Psych, At Last

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Teaching and research, research and teaching. A cup of coffee, a stale-ish sesame bagel. I chuckle mid-way through my transcriptions, get an email about another student, text my best friend and boyfriend on the side. I dip back into the Psychology project.

I’m happy to be circling back to my deepest initial passion, Psychology, and seeking to make a career out of it. The past few years were spent dabbling in a variety of interests, from photojournalism to freelance writing and illustration. I worked as a freelance photographer, was at the newspaper, did article illustrations, wrote articles. And I enjoyed it all, and I’m grateful to have been able to explore those creative avenues.

But at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s art that I want to chase as a career–it’s Psychology. Sometimes I burn out from photo, or art, or writing, or music, but I never tire of Psychology. Ever since I can remember, it’s been Psychology I’ve run towards, Psychology I’ve held onto, Psychology I’ve spat obnoxiously at anyone who would listen. And, if we’re also being frank, of all these interests, Psychology is perhaps the most viable economically. To succeed in the others requires a great deal of luck to not struggle financially…the starving artist is a trope, but….ah. I’ll always have creative outlets at hand, but won’t rely on them as a career.

Alas, my only regret is not doggedly pursuing this earlier. My first class in college was a Psychology seminar; my last class in college was a Developmental Psychology course. Neither was required–I just gravitated towards the subject. That first semester, I emailed my favorite Psychology writers, chose a major because of its roots in Psychology. Throughout my last year, I participated in research labs regularly, contemplating the lab structure and hypotheses. I read social science articles in my free time, and chatted my best friend’s ear off about said studies.

At the same time, though, I’m not mired in regret. I see that the majority of Psychology undergraduate majors go into business. They tire of a school that burned them out, swerve the whiplash of an Ivy League, do management consulting or marketing or banking. The students don’t often go on to get Ph.D’s or Master’s, maybe in part due to the undergraduate culture. But without a higher degree, it’s difficult, if not nearly impossible, to practice Psychology.

That being said, it was not all for naught. And if anything, I’m glad that I eventually figured it out, even if it took me a bit of time. It was just in the nick of time, though, that I faced myself (corny, I know) and saw what I’d always seen, and that was a tiny, constant burning fire for the field.

The people closest to me all collectively yelled “DUH” when I had my revelation in front of Cosi. But the people in my outer social circle, friends but not best friends, were surprised to hear my detour. I thought you wanted to write or draw. But it makes sense–publicly, I’m open about creative pursuits, because they’re easy to share. It’s like a person’s mask, or a product’s package, or a home’s outside decor. But ah, the interior is always a little different, more personal, and that is what the social sciences are to me: near and dear, more personal than not, a constant quiet passion.

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November 3rd, 2018 | Journal

I’ve been reading a lot in the past few days. Well, not a lot, but more than usual. I went through two historical graphic novels in two days and finished each one feeling shooketh. The first was about the Salem Witch Trials; it was an apology letter written by one of the accusers. Her parents had been after the victims’ property, and she and friends enjoyed the attention/power. So they writhed and accused and sent 24 people to their deaths during the Salem Witch Trials.

Another book I (just) finished was Persepolis. I’m beginning to lose track of the graphic novels set firmly in the 80’s and 90’s, all featuring revolutionary/Communist themes. There’s always Marx, always Lenin, occasionally Mao, always a grandmother or uncle who lived through it all; horrors of humanity and tragedy, tragedy, juxtaposed against cartoons. Cartoons! It makes for a wonderful memoir and good storytelling, because if these serious stories were set in thick books, they’d be less accessible.

I haven’t featured it much on here, but I’ve started a Project 365 for the year. Started it on a whim two weeks ago–we’ll see how long it lasts. Fingers crossed I’ll get through the year. I’m hoping that iPhone apps will make the organization process a lot easier. I stumbled upon an old binder of my 2013 Project 365, where I wrote long rambly blog entries next to the daily photos. Entries like those were reminders of an objectively happy time, even if I was subjectively mired in dissatisfaction. I miss aspects here and there, but only some. The photos were lovely, though. But now I’m too lazy to use my DSLR and edit my images as I used to. These iPhone apps slap on filters and descriptions in milliseconds.

