Arno River, Firenze, Italia

Arno River, Firenze, Italia

Sunday, October 31, 2010

There was a tornado.

October 22, 2010

A tornado swept through my room.  It scattered papers on the floor.  It gathered dust bunnies in the corners.  It left behind a trail of books and sticky note lists.  It was an absolute disaster.

And then as quickly as it arrived, it left.  Four days, and I was left staring at the mess.  In complete shock.

Such is the tone of midterms. 

So here I am, repairing the damage from storm.  Refolding clothes.  Doing laundry.  (Regretfully watching my only sweatshirt struggle to dry, after three days.)  Cleaning bathrooms.  Scrubbing floors.  Windexing mirrors.  Putting everything back in its rightful place.  And placating myself with the ugly truth that sometimes life takes over.  One priority supersedes all others, and you consequently have no choice but to wait until the balance returns.  Or in this case, scrub the 3x3 white tile floor until every speck of dust and dirt is gone, and it’s all at peace again.

Along with the storm of midterms came the cold.  They walked in together, uninvited, hand in hand, much too comfortable in “my” home.  The apartment is still without heat for another two weeks, the temperature dipping below 60 at night, the damp air soaking into the plaster walls and coating the tile floors.

And so I boil water for tea, or just to heat my hands from the steam.  I regret military showers, for as soon as the hot water stops, the cold seeps in with extreme insistence.  I feel chilled to the bone.  I sleep with as many layers as I can comfortably manage, waking up at regular intervals to readjust the covers that I’ve thrown off in my sleep. 

But despite the cold and the tornado, I’ve survived.  I finished. 

The highs of the week:

Of my two-midterm projects for Florence sketchbook, my graphite drawing of San Lorenzo was chosen, the only submission from our class, for our school’s exhibition in November.  Below are pictures of my two finished midterm assignments (which are currently stuffed in a folder in the art building, much to my alarm…). The first is of the paw of a lion statue that guards the loggia in Piazza della Signora.  You can see part of Palazzi Vecchio in the background.  The second is the chosen piece, a graphite drawing of San Lorenzo, a cathedral renovated by Brunelleschi for Cosimo de' Medici.  

Lion Paw of Piazza della Signora, Firenze, Italia

San Lorenzo, Firenze, Italia

My digital photography midterm was successful, if not long.  I arrived at nine in the morning and didn’t get home until five that evening (we were told that if we left, we would fail).  But the prof, Simone, seemed pleased with my work.  Our exam was in-class, under pressure; we had two hours to shoot and one hour to edit our photos before a private critique with Simone.  The theme for the shoot was inspirational song lyrics, a photo to correspond with each phrase of a song.  Below are my prof’s favorites from my visual interpretation of “Beautiful Day” by U2

You're on the road

You're in the mud

But you love this town
As well as few black and white portraits submitted for the "Strangers and Portrait" section of my midterm.  Although I was nervous at first, this project has been my favorite so far.  

And now for a week of traveling and new memories.

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