare you! The basic gist is that it's DONE and I MADE IT! But if you want the details, read on...

I'm going to go day by day, which will help me keep track of what happened, but also provide a nice wrap-up of this semester.

So Sunday morning I woke up and spent the whole day working on my typography final project. After I had it done I had to go down to school to print it out on the special color printer. I spent the rest of the night studying for my Typography EXAM. Gabe and Ina also whipped up an awesome mexican meal as a thank-you for giving them a place to stay while they were in New York, which was much appreciated. If you ever want to win over people you are staying with, make them FOOD. I rocked 8 hours of sleep Sunday night (UHN!)

Monday I had my last figure drawing class, which had a final critique of everything we had drawn all semester. It was awesome to look at my drawings from earlier in the semester and to see how much I've improved. I really consider that my most important class. Then I had Typography where I turned in my poster for a final critique and then had to take the exam, which had a whole written part AND a practical drawing exam. Man! That sucked...

Monday night I did a WHOLE BUNCH of research on Norman Rockwell and read the better part of his autobiography for the third and final chapter of my art history paper (which is a comic book!) It was super interesting. Before I went to bed I tried my best to compile my notes into some sort of coherent form...

After six hours of sleep I got up Tuesday morning and spent three hours finishing my last general drawing assignment, to get it out of the way. Then, by about 11am I threw myself FULL FORCE at my art history paper. As I began scripting out the third chapter, I quickly realized that it was going to be SIX PAGES (including a conclusion page) ??! I started getting REALLY worried about whether or not I would be physically able to get this project done on time (not only did I have to pencil and ink those six pages, I also had to scan them and layout the entire 24 page book, make corrections and then print them out).

I went with Gabe, Lana (his friend from Europe) and Kelly for a quick good-bye lunch, but I had to script comics at the table through most of the meal. Then I chatted with Gabe while he packed and I penciled. It was nice to have him here in New York, but again, really hard to not be able to spend much time with him because I was so busy... but I guess that's how it goes.

So Gabe left by about 2pm. I then worked for the next 17 hours without a break (UGGGGGGGH). On one hand it was really great--the intensity of the focus almost felt like a 24-hour comic-- but on the other hand (specifically my RIGHT hand) it was super painful! So much of my art history comic is text, which is really hard on my drawing hand. I had to do a lot of stretching, but even so my wrist felt like JELLY my the end of the night. I finished inking the last page at 4:30am and then set to the task of scanning everything, photoshopping it and layingit all out (plus making a back cover and bibliography). The first finished copy rolled out of my laser printer at 7am and I was able to print up and bind 20 copies before I had to run out the door at 7:45am.

I didn't sit down on the subway because I knew I would fall instantly asleep and then miss my stop. So I held one of the overhead polls and stood there with my backpack on and my portfolio. Then I fell asleep standing up, which was pretty weird. Really, I thought I had fallen asleep standing up on the subway lots of times. Coming home from work after a long day, or going to class after getting 2 hours of sleep I would often stand, leaning against the doors and close my eyes. I would be very relaxed and sort of tune everything out and not think about anything. Then I'd "wake up" at the next stop and feel a little more alert and refreshed.

It turns out though, when you REALLY fall asleep standing up, you do just that: you fall asleep. My body totally relaxed and went limp, and my knees buckled, sending me collapsing towards the floor. Of course, about halfway down my mind went "WAKE UP!!!" and at the last minute I violently jerked up before hitting the floor, making everyone around me start. I tried to shake off my sleepiness and everyone backed away, giving me a wide berth for the rest of my trip.

Luckily, my last 8:30am painting class consisted of a ten minute critique of my semester's paintings, after which I was able to go sleep (uncomfortably) in the 4th floor lounge for a few hours. At noon I had my last general drawing class, where we had another final critique (and PIZZA! thank god). We hung out and talked which was nice, but I was a little punchy for lack of sleep.

For the history of illustration final, we had to give a 5 minute talk WITH PICTURES about our 3rd chapter artist. This was mostly problamatic because it meant turning off the lights to show the pictures on the projection screen. I was hard pressed to keep awake, doing that thing where you are sort of CONSTANTLY nodding off and then catching yourself and trying to stay awake. The people in my class made some really cool books and my comic book was well received which felt great.

Ahh Wednesday night. That's when I really screwed up. See, Thursday all I had to do was turn in my last illustration, so I figured I was home free for the night. "I'll do my Friday homework on Thursday night" I thought! "I've earned a break!" So I went to a bar around the corner with some students who were celebrating the semester's end. I hung out there for an hour and then went home. I fell asleep for about two hours and then awoke to find Kelly home. "Want to watch a movie?" I asked. So we watched "Marty" which was a really great film.

