Pesky Clo (pesky33) wrote,
Pesky Clo

a year at college in a nutshell - put together for AM but also putting here for posterity

In a nutshell, college is pretty good, except for most of the other students. No one is under 19, so I thought they might be more into it. But we got given homework last week, and only myself and another girl did it (a portrait of another student). I must admit to being made up, as he held it up, said it was fabulous, and the girl who it was a depiction of loved it. Anyway, it's hard not to feel like a total geek - even though I've been hiding the fact I'm so obsessed with art I finish my homework the same day it's given, I still seem like the biggest swot on the course, purely because I do what has been asked.

The other girl who did her homework is called Crystal - she's nice enough, we haven't really chatted too much, but I gave her a lift, and she makes me laugh (she's also asking me on facebook a lot what the homework is. I get the feeling I'm the only person listening somehow...) My favourite by a mile is AM (Anne-marie) - I spotted her on the first day cause she had red hair, geeky glasses, tattoos and a big red bow around her neck - in a nutshell she reminded me of Margi ([info]originalenid )

Only one girl is annoying me to distraction. She's full of self-importance because she runs some sort of online clothing thing, and she's been on a fashion course and, in her words, 'is going backwards in my education as I can't draw'. I took offence IMMEDIATELY at this, because for me this course is a step FORWARD because I'm going out of the house. She said something like 'unfortunately even though I can make clothes, I need to be able to draw purely so I can pass my fashion illustration part of the course. Like drawing is something she can just pick up and pass the course quickly. She's one of those people who asks EVERY DAY what time we're finishing, and then has her bag on her shoulder ready to go at that time - do you know what I mean?

She also never fucking listens to the tutor; I love the drawing tutor, Val, because he gives you something to do, and lets you get on with it. I realise some people want more direction, which is a shame for them, but there's a difference between listening and THEN needing help, and needing help BECAUSE you haven't listened. EG I don't mind helping AM when she asks, because her background is floristry and so she's a bit less sure about drawing. I don't want you to think I'm being a bitch and just keeping myself to myself. I'M OBVIOUSLY SHARING WHATEVER KNOWLEGDE VAL SEEMS TO THINKS I HAVE. I also seem to be the only person to realise that if you don't have liquid soap or a towel in the dispensers near the sink, you can ask someone to refill it, or that the cupboard under the sink opens to reveal glass jars to put water/ink/glue in, rather than using the mugs which are draining on the sink after having coffee washed out of them, which year 2 will then not be able to use for more coffee later on. And I'm the only one who takes scissors and glue with me.

Anyway, enough whinging. there's lots of good stuff. There's a library full of books about art, as I mentioned before, where I can bring up to 12 books home, and every time I go there I see Claudia. There's a cupboard full of art supplies, where I found charcoal and ink and oil pastels, and best of all that stuff they use to put plaster casts on your limbs. I stuck it on paper with pva glue and it makes amazing shapes. I can't wait to start moulding it for a project. Finally, I get told what it is I need to draw - I flourish when I'm given something to draw/paint, as it's like a challenge, and also I don't need to make any decisions.

sept 24th

What I didn't learn today

How to draw a skeleton

What I did learn today

Dropping an A1 wooden board off your easel onto the top of your foot will require a trip to A&E, an x-ray, a taxi home, and 3 days rest

oct 2nd

People had been annoying me anyway, don't get me wrong. They don't do their fucking homework, and only a quarter of the other students seem to enjoy drawing/want to learn to draw. the others whinge and get high at lunchtime. My tutor has been asking me to make sure people were doing things which shouldn't have been any of my responsibility (like making sure the door was locked, the coffee area was clean etc) but otherwise, I was enjoying singing 'Don't Stop Believing' and talking shit with Anne-Marie (hereby known as AM). One girl (C) was particularly annoying, as I mentioned before. She's 42, already done a year on a fashion course, and yet didn't know the difference between 2D and 3D, and had to be told what light and shade was. But she's been sitting on my table, and she's really keen on learning, so me, AM and C have been on a smaller table working hard. I also like the American girl now, who's called Crystal. She's got a lot of opinions on anything, and has a mother who is bipolar, and her husband is an alcoholic depressive (all told to me in confidence, but this is locked) so we have a lot to talk about when I give her a lift home.

