Catching Up

Hi! It’s been a full week since my last blog and I’m glad to be back in the consistency club. The past few days have been filled with doing what I’m supposed to be doing actually, being inspired, freaking out, falling off wagons, getting back up, etc. Do I have a clearer idea of what my project will be? Yes! But I haven’t gotten there without hiccup..

Last Friday, I did not post in here, but I did write a feverish entry in a coffeeshop, my journal jauntily perched on my knee while furiously scribbling my frustrations. I’m going to transcribe it here, so we’re all caught up:

Fri 17 Feb

I’ve just come from the most frustrating class I could have imagined. I’ve come to calm down in a local coffeeshop and am once again one of those solitary figures in a public place, scribbling in a dog-eared notebook. I’m at watershed period of inquiry at the moment. Whatever I choose could lead to eventual job fulfilment and actual streams of revenue. So I feel the need to make the most of this opportunity.

I am currently exploring the 2D digital possibilities of approaching a fashion concept. I’m looking to see how my talents and experience can elevate the fashion beast and vice versa, really. Because I’ve done a semester of digital prototyping before this, I opted into a class with my old teacher from then. I’d forgotten why the class was largely ineffective for me in terms of learning. Besides my own responsibility, a big part of it was that the teacher lacked didactic skills, as so many do. As a person she is naturally vague (though kind) and seems to not see this as an impediment to her ability to relay information clearly. This attribute does not gel well with the concrete nature of her subject, which she still seems to be figuring out as she goes along.

This is very frustrating for a student looking for help. So how to turn this around? People have succeeded before… I realised then, that its the pro-active students who take a lot of initiative with regards to self learning who manage to suck out what the lesson has to offer. I was hit with the feeling of ‘being on my own’, again, and the long tentacles of fear started to wind through my recent memories of failure and humiliation. My thoughts started tumbling down a spiral staircase of hopelessness and I was boiling in my seat, seething toward the teacher whom my fear was elevating to the status of a roadblock.

After class I caught myself: I realise what’s happening and that it doesn’t mean its over. It just means that its up to me and thats ok because I have access to all the resources I could need. So I needn’t let dread set in. Just be mindful of the inevitable discomfort of the unknown. It’s ok. Yesterday, at the drinks with the girls, one of them confided that at the exam for her successful alternative graduation project, the teachers apologised for not having been able to guide her. It brought me comfort to realise that indeed, sometimes they simply don’t know what to make of you and are so into their ‘teacher’ routine that they cannot think outside of their box or the one they have for you.

The true challenge here is the self belief. Detaching from a need for affirmation  :/ That was the real message of this morning’s lesson.

POA: Stay open and continue with my inspiration trajectory. After the scheduled ‘Open’ time is over, come up with a few different directions to go into and consult with teachers then about which way to go. But don’t go to them expecting answers. Go to get feedback on your own conclusions – because they don’t know.

After this, I went to the Rijksmuseum where they have an exhibition on the relationship between South Africa and the Netherlands. From colonial beginnings, straight through to a photo essay on the ‘Born Free’ generation with post-apartheid states of mind. The material in between was as rich as it was varied and was very much appreciated by this remote African.


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