Sunday, January 17, 2010

My frustrations in NZ

30 May 2009
10th floor of the James High Library at Canterbury
No music, just silence.

The month of May has been hard for me. I’ve hated the rainy weather, and have pretty much wasted an entire month doing nothing. I didn’t have any ground breaking learning experiences, and I sure as hell didn’t succeed to my highest academic potential.

But today I am feeling a lot better even though I am still sick. The sun is shining and it is warm outside. The prettiest day I’ve encountered in May. I can see the snowy southern alps perfectly, which is a sight I will miss terribly when I return home. This morning I went to yoga and it was quite intense. I was sweating and unable to keep a steady breath. My mind was wondering and I couldn’t focus on my breath. By the end, I found my breath and was able to release my negative energy into the mat. It was such a rewarding yoga practice.

Now I’m trying to finish up an essay about women’s suffrage in New Zealand. New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote. Kate Sheppard was the leader of women’s suffrage and influential for New Zealand people. She lived in Christchurch, only about 15 minutes away from where I live. She was very intelligent and had a knack for persuasive writing and politics. She was pretty cool, and I’d say we would have been close friends.

I’m frustrated and discouraged with essay writing. I’ve found that my New Zealand lecturers are not too fond of my writing. Or maybe just the content of my writing. Essays that I would get an A for in America, I’m getting a B for in NZ. I hope I can improve my essay writing skills before I return home.

I can't wait to see my family and friends. But then again, I am torn because I love the life I've created here in NZ. I will be back in Nebraska in 39 days.

5 June 2009
I find myself on the 10th floor today. It’s a beautiful day. There was frost on the grass, barely a cloud in the sky, and it’s sunny. The port hills and mountains are perfectly visible, just the way I like it. I’m feeling much better today. Yesterday I was exhausted and feeling crummy. Today I’m feeling bright and sharp. I’m working on my art history essay about Andy Warhol. He’s such a fascinating artist. I think the off the wall, out of their freaking mind artists are the best and Warhol is definitely one of those. He wanted to be a machine and stop individuality. He thought it would be better for everyone to be just the same and create the same ideas, works. He liked the ideas of communism, but didn’t like the forcefulness of it; he wanted people to conform willingly. This is a very interesting idea. Having everyone agree and be like-minded thinkers would stop war and misunderstandings between cultures. But would this be the best way to live life? Life might be boring with always having common consensus. How would there be advancements in society without the individuality? That’s a question I would like to ask Warhol if he still lived. I think he would have a good answer. I have a hard time with Art History because I don’t like examining the works brush strokes and such; I like examining the person behind the work and the techniques they used and what state of mind they were in. I like the history of their life and how it relates to art. It seems my teacher doesn’t like this approach to art. But I just can’t seem to get interested in why an artist paint a line in a painting purple or straight. I like looking at the bigger picture and accepting the pictorial space for what it is. My teacher said my analysis of art is superficial. I laughed when she gave me a terrible grade on my paper. I don’t even care that I did poorly because I think my paper was magnificent. Isn’t that how art went anyhow? The best artists were criticized for their work and didn’t get good grades in the academy. But then all of a sudden, they became legends. I bet those stupid teachers would have changed their mind on the artist’s grade after they became famous. I bet my French teacher will think the same in 20 years. Haha NOT. She probably won’t ever hear of me again.

That’s OK because I’m not striving for fame. I strive to make an impact on the world, and to be a beneficial part of society, to make my carbon foot print worth the Earth’s damage. I plan to do something genius, or many genius things, but I don’t want to be in the spotlight for them.

Well I'd better get to work.

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