There are some younger ones who are annoying and nice in equal measure. I particularly like Kim, who wants to open a tattoo parlour and has agreed to give me tattoos as practice. Malakai, who I was scared of at first because he's like Kanye West or something, actually turned out to be lovely. He was the only person to hug me when I dropped the easel for example. Anyway, they can be irritating, but they seem harmless.

So anyway, I dropped the easel on my foot. The day before I'd been giddy and running around making brown paper into bags, and going 'OOOH LOOK AT THIS, YOU'LL LIKE THIS' and making coffee. We went to the life drawing room, and Gary warned us not to drop them because they're heavy - and then i dropped it. It didn't hurt because I was on nurofen for my period pains, but then my foot swelled up and I said I thought i should get someone to look at it, and then went into hysterics and nearly passed out. Eventually I got to the hospital, and had a few tears, presumably the shock kicking in. I had an x-ray and it isn't broken, but it's still pretty painful, bruised etc

After that I have been pretty mean to myself because of how clumsy it was, and how I'm now stuck in the house, and Ian is therefore stuck in the house. I got home, and had a letter from the job centre saying they hadn't been able to get hold of me and I needed to get back in touch if i wanted JSA. I rang them, and they wanted me to go in on monday afternoon after college, so of course i had to go in.

The weekend was hard waiting for monday. I couldn't sleep on Sunday night, so I started counting the good things in my life. I started thinking about nicola and how I didn't really have a best friend. I have lots of friends, but who do i turn to? Then i remembered Claudia, and how great she is, and how she's only 2 doors away. I felt better and got to sleep.

So monday morning, I went to college. People still hadn't finished their work, so we were going to be spending 30 minutes letting them catch up. This pissed me off no end, so i told Val (the tutor) that I was going to start on the drawing he wanted us to do. I'm trying to learn not to get uptight about everyone else's homework, but ffs it was cutting into my time.

I had lunch with Claudia, and she dropped a bombshell. it was like the universe was taking the piss again. She told me that they're thinking of moving to Hornsea permanently and are having the house valued. I didn't want to show how upset I was cause I had to be at the job centre, and I could feel the world crumbling already. I was upbeat, or at least I hope I was.

Then I went to the job centre. the appointment was for 2pm, so i got there at 1.30 so i wasn't late. I struggled up the stairs on my bad foot, only to be told that my appointment was at 2.20 and they tell everyone early so they're not late. what the actual fuck? so i said i needed the toilet. they didn't have a toilet and i'd have to go to the public ones in morrissons. normally i'd just go as it's only a 20 minute round trip, but on this foot, it would have made me late for my appointment. so i asked to use the staff ones, and it was a major deal, with the security guard waiting outside.

My actual appointment was shit. She didn't listen to anything I said about not wanting to ring employers, and how I wanted a job as long as it wasn't too many hours as i was trying to ease back into work, and i also have college. Pathways, which I was getting support through when I was on ESA, were so much more understanding. I can't appeal for ESA you see as my doctor has stopped giving me sick notes, so the whole infrastructure of ESA, including help in getting back to work, is taken away. So that's great.I ended up having to sign a jobseeker agreement, and agreeing to apply for a job at a couch warehouse.

Monday was therefore shit, and finished me off. I went to bed when I got home, and didn't get out again until the morning. I did loads of homework on tuesday to catch up with what i missed. Wednesday it was college, and I lost it a bit. I was washing out the mugs and the paintbrushes were clogged with glue because no one else cleans them. So i wrote signs and put them up everywhere because I was getting sick of all the responsibilities I was taking on. The tutors aren't telling people to get on and do their homework and clear up and everything.

I had to leave the college and have a cigarette because my 'rules' were being broken for the first time in months, and i was wondering if college was worth it. It wasn't what I'd been expecting, and my colleagues were mainly losers. If it wasn't for AM, I would have gone, I swear it. I went back in, and Susan, my tutor, found some yoghurt pots and new brushes, which was lovely, but then announced to the whole class, 'to save Chloe's mind I've found some new brushes, and ordered some glue spreaders.' Why couldn't she just say 'ok to stop ruining the brushes, please use the spreaders'? Why bring me into it?