I used to write those entries on Tumblr, which housed at least eight blogs. It got deleted last year. In 2016, I migrated to WordPress, you, here, and made a pseudo-portfolio, but then felt embarrassed when people I knew read anything. It is so strange how it’s easier to feel the eyeballs of a stranger on art/writing than a known person. I do not write here the way I wrote on Tumblr, which was messy, casual, slipshod, daily. Microblogging nuggets of thought, utterly mundane.

Should I post my Project 365 entries on here? Or are they too personal, and would that be spreading myself too thin? Or would it not hurt to also post them? Hm.

Weekend Roadtrip: Day 1 | Photo Diary

 

 

After a few heavyish days of work, I welcomed our Halloween weekend roadtrip with open arms.

We exited the city. Urban sights. Buildings, lanky; cars, cranky.

Traffic was awful on the way out. Extended the trip by an hour and a half. Slow eighteen-wheelers formed blocks on the 2 highway roads. The occasional snaking did little, if anything, and we found ourselves behind the same squarish white vehicle humming along at 75 mph. After an hour, we exited onto winding country roads dotted with ‘cow orchards.’

 

A horse, I pointed. Those are cows, he said.

Indie alternative playlist, light and happy. The sun beat down on the right side of the car, which I happened to be sitting on. I’d decided to wear a long sleeve sweater: this was a mistake. But eventually I propped up the window cover, and slung it over a hook.

We stopped for kolaches. I changed into a floral tank in the car. We ordered danish ‘kolaches’ with jelly-filled centers and the typical pigs-in-a-blanket. I got a mid-sized one as big as my face and munched on that as we returned to driving.

Shot with NOMO INS W.

In time, the sun set. Violently pretty, I wrote on IG Stories. We cruised along a wider highway, making our way down the road. Red-pink, orange-yellow, white-blue sky. Sky line silhouettes. We exited onto a long road of tolls.

Falling darkness. Falling parts out of the angry aggressive truck beside us.

Toll flash. Toll flash. Toll flash. Toll flash.

“Nine tolls so far.”

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Around 8:30, we stopped by a nearby BBQ hut dimly lit by the side of the road. A fake horse stood in front. We circled around the farm-like place, unable to find the entrance. Plumes of BBQ-esque smoke hung in the lot. We found the entrance. Inside were wooden seats; above, the decorative remains of a bony animal.

We reached our destination. To wrap the night up, we finished the BBQ and watched a few episodes of Haunting of Hill House, snuggled beneath the throw.

Art Hub

I don’t feel much in the summer, not as much as I do in the winter. There’s something about the onslaught of cold—the onslaught of nostalgia, the wave of emotion, of icy blustery wintry reflection.

It’s barely Halloween and I’m ready for Christmas. We’ll have lights, I’ve decided. Rainbow lights. A tree, spindly and green. A tree, plastic evergreen, our first in years.

Cold and rain joined forces today. Yesterday was another story. It was hot and muggy and I greeted an old friend SC with a head glazed in sweat. MT had invited me to an arts festival that reminded me of small alternative spaces in Austin, New York, Philadelphia.

It brimmed with people, people with colored hair dyed bright angry neon. People with nose rings, with tattoos, with large dark eyes under heavy-rimmed glasses. Artwork lined the tables. You are so talented, I tell an artist after skimming through her comic book. Doodles. Paintings. Prints. Bags. Comics. Film. I feel guilty looking at their art and not buying it.

It made think of Philly’s first Fridays, where all galleries opened their doors and artists lined the summery streets, their work on display. And New York, but more likely every day of the week. I didn’t realize how much I missed it, basked in it, until I was surrounded by it again.

Medley | Photo Diary

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Right now I’m perusing the Internet for places to develop color film. Last year, I ordered four rolls of film; that, along with my two disposable cameras, meant I had six rolls to shoot through. I have barely gotten through one. Film is expensive; I am cheap. In comparison to digital, film is pricey–each shot must be worth it. It’s time-consuming, too, sending the rolls to the lab and waiting weeks for it to arrive, if ever. (I lost a roll last year, alas) But while I peer over digital images, I value my film ones. I hang them on the wall. I milk them, post by post. I have loved film for years, and yet I have been so stingy with it.