After the movie a thought suddenly popped into my mind: "Hey--my final project for my 8:30am Friday class has to be printed out on the special printer at school...which means I need to have it done TONIGHT, so I can print it out TOMORROW and have it mounted Thursday night." And then, "WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING WATCHING MOVIES AND HANGING OUT???" So I think I sat down at like 9pm and was up until 4:30am working on my computer graphics final project. I woke up again at 8am and finished it off, in time to get to Pratt by noon for my illustration class.

Illustration was no big deal and after my critique, I had time to go print out the computer graphics project. I went home, slept for a few hours and then dove in on my final light, color and design project. The totally depressing thing, is that I had to stay up ALL NIGHT to finish this piece, which means if I HAD left both the computer assignment AND this one for Thursday night, I would not have been able to do them both. Ugh!

So yeah, I inked it and then painted it and then (for some reason) decided to CROSSHATCH the whole background, which took hours. But in my defense, I really like how it turned out. It should be noted that everyone in New York was freaking out on Thursday about the IMPENDING MTA TRANSIT STRIKE. At midnight Pratt sent out an email that basically said, "Since it is finals, TOUGH SHIT. You have to HAVE to figure out a way to get to school, even if the subways aren't running." So all night while I was working, I was seriously preparing myself to have to walk the 93 blocks from my house to Pratt.

Luckily, when I called information at 6:30am (leaving myself two hours for the trek) I found out the strike had NOT happened, and I had an hour to take a shower and eat some breakfast (an hour of sleep was not really an option at this point, because there is not an alarm clock on earth that could have awakened me).

The strike DID have an effect on my final classes though. Namely that only THREE people showed up for the last computer graphics class (???!) I don't really understand how you could not show up to the LAST CLASS and NOT turn in your FINAL PROJECT, but the other 7 people in the class did just that. So we each got a VERY THOROUGH critique, but even so I had a whole two hours until my next class!

I went to the 4th floor lounge to sleep again, but ten minutes after I conked out a security guard woke me up to say I couldn't lie down on the couches. I switched to a sitting position and promptly fell back asleep. Another half hour later he woke me up AGAIN just to tell me that he was "keeping an eye on me" incase I was going to lie down again. (??! what an ASSHOLE!) I told him that I obviously was NOT going to lie down again (even though no one else was using the couches because EVERYONE WAS IN CLASS), then I showed him my ID and asked him if his job was to keep the building "secure" or to HARASS THE STUDENTS. He left me alone for the rest of my break.

My very last class was "Light, Color and Design" which was my least favorite class this semester. I was extremely tired and grumpy during my critique, so I ended up getting in a little spat with the teacher about her curriculum (no COLOR WHEEL in an introductory COLOR THEORY class???) We were supposed to hang out for everyone's critique, so my solution was "forget this, I'm going to draw robots in my sketchbook."

It felt REALLY GOOD to walk out of Pratt and into the cold afternoon air. I went straight home and slept for four hours. Then that night I went out to Brooklyn, to wander around to some parties with Aaron. We had a really good night and I ended up crashing at his place, curled up with Beluga.

Today we went to the comic shop, where I did most of my christmas shopping and then we went and saw King Kong which was pretty amazing and awesome (That Naomi Watts sure is purdy). Then I went to ANOTHER party tonight at my friend Kim's house, to celebrate the end of the semester (aren't I the social butterfly?).

Now somehow it's 3am again. Sorry for the rambling...it's been a crazy week though. I'll be the first to point out that if you subtract FIFTEEN HOURS OF STAR WARS WATCHING and divide it by 5, I could have gotten an additional 3 hours of sleep each night this week, but it was worth it I think. Either way it's DONE. And done is good.

I'm heading home to Seattle on Tuesday and my plans between now and then are to SLEEEEEEEEEP, watch some old movies from the library, catch up on overdue letters and emails, finish up my Christmas shopping, draw some Comics and...yeah. SLEEP. I have a whole month off before school starts again! WOO!!!

4 comments on this entry

Fight the good fight, Alec! I am proud.
Hey, I'll be in the Seattle airport from 4:56 pm - 6:10 pm on Tuesday, if you happen to be there. I'm going home to Alaska! It's been over a year and half since I've been back.

Robyn Dec19

Robyn-
Crazy! I'm supposed to get into SeaTac at about 4:30! Email me your flight info--if we're in the same gate area we should totally say hi!

Alec Dec19

Congrats on making it through the term or semester or whatever they are called. Thought the finals looked really nice. Very interested to see this joint 24 hour comic you'll be doing with Mr. Aaron Renier.

Thanks David! Yeah...I think this 24-hour comic is going to be CRAZY and a real test of our friendship. If we make it through, we'll probably be friends for the rest of our lives. If we DON'T, it'll probably be because Aaron strangled me to death in hour 17.

Wish us luck!

Alec Dec20

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