So this morning, I had therapy. I walked in, and just broke down. Everything was getting on top of me, I was wondering if I'd wasted the last few months by waiting for college only to be surrounded by fuckwits. In amongst all this are the problems with the money situation (still) and feeling guilty, and sorting out Amsterdam (more later) as well as my CBT homework, which was noticing when I'm being self-critical and trying to stop it.

Because I'm noticing my self-critical thoughts (SCT for ease) and trying to find alternatives, I'm getting myself tied in knots again. I try and be nice to myself, but because of my self-esteem issues, I feel arrogant for being nice to me cause I'm crap, and then I start having branches of bad thoughts instead of just one. Like with the easel incident. I thought I was clumsy, so I quashed the thought by thinking anyone could have done that - but then I worried about the taxi money I had to use to get home, and that the car was stuck in college, and that I missed another lesson, and that I was behind with homework, and that I couldn't go out over the weekend, and that Ian wouldn't go out because of me, and and and AND AND AND

This over-rumination is exhausting, as I've mentioned before. It's also never ending. Having a cigarette when I'm really bad helps, but then I start feeling guilty about smoking. we talked about it today and Kathryn agrees that I have to weigh up pros and cons and think about short term management of these feelings, and if smoking helps in the short term, then maybe we can deal with it later.

Bollocks, so where I am, I'm tied in knots again. Met Katie for lunch and her kids are so cute. Tilly was walking like a robot because it made me laugh; she also said 'a pink unicorn, that's nonsense! unicorns are usually white!'. That kid cracks me up.

oct 5th

College is still a pain in the arse on mondays. Our tutor comes in, tells us what to do, and then buggers off for 2 hours. Then he comes back and says it's home time. is this normal??? even for an art course it seems odd. another girl is REALLY fucking me off today. if she isn't told what to do, she just sits still doing nothing. today in 2 hours she drew a table and coloured the legs in red. most people at least finished one complete mixed media piece.

oct 7th

urgh - college

the fashion student has left to return to fashion. however the dipshit loser (who answered the phone in the library and moans about everything) is winding me up so much today i think he's just an actor put there to drive me mental

today we were filling out these financial assistance forms to get some art materials, and i went through the price list and wrote down everything we should need, and made sure it added up to £200. most people grateful - dipshit says 'can't we just photocopy yours?' urm, no cause yours needs your name and details on it, not mine. I went up to the library before i shouted at him. at lunchtime i went to the other site and handed mine in, and picked up some more for everyone else. on the way back I handed one to him, and he says 'it's too big for my pocket, can you take it back to the classroom for me?' - deep breath. went back to classroom, put one on his desk. when he came back he picked it up and put it in his bag without saying thank you

my tutor is also winding me up. i asked for help at 2.30. i couldn't get the card reader to transfer my images from the camera i borrowed from stores, using the card reader from stores, and her macbook. the stuff from stores had to be back by 4pm. she said she'd help me when she'd had her tea. after her tea she was helping the lad with dyslexia - fair enough. after she helped him at 3.15pm, i asked her for some help, and she said she had to talk to someone who had to pick up their kids. fair enough i thought, although starting to get irritated. i went to the library to see if those computers would work better than the tutor's macbook, but it wouldn't transfer there either. then at 3.45, when she finished, i asked again, and she said she had to help someone else first because they were having trouble with their sketchbook. even though this girl is dyslexic, i felt she was taking the piss so i walked out. luckily the man in stores seems to like me, and let me bring the camera home, where i got them transfered within about 5 seconds.

so all in all, an annoying day. not sure the pastoral care i asked for from the college is forthcoming for me at the moment. dyslexia is, understandably, being well covered - being mental isn't.

oct 17th

College is a bit of a lifesaver. The only fly in the ointment is that my usual way of acting (ie listening to people tell me their problems, giving people things when they do stuff for me, being helpful if I can be and so on) - which is wonderful, and I'm proud of my personality etc etc - has given rise to me being the class representative. Ian is worried it's going to tip me over the edge again. it's nothing really. I'm getting more annoyed with them not cleaning the sink to be honest, and he's not completely understanding how annoying that is.