Photography and I have had a rocky relationship the past few years. Long story short, I’ve always loved photography, dreamt of being a paid photographer, became a paid photographer, stopped liking photography. It felt corny. People would always bring up photography in conversations, ask about photography–photography, photography, photography. It felt cheap. But now I miss it. Well, not the paid part. I miss wanting to take photos, and feeling compelled to do so. I wish I’d taken more photos when I was in DC, New York, Philly, but I was on that strange photo-taker’s block. Now I’m in a still city and aching to take more pictures. Maybe I’ll just start with film–I’ll carry my film cameras around.

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I’m really happy to be working towards this particular career path in Psychology. It’s do-able. It feels right. As much as I love creative pursuits, I’m not willing to eke out a paltry living for the rest of my life. And while I enjoyed aspects of Communication–interviewing, writing and transcribing in Journalism were rather useful skills–I was continually led towards a primary, unwavering interest: Psychology.

Now, in the interim, I’m teaching, working with a Professor who studies literacy and development, and getting to better understand this field within Psych (For any or all Psych nerds, it’s IO). I’m eyeing the Master’s; I never thought I’d pursue graduate school. But the more I learn about IO, the more crucial it seems to know. Ah! It is useful; it is fascinating; it is lucrative; it is meaningful.

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IMG_7820A hodgepodge of more unrelated thoughts:

  • Bojack Horseman’s rolled out a Season 5–tissues are at the ready.
  • Identity V remains alluring, as usual.
  • I’d like something to celebrate, just so I can drink more Bailey’s with the boyfriend.
  • My student gave me pumpkin tea the other day, and ever since, I’ve been hooked.
  • Boyfriend and I stumbled upon an artsy street the other day, which housed indie shops and rooftop restaurants and a Trader Joe’s.

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One of the things that initially drew me to blogging 10 years ago was old-school style blogging, like web-logging, like jotting down journal chunks of your day-today. The online web-log, shortened to a blog. But I turned from Tumblr to WordPress, which I set up like a small artsy hub of creative expression. From time to time, though, I simply want to revert back to the old-school blog style, where my entries cover the mundane, the intangible, the thought-y, the daily. I’ll try it. Again. And again. It’s been a long time since I have written.

August 2018 | Daily (Weekly) Art

August 20 to Sept 3

Swinging Away, This Childhood

I spent the past two weeks slowly working on this piece, redoing it for the third or fourth time in years. Skies, I’ve come to learn, are deceptively easy to paint.

8.20.18 – 9.2.18

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Revisiting an older piece

8.13.18 – 8.19.18

August 6th to August 13th.jpg

Mountainscape

8.5.18 – 8.12.18

July 29 to August 5th.jpg

Somewhere in Greece, a piece I worked on last week. 😎 Not sure if this defies the rules of #dailyart, but in lieu of drawing something small every 7 days, I worked on this larger piece….every day.

The purpose of this art project was to push me to make art consistently, even if I didn’t want to. on the upside, I’ve been churning pieces out! On the downside, sometimes they’re of subpar quality. Stumbling upon older, more elaborate paintings hammered in this realization.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to try & devote more time to fewer, but more detailed, pieces, and to work on them every day.

7.30.18 – 8.4.18

Series of Fun Dates | Photo Diary

Everything’s been a blur of work, dates, work and rest lately.

I perused through some photos to see, exactly, what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. They’ve been dotted with a series of fun dates with the boyfriend–visits to the art museum, walks around hipster district, strolls around the lake, movies and dinner, etc.

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Our first trip into the city. We stopped by for grilled cheese sandwiches and bruschetta, then strolled around the shops and homes. I got my art fix at the hipster-y district, which housed some small galleries.

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Later in the afternoon, we ventured to a larger art museum nearby, where I saw works by the Guerilla Girls– in the flesh! I’d spent a few classes in university learning about them, so it was incredibly cool to visit a gallery featuring their work.

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I’ve always loved furniture stores–vast, spacious, and littered with soft beds and pillows and imaginative decor. I tagged along on boyfriend’s furniture shopping for a desk to one of the largest furniture shops in the area, where we hung out for hours.

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The other day, we visited one of his favorite restaurants, only to catch the annual accordion-tuba concert, which ended up being a mix of light comedy and yodeling. Yodeling! I’d never heard anyone yodel before.

The food, also, was terrific. We ordered wiener schnitzels, with fried potatoes and a light chocolate cake.

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Silhouettes by the lake. We took a rowdy walk around the lake after stuffing ourselves full with food, and ended up racing back to the apartment.