C. C was the definition, the defining moment, the beginning of the end of this project. And it was due in the middle of the week Lauren was here, after I weekend I spent jetting around Paris--you just read about that. You know I wasn't doing any work. It was my fault, I admit it. I let this one fall by the wayside. But when, during the course of a four-week saga of stupid, you're pressured into starting over no less that five times in order to please the collective smug mask of assholery that Chris and Chris Squared can be, well, is it any wonder for a girl to get a little bit frustrated?
And not to mention that we never had a formal critique. We've got Pin Up here in this silly British alternate universe. And Pin Up means literally just that. Secure yourself a three foot square piece of wall, one among seventy, stick your work to it and then walk away. No conversation, no explanation, but most importantly, no feedback, just walk away.
Now, I've been in this space before at Parsons, not having a single grade to point to more than halfway through the semester. But by this point, we would have had 12 different assignments, so if I had bombed one, it wouldn't be the end of my little world. And we have critique! So my professors have looked me in the eye to tell me either: You've nailed this one, or You really need to revisit the drawing board, because I don't get it.
And not just their opinions, but my peers are allowed to chime in too, in a formal setting, a wonderful little melting pot of official so no one has their feelings hurt on constructive criticism. When you seek that out on your own, most people are just likely to tell you, Yeah, yeah, that looks great keep going. Unless, of course, you've known them and their work throughout 3 semesters, you can then feel comfortable telling them that, Really, it's not good and you need to rethink it. But I don't have that network here.
And maybe that's my fault.
Anyway, I don't have any idea how I did on that project, only that I didn't get called out in the group of seventy as being a piece of exceptional work. And damnit, that stung a little bit. Because I'm usually that person. But again, I accept full responsibility. I only wish I was home, with 12 other major works I've been focusing on to take an edge off the pain.
They called us back after Pin Up to brief us on the new project. I can barely contain my rage in person, so here where I have the luxury to edit myself, I will try and put it pleasantly as I can.
Brief: 90-second Viral film detailing a secret creative space in London, in assigned groups of four.
I am a graphic designer. If I wanted to make a movie, I would have gone to film school. Period. End of story.
And the best part, I think only about three people in this class have had the movie making pleasure before. They've given us four weeks from start to finish. The first time I made a movie under five minutes? I had six months. If you're starting from nothing, it's an incredible learning curve and an astonishing amount of work. The professors should know better. They've brought in this woman to inspire us. She art-directed the latest One Direction music video, a huge, towering piece of work that they threw together in two weeks. With a massive budget, and endless number of peeon workers, and EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE.
You're setting unrealistic expectations. You're forcing us out of our comfort zones. And then you look at me smugly from your high horse in the middle of the classroom to tell me that 'The best film will be chosen and featured on Wonderwall,' or some such other imaginary digital magazine you just pulled out of your bum. So on top of learning a completely new art form in under a week, because we have to start filming intermediately, really, you've made it a competition. I'm so inspired.
Then you've put us into groups. I am thankful on one hand. I literally have no idea who I would have ended up with had I been left to my own awkward shy devices, but you have had these students for two years now, and you've placed them into the most cockamamie configurations possible. You know them. You think you'd pick an assortment of people. A visionary, an organizer, and at least one person who's done this before. Except, no. That would require a modicum of caring about your students, and you don't do that.
I'm bitter, and my family just left and I'm terribly homesick, and I'm sorry you had to listen to that rant. But my class schedule for Parsons in the Spring! I am so bleedingly excited, you can't even possibly understand.
- Currents: Design, Data and Code, where I will learn to code real time web-based information graphics that update as the data comes in, automatically, by themselves. I can expand on the projects I begin in Topics: Information Design. I can begin work on my thesis. I will be taught the tools to change my world.
- Typeface Design: YOUCANNOTHEARMEOVERALLOFTHEEXCITEDLIKEASCHOOLGIRLATABOYBANDCONCERTSCREAMINGIAMDOINGSERIOUSLYITISLIKEONEDIRECTIONINHERE.
- Advertising Concepts. Every single time someone asks me what I'm going to do with a combination graphic design/writing degree, I always shrug and say Advertising? Now's my chance to see if I'm actually any good at it.
- Intermediate Non-Fiction: True Crime. I don't have to write newspaper articles and conduct awkward interviews, I can stop writing personal narratives and overwrought hand-holdy memoir. I'm going to write True Crime. This is going to be so fun!
- Reading for Writers: Young Adult Novels. I have been saying since I came to college that it is my dream to take a class on something like Twilight, because I want to analyze mass market fiction that everyone and her sister has read. I want to learn why it's so successful, and what I can do as a decent writer to make it better. We're reading John Green for chrissake!
- Reading for Writers: Fantastic Fiction, as in fantasy, not a synonym for amazing. Perhaps the only class I'm not screaming about, but still.
In short: should you study abroad? Absolutely. I will never regret being here in London, all of the travelling I've done, and the friends I've made from lovely Chicago and the beer I've tasted, and the sights I've seen, and all of it. But should you come to Chelsea? No, absolutely not.