the worst thing that's happened is people going through my pencil case, using things, and either nicking them or not putting me back and leaving me to find them on their desk when i clear up after them (I know I shouldn't clear up their shit, but when it affects me, I will do). this is because my pencil case is a see through tupperware box. I've changed it so it looks like a handbag. they'd better not fucking go through there and steal my pens again. Three (purple, silver and black) of my fine liners have gone missing so far. The college population as a whole is nice - people seem bewildered by someone (ie me) being nice to them about their artwork without being asked or knowing who they are, but never mind. Smiling at strangers in the corridor and telling them you like their choice of leggings is treated first with suspicion, and then with genuine pleasure. The vigilant watching of my pen box and continuous scrubbing of old paint off the sink isn't as nice.

College work stops me thinking self-critical thoughts. Consequently I've probably done too much college work. I haven't had my first one to one tutor session yet - I did get sent a leaflet for the counselling service though - so I can't be sure, but I think the 3 tutors I have are happy with me. I'm battling with myself to not do too little or I'll disappoint myself, and not to do too much so I don't annoy the other students. If they do mention how much I've been doing, I have to remind them that a) we have no kids, b) i have no job and c) i'm a bit mental.

I've not covered up my mental health at college. It didn't seem right to. I tried that at work, and I ended up breaking down. Being honest about my head will hopefully mean I don't strain myself covering up the loonies, and I shouldn't end up breaking down. That makes sense in my head. I should maybe stop being quite so honest before I get a reputation as some sort of Van Gogh wannabe, especially as we're off to Amsterdam.

Just in case you're interested... I've been at college for a month, so I'm going to keep track of what I think about everyone as the time goes on. And we can also see who drops out of course.

AM - very nice. Brum accent, red hair and sings her own versions of songs on the radio. I like v much. Says 'chicken pants' and 'pickle' a lot. Favourite song is 'don't stop believing' by journey

Crystal - also nice. American, but not annoyingly so. Dreamy, over-serious sometimes, bit sarcastic - worries about upsetting people. I often give her a lift home and she tells me lots of stuff

Kathryn - acerbic, but nice if you need a laugh. Laughed at the 'come in we're cunts' sign and we've been quite friendly since. going to the art gallery on tuesday with her.

Kim - tattoist. Got me a form to apply for a job at Starbucks. Says i'm the kindest person she's ever met because i gave her a small picture as a thank you. always wants to see my sketchbook

Paul - older, bald, and a bit of a charmer. Washed the sink for me when I was getting upset, and said it was because he wanted a picture as well. doesn't like anything we do, but does it anyway

Sara - young single mum, into 'Black Ops' and polyvore. enigmatic. into older men - we have a sort of bet on to see whether she'll get together with Paul as they share the bus home

Bez - I like her because she gave Crystal her old phone (so i gave her a picture as well) she wants to design t-shirts. totally obsessed with Call of Duty

Mia - drives me absolutely mental. continually asking if she needs to know what we're being taught to be an interior designer. Thinks '60 minute makeover' is what interior design is about. never does her homework. takes inordinately long time to draw anything

Gemma - very dizzy and young, been living at home too long. I like her though. Loves pop art and photography, and wanted a jacket with huge shoulder pads for her birthday - she got an iPhone

Malackey - raps a lot, very funny and caring beneath his gangsta outside. But also steals my pens. makes the sandwich shop ladies laugh by singing 'who let the dogs out'

Andy - a pain in the arse. doesn't like anything we get given to do, gets stoned at dinnertime, whinges continually. Never does his homework.

Aaron - really nice when he's on his own, not as friendly when he's around Andy. Wants to be a clothes designer, has really fantastic red sparkly trainers and those tramline things in his hair

Dale - very shy, possibly the shyest person I've ever met. Always wears a baseball cap. Very soft voice. Amazing artist, very delicate and exact drawings, even if they are of things i'm not interested in like cannabis leaves

Bernadette - wears blue glasses due to some undisclosed condition. Quiet. Hardly speaks, but laughs a lot at what AM and me are talking about. dark horse.

Charlotte - did fashion and wants to learn to draw - has now dropped out to go back to fashion

and of course, me. I think I've probably got a reputation for being an arselicking teachers pet because I know things and do homework

nov 19th

earlier on today I thought about leaving college. I'm losing it with some of the other fucking students.

