commencement

at the end, a commencement.
commencement assignment-1

Commencement is a beginning and an end. The starting line found at the finish line. A completed circle within a cycle of more circles yet to meet their ends.
I always preferred the word graduation in light of the season. The time of year goes mostly unnoticed by me now, and is significant only because of it’s past- like an anniversary. Looking back on when I was celebrated, when I had graduated- from high school and college, in particular, it’s more a fond memory of accomplishment (graduation) rather than the fixed point of an endeavor (commencement).

Especially in high school, it was all about closing the chapter of something. Too young, too distracted, too caught up in parties or plans for the summer that followed- it’s hard to blame a graduate for not reading ahead the next chapter of the next book (there’s no extra credit for that.) Forgive the graduate (the darling of the present moment) for the season while it lasts but remind him or her that once it’s over (it might be a shock) there’s more to read.

Commencement is a blank page in a big book that will someday read of problems more unsolvable than the ones in a calculus textbook. Of characters far evolved beyond academic honors, achievements and the collective forecasts of their peers. The dude deemed “most likely to be successful” will succeed in being forgotten. A best friend known for her “best smile” will be replaced over and over again as relationships get replaced and as features fall, and wrinkle with age- page after crinkled page.

 

 

 

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INspect-acles exam

although, i failed the INspect-acles exam, i found a new respect for the naked eye.

at first, the prospect of wearing glasses for an entire week sounded thrilling and fun!  glasses are cute!  i admit i already had two pairs of “pretend glasses” in my possession because glasses are fun and can be transformative, but by the end of the week i concluded that glasses can be fun…sometimes.  quite frankly they are a bit of a pain…

there’s glass between us!

although i could see through the clear glass/plastic window within my pale pink cat eye librarian frames adorned with rhinestones, it was a barrier between my eyes and the world.  i wasn’t looking at, i was looking through-and that through was frequently smudged with fingerprints and who knows what else that made my view cloudy and dirty and in need of perpetual cleaning.

there'sglassbetweenus

i did not wear my glasses out around town as much as i should have.  honestly, i was a little concerned with what people would think…but that is a poor excuse because my glasses were very stylish-and even if they weren’t, the adventurous thing would have been to wear my spectacles with pride!  i worried that the glasses wearing population would be offended by my unnecessary accessory, and that little fear prevented me from completely embracing the INspect-acles exam.  i am grateful that i do not need to wear glasses everyday.  i like the freedom of an undecorated face.  sunglasses are hard enough for me to keep track of, let alone juggling two different pair!

panel-art-large-wood-board-eye-chart-12

while explaining this week’s assignment to a friend, she informed me that our eyes are like any other muscles in our bodies, the eyes need exercise.  her eye doctor recommended printing out an eye exam chart and reading it every day for eye strengthening.  this makes complete sense to me and i intend to print out an eye chart and start practicing for preventative measures…i have also heard many people describe prescription reduction with regular application of certain essential oils around their eye bone.  whatever you do take care of your eyes and take care of your body!  it’s the only one you get…

 

INspect-acles exam

wearing spectacles.

I figured that wearing glasses for the INspect-acles assignment would be interesting. Turns out that noticing what’s interesting is hard when, for most of the week, I found myself defensive, self-conscious, disillusioned by childhood expectations and mostly uncomfortable.

what do you inspect me to say?

Naturally, people that know me and are used to seeing me, were curious. I anticipated this. I was ready for the double-takes and the off-guarded regards for my new appearance. The most common comments:
Them: “I didn’t know you wore glasses!”
Me: “I just got them.” 
Them: “I’ve never seen you in glasses.”
Me: “I just started wearing them.”

These pre-planned responses were very effectual. Neither deceptive nor descriptive, these one-liners saved me a lot of time (and preserved a little mystery.) Too often, too much time is wasted in people elaborating on these pleasantries. It’s like talking about the weather for too long. Or when a compliment isn’t just received but carried away:
Person 1: “I like your glasses!”
Person 2: “Thanks! I just got them. I couldn’t decide between tortoise-shell or olive green so I got both! The lady at the store- you know that store on 8th street- she was really great and gave me a deal on both!”
Person 1: “Those ones look really great!”
Person 2: “Yeah, with this outfit I figured I could get away green. I even switched out my purse to match! Come to think of it, I got this purse at that store too! Hey I guess I did pretty well. I mean if they’re from the same store, they’re totally SUPPOSED to match…”

Those were the conversations that I didn’t want to have about my glasses and really- conversations I never want to have. (I liken myself more to Person 1- wearing a waning smile while plotting a quick getaway.) So I had strategized a defense. I put on my spectacles for the week and prepared to squash any attention paid to my new look, with short, ambiguous replies: ‘Yes’ and ‘thanks’, and ‘I just got them.’ What’s significant is how subtle this defense strategy was, even to me. Looking back, I realize it was as an unconscious decision based on a self-consciousness. We all do it all the time because pleasantries invariably turn into compliments into conversation… putting you on stage, in the spotlight and (more specifically) under the lens of attention. I sought to avoid the inspection of me in spectacles.

