May 14th, 2010

Writer's Block: Mark my words

What gives your life special meaning and purpose? Do you think it's important to leave a lasting mark on the world? If so, what form do you think this will take?

I don't usually answer these, well not very often, but I was about to update about college and my appointment, and this seemed to fit in with everything I wanted to blog about.

At college on Wednesday, I had a minor breakdown. Very minor. We were in the darkroom, and I'm always emotionally charged in there because it's (hello?) dark. There was a limited amount of photo paper left, and the three of us who got there on time were using very thin strips for test strips* to conserve paper because we knew everyone needed to do their five final prints on 10x8 paper today. AM had bought some massive sheets (with her own money) because she's got really into photography, and I'd hidden 5 pieces under my enlarger so I knew I had enough.

So Paul comes in, and does a final print straightaway. No test strip. I was thinking, well fair enough, maybe he did the test strip yesterday. He put it in the developer next to me, and straightaway I could see it was overexposed. He tutted and said 'oh that's useless' and threw it in the bin. So I said 'what went wrong? where's your test strip?' and he replied that he couldn't be bothered doing them. He then proceeded to do 4 more prints of the same negative, which all came out black, and used all the paper left.

When everyone else turned up, there was no paper for them. Sue turned up, and even though I felt like a snitch, I mentioned that some people, mentioning no names, hadn't been doing test strips. So she went and got 2 more boxes (50 sheets altogether), reminded people to do test strips as this was all the paper we had left and 5 people started making prints. AM carried on using her own paper. They ran out of paper within an hour, because no one was doing test strips. Then someone got annoyed with AM because she wouldn't let them have any of her own paper.

I walked out, because the selfishness is too much for me. People are just arseholes, and I can't bear the world when I'm surrounded by them. AM followed me, and we had a moan. Then she told me that she's applying to do a photography degree starting in September. She'll probably get on it. There's 4 people on the course I can bear being near, and they're Kathryn, AM, Kim and Bernie. I started to feel panicky, because Kathryn had already got a place on the art degree the day before. However, I decided to try being strong, and went back to work in the room next to the darkroom. That's when Kim came in and said her tattoo studio is going so well, she's probably not going to come back to college in the autumn.

So I went home, and thought for about 3 hours. I decided to try and apply for the art degree next year, even though I already have a degree and have a year of this course left. The course at Batley is the same price for 3 years as it is for everywhere else for one year. I have a big enough portfolio. And it's all I want to do. Literally.

On thursday, AM told me that she'd been to see Sue to tell her about the photography degree, and Sue had been very unencouraging. She told her she needs to do the other year, and she can do photography after that. She's decided to apply anyway, cause she's 34 and sick of treading water. So the last thing I wanted to do was talk to Sue about this art degree idea. Instead I talked to my favourite tutor Gary, the one who loves all my 3D work. He told me that he thinks I'm as good as the people this year who have finished foundation and are getting on the art degree. His one reservation was my mental health.

So he asked me questions I might get asked in the interview, like where do you see yourself in five years, and why do you want to do an art degree. And I started crying, because I can't see anything in five years. I have no fucking idea where I'm going to be or where I want to be. He suggested carrying on for another year doing the access course, and then I got irritable, because I don't think I can stand another year with those fucknuts. I'm always walking out so I don't punch someone.

After all that, I went home and tried to forget about it because I had another appointment with the psychiatric nurse on Friday. So I went this afternoon, and it was more indepth questions about my mood swings and delusions. The current thinking seems to be going back to the idea that I'm on the bipolar spectrum somewhere. So we went round the houses talking about my high moods and low moods. If someone asked you how many times you've felt really happy in the last year, what would you say? Or how often your mood is comfortable? My answers were 10 times and 50% of the time.

*if you don't know what these are, they're strips of photo paper you expose for 5 seconds, then cover up a bit, and do it again, and keep doing it so you know how long you need to expose the final print for - this information is kind of important for the rest of my moaning otherwise I wouldn't be so patronising.

So to answer the question - art gives my life special meaning and purpose. I want to leave a lasting impression on the world, and I'll be fucking annoyed if it doesn't happen after all this.