Yesterday we had the print room all to ourselves after a few weeks of not being able to use it. Everyone had been moaning about how they couldn't print, and how they wanted to get their work finished before handing it in.

at 10am, 2 of us were in there. It was such a waste of resources. More people dripped in and out, but basically it was a waste of the room. Then the print technician tried to help Crystal, and they ended up having a row.

Today crystal was just going on and on and ON about it all day. Then I had the health and safety induction I missed last thursday, which Maaya kept interrupting. Then I went to the plaster casting room, and Andy, aaron, malakai and maaya were in there. I took some stuff to the little room next door, and maaya fucking followed me. She wouldn't shut up and was doing my head in.

So then I heard all this laughing, and maaya went to see what was going on. I looked in the door and saw andy with a hot glue gun in his hand. I ignored it. Then when they'd gone, i went and looked, and there was writing all over the window in hot glue, including 'andy' clearly written

I knew there was an open evening tonight, so I went backwards and forwards about whether to say anything. eventually I went and found the technician and told him someone had put glue on the windows. I didn't mention any names, and asked steve not to tell anyone i told him.

After lunch, he had a go at us all, and said we were no longer allowed to work in the workshop unsupervised. We now have to go and ask permission. He and the tutor were furious, as they should be. they asked andy if he'd done it, and he said he hadn't, but he knew he had, and wouldn't grass on them

Then maaya told everyone that she saw me go to steve's room before lunch - i told her it was to get a G clamp which seemed to shut her up. Andy just wouldn't tell anyone who did it, so now we're all still in trouble. He kept saying he wouldn't drop someone in it, especially when they were talking about expelling the person who did it.

I got angry, and said 'so for the sake of dropping one person in it, you're going to jeopardise 12 people's chances of doing well?' - he said yes, so i told him to just not expect people not to be pissed off with him. I was getting to be so angry i was starting to shake, go cold and felt like crying.

i went to the toilet, and when i came back, they were all still arguing. so i picked up my stuff, and stormed out, and had a panic attack in the car. I was finding it hard to breathe, and i was paranoid that andy was going to come out and thump me or something.

came home, decided to leave college and went to bed

an hour later, i told ian all about it, and he got so angry, it made me feel better again immediately. anne-marie is pleading with me not to leave as everyone else is a twat at the minute.

i'll keep you posted on whether i go back or not

nov 25th

I went to college today. It was awesome. We did peer review, and had to mark 4 other people's sketchbooks. The funny thing is that our marking of other people's work is also marked and goes towards our grade, and some people only did 2 sketchbooks. I ended up doing 7 just to make sure everyone had 4 comments. I don't understand our class sometimes.

I got 4 excellents, which means a pass with distinction if the tutor agrees. Looking at other people's sketchbooks very good for ego, as no one else had really annotated anything, and mine is covered in sprawling writing. Someone asked what I was doing today, and AM said 'she's spilling her brains on her paper as usual' which is such an EXCELLENT way of talking about what I do.


AM - still stupendously awesome. Has started calling me Baggins. Tells everyone what she thinks, good or bad, and doesn't care if she's unpopular for it. Consequently, she is very well-liked, especially by me.

Crystal - more paranoid than me. yes really. thinks everyone thinks she's done anything wrong. Her work is mental as well - her sketchbook is full of poetry she's written, and has a coke bottle full of letters hanging out of it ('bottling up emotions' it's called)

Kathryn - came to the museum and made fossils with her children, and since then we've been friendlier. Came to try and find me when i had a panic attack. One of those people you can tell to 'fuck off' without her getting upset.

Kim - Did my tattoo. Her sketchbook was amazing, the best one I looked at, full of tattoos and very fine drawings. Has a very cute cat, and a friendly boyfriend, and I very much like her.