inspection and reflection of self:
Don’t get me wrong. It was intriguing to catch my own attention in the mirror throughout the week. Though I never got used to that stranger wearing glasses, staring back at me, she was OK. I inspected her looks with curiosity and acceptance.
I was very adamant about not spending any money on “fake” glasses. I considered old sunglasses and reading glasses. I removed their lenses and reconsidered all of them for the wearing. But they looked silly. How could I walk around in any of them for a week? I cared A LOT, I realize, that I would be spending an entire week, seen and considered behind frames, lenses or not. Although it would be temporary (and ultimately a choice) I couldn’t reason with myself to settle for silly. It took me two days, a little luck at the right accessory store, and four dollars to find a pair that (to put it one way) would match the purse.

So it’s a fashion. I mean, when I was younger (and I wasn’t alone) I wanted glasses. I yearned to pick out a color and a shape, a pair to identify with as a part of my own look. I paid attention to the symptoms of my spectacled peers and feigned the same. Prompted by ‘headaches’ and “I can’t read that, it’s too blurry,” my mom even took me to the eye doctor. Not fooled (apparently I am unable to fail an eye exam) my eyes having failed me, the doctor said they passed the test and  sent home to live the rest of my life with unassisted vision. I grew out of wanting to wear glasses. (Fashion is fickle.) As a teenager, glasses are for nerds. As an adult, optometry is expensive maintenance.

As for me, this week, in spectacles, I was mostly irritated. Annoyed by something atop my nose. Distracted by the frames in my peripheral vision for the entire week, I still wonder, when do you get used to that? Unaccustomed to wearing lenses indoors, I constantly ‘lost’ my glasses atop my head, treating them like sunglasses pushed out of the way when I came in from outside. I never realized that glass is a mess! It doesn’t stay clean ever, (who would have thought?)

in glasses

 other lenses:

Most unforeseen was the interest I somehow managed to arouse in others to also wear spectacles for the week for no obvious reason. Normally I share the details of my weekly adventures eagerly and encourage others to participate. As I mentioned before, this week was an exception to that. I explained very little to very few about my ‘new’ glasses. Whether or not that’s relative, I was still surprised by my 20/20-vision-friend Lindsey (photographed) who stuck out most of the week with me in spectacles for no good reason.

 

 

X text exposé

attempting to go a whole week without text messaging proved more difficult than i had anticipated.  texting has become such a social norm-and quite honestly my first choice in communication these days…needless to say i struggled with this assignment!

talk on the telephone

why was it so difficult to X the text?  or why did i feel the need to text message as opposed to using another form of communication?  texting is easy.  texting is faceless, voiceless and often “vowell-less” or at least missing some letters and reduced to the least common denominator of language.  (omg!) .  it is less personal, less invasive (so we think), less time consuming (supposedly) and yet it seems to take over our lives more and more and more.  after some consideration, i concluded that there are two main categories of text messages that i usually send and receive:  Emotional/Social Texting and Work Related Texting, with some sub categories thrown in the mix.

better way to text

1.  Emotional/Social Texting
a.  ego/self importance
examples:  pictures to inspire awe and jealousy…look at me and what i’m doing images
and  conversation.
b.  boredom/loneliness
closely related to ego/self importance
examples:  “hi”, “what are you doing?”, “i’m bored” etc.  short, often meaningless grasps at social interaction.
c.  casual “keeping in touch”
sometimes this can be a legitimate conversation with a true exchange of ideas and emotion.
d. schedule
 example:  “what time 7?”
e.  avoidance
sometimes it’s just a better idea not to speak to a particular person.
f.  top secret information!
this way no one can hear you whisper!

2.  Work related Texting
a.  schedule
b. urgent issues that demand immediate attention (but do they really?)

back to writingi like texting.  i really do.  i guess it helps me feel “connected” to people that are far away.  sadly, this sometimes comes at the expense of other who are very close by.  this week helped me to realize just how often i’m inclined to reach for my phone at a moments notice.  it helped me to re-evaluate who i was jumping to please by responding.

did i make it through the whole week text free?  no.  the work related texting got me the most.  i had a few experiences where i really did need to respond in a pinch in between appointments to ensure a smooth working schedule.  i also couldn’t make it through the week without texting my parents.  i talk to them on the phone fairly frequently but it’s comforting to know we can get a hold of each other at a moments notice to help me with important decisions like which fig preserves to buy? or questions like where to place an apostrophe.

apostrohpe

 if i really felt compelled to send a text message, i did try to text “old school” by handwriting my message, taking a picture of it and then sending it off.  at least that way it felt a little more organic and personal.