Paul - Having a bad time at home this month, cause 3 family members are ill. Still smiles and comes in every day. Still not really enjoying anything, but he has started drawing trains and horses now so he's got something in his sketchbook

Sara - got annoyed at someone the other day because they suggested her and paul had gone off to a hotel to have sex, when they were actually just in the pub. also got annoyed because she didn't drink last thursday as we were in the workshop and then we couldn't use it, so it was a wasted lunchtime

Bez - the neatest person I've ever met - loves perpendicular lines and graphic design. Has been playing COD MW2 ever since it came out, and wants to make fruit shaped furniture

Maaya - totally drinking my energy and enthusiasm. Doesn't listen to anything any teachers say and asks me all the time to show her, and then doesn't listen to me either. Wants to get something printed before christmas, and she's still cutting out the stencil after 4 weeks

Gemma - Whinges too much. Wants constant reassurance and sympathy, even though half the time she's just hungry or hungover. Her sketchbook has hardly anything in it except photos of someone off One Tree Hill - not sure how this fits the brief.

Malackey - drew on the windows in glue gun - hasn't owned up to this. still a nice bloke, but keeping my distance from him a bit

Andy - still a pain in the arse. made me so angry last week i had a panic attack.

Aaron - more intelligent than he allows himself to be because he hangs around with malackey and andy.

Dale - I don't think I've even seen him since the last BB round-up

Bernadette - still quiet, but has been talking a lot about her lesbian squash group. found out why she wears blue glasses, but have immediately forgotten the name of the condition. it's something to do with light. she tells people she's dyslexic usually because she says it's easier

Mark - the new psychotic bloke. Since he got told to calm down, he's been a lot calmer. very opinionated though, and often butts into your conversations.

and of course, me. Think they just think i'm a bit of a workaholic

nov 26th

Had a great day at college. I can say this here, because I never feel like a big head, but my 3D teacher fucking loves me. I made a wooden box today with plasticene cupcakes in it, and even though he hates my cupcakes usually, he went mental about how great it was, and kept picking it up and looking at it. I also stuck some lolly sticks together with glue gun, and he went a bit crazy for that as well. He says my sketchbook is exemplary and he wants to use it to show people what a good sketchbook looks like. very pleased i didn't leave, and also glowing a bit with the praise.

if you're not on facebook, i put photos of my wooden box on there. they looked like nipples, and i was looking at an Anish kapoor sculpture which looked like vaginal lips, so i made a vagina out of felt. he loved that as well. My project started off with eggs and cakes, but it's going into motherhood now obviously. mums bake cakes - this is how i'm going to get round the sexuality angle and focus on the motherly/feminine side. When he looked through my sketchbook he thought something I'd done was a knuckleduster dripping with sperm. I'm a bit worried about what he thinks goes on in my head.

I told him how frustrating I find college, and he understood. He told me in future to just carry on doing what i'm doing because i'm 'too inventive and exciting to restrain' *beams*

nov 30th

Went to college again. We're finally doing something interesting in painting classes. We had to take in personal objects and draw them, and once again, only I took them in. I just don't have the energy to even get annoyed about it any more.

Also, why some people can't understand what SKETCHING means I have no idea. the fact it doesn't mean a perfect finished drawing (or even a whole scene) is too much for some people. I actually told someone to, 'sit down, shut up, and start drawing' today - it was Maaya though, so I think that's ok since she responds well to being bossed around.

I haven't smoked for a couple of days. It was getting so I was smoking at least one a day because I was getting so annoyed with something every day, and I noticed my fingers getting yellow, and completely freaked out. however, yesterday without smoking, my brain was just full to bursting with weird shit. It's like I can't relax again, like this time last year. I've been calmer since smoking, but i don't want to rely on drugs to be calm. BUT i also don't want to have weird shit dripping out of my mouth at all times of the day and night. it freaks people out.

I mentioned yesterday how I'm a bit hyper like last year, but i hadn't mentioned that the other week I was wondering whether to bother trying to stay alive. The biggest problem i've found about being totally honest about my feelings is that people are watching my mood more closely. I appreciate this, but it means that every single shift in my mood becomes magnified purely because someone is watching. do you see what i mean?

like the above sentence - "I was wondering whether to bother trying to stay alive" - I've thought this before, loads of times in the last 20 years, but haven't ever said it aloud. By keeping it silent i was giving it inner strength, and by speaking it aloud, i'm trying to feel it's ridiculous. BUT saying it aloud makes people around me worry more than they used to. knowledge causes people to worry, when really it should be more worrying if i'm keeping quiet.

Anyway, Val, my painting tutor, showed me some Kitaj, and told me to ignore the rude stuff. Bez said 'she'll be trying to find the rude stuff knowing her', and Val wondered what she meant, so I showed him my box of cupcakes. He got really over excited as well, talking about how clinical they look, and how he could imagine a nurse carrying them into an operating theatre. These cupcakes have got all the tutors more excited than I imagine they ought to have

I'm rambling.

feb 8th

My painting is going well, but the rest of the students are fucking me off so much, it's making me not want to go to college which is stupid. Crystal won't stop whinging about her college sketchbook which hasn't been marked yet. I asked today why she's so concerned about it. it turns out that she thinks someone is going to steal her book and nick her poems and get them published and paid for. This is ridiculous - because the tutor has the sketchbooks at home to mark them, and also her poems aren't that good. i can say that on here, because it's locked from the outside world who don't know what a fucking fruit loop i am.

Maaya is still the most annoying person on the face of the earth. She was moaning today about how she's not going to get the painting finished, and also moaning that people at college don't understand the stresses she has at home. She lives with her parents, and sometimes has to look after a foster child. her mum doesn't work though, so it's not very often. And that's it. she doesn't worry about a mortgage, or bills, or providing food, and she also has the time to go in to college every single day - no one else has the time to do that. 10 out of 15 students have children, one of which has 5, 2 people lost parents over christmas, over half of the people work and the rest are probation, single parents, or complete headcases.

feb 11th

1. Talking to Kim today at college - I'd stopped crying and was trying to talk to her. She was trying to make me feel better by telling me I could do anything i wanted to do.I told her all I wanted to be was an artist, and got so passionate about it that I got hysterical and couldn't breathe.

2. Val told Claudia he thinks i'm good, and he also told Sara that he likes the composition of my paintings. All he needs to do now is tell me.

feb 27th

I had a very manic day on thursday - i made a doll without a face, stole someone's car keys and hid it in their car, and then panicked about them being mad. I got home and cried. Then friday I slept all afternoon. i don't care what the GP says, this is definitely hypermania.

Friday morning I volunteered at a charity shop on the till. Volunteers get 50% staff discount, so while I was culling the toys, i found lots of things to buy, and came home with loads of shit for £3.

Next week I'm volunteering in a gallery painting a wall and handing out flyers. I don't know how I feel about this.

Also my tattooing friend Kim is opening a tattoo shop (I know, how awesome) and has asked if I want to help out - so when it's open, I'm going to be a sort of artist in residence, and do my homework at her shop, whilst answering the phone and getting free tattoos. ian is terrified I'm going to end up looking like Kat von Dee.

in amongst all this shit, I'm still doing homework, looking for part time work which actually pays, and making stuff to sell online to make money. This is not going altogether well, as I've sold one painting since christmas. Need more card parties and craft fairs.

Maaya at college is possibly the most irritating person I've ever met. I got the red mist on Thursday, and muttered 'fucking bitch, fucking cow, so fucking stupid' etc for about 20 minutes. Luckily for her, AM calmed me down, or she would be dead now. Possibly. She was reading the exam question out loud for fuck's sake.

Mar 8th

Things I've learnt so far at college

1. It doesn't matter how many times you tell someone where the yoghurt pots are, they will still forget and then tell everyone you're a bitch when you get annoyed.

2. People called Bernadette don't always like being called Bernie

3. Stealing someone's car keys and putting a faceless doll on the drivers seat will not be seen as funny by everyone, even if the owner of the car doesn't mind.

4. It's very difficult to get thrown off an access course at Batley school of art.

5. Being on probation and smoking dope every day will probably end up with you going back to prison.

6. First impressions of people are ALWAYS right, even if you thought you were wrong.

7. Lots of people don't clean up after themselves, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

8. Artists who teach on the side are odd, and don't really care about their students.

9. Not everyone realises that you can't just make a jacket in an afternoon when you don't even know how a sewing machine works

10. Some people don't understand the difference between auto focus and manual focus on cameras, even after you explain it to them five times.

mar 11th

AM at college, who is already the same size as me (just a bit taller), wears more or less exactly the same clothes, and has more or less exactly the same personality has now dyed her hair the same colour as mine. She swears she was trying to get it a lighter pink. Bernadette already thinks we're the same person.

I am currently making a life size skeleton out of socks for college. I'm not sure this fulfills the brief yet, but boy do i love sewing socks.

I also got 3 projects marked now.

3D work (the egg stuff and those odd boxes and stuff) - merit, bordering on distinction
Printmaking (screen prints and the stuff on letterforms) - distinction
Painting (that weird thing with the naked woman) - merit

The first two tutors told me how I could make my work better. Val, the painting tutor, who is the most annoying person I've met (apart from marria) didn't give me any clues as to what I could do better. I'm trying to be ok with this for my mental health, which is surprisingly easy, because everyone who asks what mark I got then says 'How the fuck am I going to get a pass when you only get a merit?' or something along those lines, IE they make it about themselves and how low he's marked them so I stop thinking about me, and worrying about them instead.



AM - now has pink hair. I still like her very much, even though we look slightly ridiculous. Is like a slightly more honest version of me.

Crystal - oh my god, she's totally doing my nut in now. Jesus, wept, I've never met anyway who whines quite so much. Honestly. Today she told Sara that no woman can have a relationship with a man without having sex with him, and then wondered why I disagreed. Says 'I've been married 11 years' and 'I have 3 kids' at least twice a day.

Kathryn - Really nice woman, get on very well with her. She's like a slow burning friend, if you know what I mean.

Kim - One of the nicest people i've ever met, literally. She's opening a tattoo shop, and I'm working there for her, and being paid in tattoos. Dream job, much?

Paul - His mum died, and we haven't actually seen much of him.

Sara - is still getting pissed every lunchtime, and coming back at least an hour late stinking of booze. Also threw herself at Val the tutor on the train. Thinks she could easily get him, even though he's married

Bez - haven't seen much of her, but she always brings me old socks when I do see her.

Maaya - absolutely without a doubt the most irritating person I have ever met. I can't even begin to tell you why. An example though

Maaya - Is Damien Hirst rich?
Gary - is the pope catholic?
M (thinks) - are all popes rich?
G - well, priests tend to be quite poor.
M - popes live in big mansions though don't they?
G - there's only one pope maaya
M - in each country?
G - no, in the whole world
M - so is Damien Hirst pope of the whole world?

I promise you none of that is exagerrated. She really is that dumb

Gemma - takes a lot of time off. Decided to make a jacket, even though she's never used a sewing machine, let alone knows anything about clothes. Consequently got very upset when I tried to help her.

Malackey - haven't seen him since the last one

Andy - back in prison

Aaron - quite a nice bloke now Andy and Malackey have gone AWOL. Still quiet, but I can put up with him.

Dale - very very annoying, purely because he just doesn't fucking TRY

Bernadette - hilarious - she's really grown on me. Very dry sense of humour, and persuades me to do absolutely ridiculous things, sometimes for good reasons eg 'wouldn't it be excellent if you sewed a toy out of meat and stuffed it with food?' Has rainbow rooster as her profile picture on facebook. reminds me of Cakey (in a good way)

Mark - hasn't been seen since before christmas, by anyone

mar 22nd

I got a distinction when my painting was remarked - my tutor is still just trying to get a reaction from me half the time though. i've turned off my 'i care a lot' chip. I have got distinctions on all 3 of my projects, so I'm pretty ecstatic. I'm lucky i don't have a job/kids which interrupt with college, but some people in my class just don't understand i'd trade the marks in for more stable mental health.

why my college has hand in dates, I have no idea - half of our class still haven't handed in one or both of the projects which had to be in before half term. there was an average of 4 people today. I say average of because people came and went throughout the day at random times. I developed a film, which came out ok i suppose. I just don't quite see the excitement in photography

may 1st

This is what AM said on my FB photo of the skull

"this picture doesn't do it justice, this is frigging awesome! Just picture the scene...........5 hours in an art exam and the person in front of you is making a skull out of socks!!! and she keeps smiling at it! What a day lol!!"

I'm really touched by that. I didn't realise I chuckle at my creatures the whole time I'm sewing until I mentioned this quote to Ian and he agreed.

may 14th

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.
Tags: college
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