Thursday, February 25, 2010

College Essay

DING DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD! Which ole' witch? My bitch of a college essay, that's which!

I am so thankful to be done, to be able to send off my app by next week, as planned. I am always curious about people's opinions, so I'm posting it here. What do you think? Am I college material? First, the prompt:

Improvements in consumer-grade technology and its relative affordability have provided opportunities for students to create and distribute their art, their films, their writing, and their music in a way previously unavailable. Though it was once far too expensive for an individual outside of the professional world to make a "film", for example, many young people now engage in scripting, shooting, and editing their own works. Aspiring journalists write and publish their own e-zines, blogs, and on-line journals. Self-managed musicians create and distribute their own CD’s and promote themselves. With so much ready access to the technology tools that help produce and distribute these creative works, and with so much work being produced and distributed "out there" (some of it not very good, by the way), how will you make your work stand out? For the moment, forget the technology and what it has done for you and your art form. Tell us, instead, about your ideas. What themes or concepts do you want to explore through your work? What do you want to make your ‘audience’ think or feel? What do you want to make them aware of? Why are you interested in your ideas? Why should anyone else be interested in them? Have you already begun to explore your concepts through your work? What do you hope or expect Columbia College Chicago to contribute to the development of your ideas? What is the first thing you want to do at Columbia to explore your ideas?

Now, the essay:
It is undeniable that today’s society is constantly being bombarded by media. A 15 minute drive down any road can offer exposure to numerous billboard advertisements, roadside signs, and fancy slogans all designed to sell you a product. Creative art forms are similarly ubiquitous; one simply has to open a web browser and Google search “art” in order to find a mish-mash of both classic pieces and amateur attempts. Technology in today’s society has made it possible for any artist, writer, musician, or filmmaker to put his/her work into public forums, marketing themselves the same way a billboard ad markets a product. To many, it may seem like a daunting undertaking for an aspiring writer, like me, to promote her own work in a sea of creative voices. In my opinion, the obvious solution to this dilemma can be summed up by the popular adage: “Quality over quantity.” While self-distribution is more common than ever before, talent and true original thought will still stand out and speak for itself, regardless of the sheer volume of creative works currently being produced. Through hard work, dedication, intense passion, and blunt honesty, a creator can make his/her work distinctive, relatable, and fresh.

I believe that Columbia College Chicago can best equip me to write quality works of fiction that will transcend the short-attention span of today’s society. In our culture, the definition of “normal” is evolving more rapidly than ever. In my work, I seek to explore the boundaries of “normal” and use raw, human emotion to bridge the gap between traditional and non-traditional viewpoints. In exploring the richness and complexity of human emotion, I hope to create pieces that will resonate with my audience. Themes and ideas I enjoy working with include expanding traditional gender roles, investigating the psyche, defining identity, and examining the qualifications for goodness and morality. These topics have been sources of discussion for scholars and philosophers for hundreds of years, fueling both ancient and modern masterpieces in literature. I believe Columbia can contribute much to my development as a writer by providing a writer’s community surrounded by city life, a constant source of inspiration. Also, receiving education from playwrights and authors currently working in the field will be invaluable and prepare me for the realities and hardships of earning a living as a writer. If I am accepted, I will begin my work at Columbia by learning more about the craft I love, especially how to see a piece of fiction grow from an idea to a published work. I would also like to share some of my already finished pieces, explore my ideas more in depth, and receive feedback to push my creativity further. The resources and benefits the playwriting and fiction writing departments have to offer, the large creative community, and the commitment to helping students live out their passion makes attending Columbia College Chicago my first choice and first step toward realizing my dreams.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Well-deserved vacation

I am taking a well-deserved break from the daily grind and visiting Andrew at his college in Dubuque, IA. It's a neat town, quaint and quiet. Perfect college town, except that it's cold and I don't want to walk around campus in the freezing weather. I'm really enjoying spending time here. It's good to spend time with Andrew that's not specifically designated 'date-time'. Since he's here in Iowa most of the time, when he comes home I feel so much pressure to fit in all the couple things I'd like to do with him in the time he has. It's been so nice to have my boyfriend on hand when I need some cuddles, rather than being frustrated at the distance between us.

On the other hand, the not-so-nice thing about this vacation is that I promised Andrew I would finally finish my college essay this week and he won't let me alone about it. I mean, he is right. I do need to get it done, preferably sooner than later, but the idea of writing it overwhelms me. Logically, I know that all I have to do is answer the questions in the prompt clearly, concisely, and honestly. I know that it's just another thing to write, and that's supposed to be my career so what's the big deal, huh!? Stupidly, I keep equating 'college essay' with 'insurmountable hurdle' and can't bring myself to actually do it. Bah. This makes no sense. I even like the prompt. Hell, I love it. It gets to the meat of my thinking, asking why the things that I want to write about would be appealing to anyone else. It asks me what I think about the technological overload in today's society, and how increasing self-distribution has made it more difficult for artists to create something that stands out. It asks me what I think, what I feel, what I want, what I am capable of doing at Columbia. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I LOVE TALKING ABOUT. Why am I having such a hard time here?

Back to it, I suppose, because the real reason I updated is because I am desperate for a distraction.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Well, here we are

T-1 day until the 2 year anniversary of my dad's death. Keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers, if you could.

It's always harder than I imagine it will be. I hope things get better with time.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mid-ish February Update: Getting by

Tonight, I felt the lowest I've felt in a long while.

I haven't feel like doing anything other than sleep for weeks now, but tonight I made myself get out of bed and eat dinner and do a load of laundry. My thoughts have been spiraling into bad, destructive places all night. Luckily, I didn't go through 6 years of therapy without learning how to deal with situations like this. I kept reminding myself to be mindful of my feelings and process my thoughts so I could address my negative thought patterns. I used positive coping skill techniques in order to redirect my negative energy into positive distraction (/psychobabble.) In other words, I sat at my piano and sung until I had no voice left. It felt nice. My mother even joined me for a bit. To be honest, I feel pretty proud of myself. There was a time when I wouldn't have made any effort, I would have indulged in selfish destruction without a second thought just because I wanted to. To be able to 1) recognize how poorly I feel 2) seek out company and 3) do something positive for myself makes me realize just how far I've come since being that girl sitting in the psych ward feeling sorry for herself.

T- one week until 2nd anniversary of my dad's death. If you could manage, keep my family in your thoughts this month.

Friday, February 5, 2010

One Saturday Morning

Death crept in with the crack of light underneath the bedroom door
How-do-you-do or don't-you-do
(you won't be doing much anymore)

Through the murky half-lit dawn of pesky hour five
He settled languid by your side
(you won't make it out alive)

He doused your spark in the stark and naked cloak of ignorance
Lips stitched shut and tinted blue
(your haven't spoken since)

With no one near to hear the fear encased on rattling breath
He took his due a decade late
(you paid your debt to Death)

Death slipped out with soul in hand under cover of tortured cry
Tip-of-the-hat, we're going now
(you could have said goodbye)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Early February Update: Thankfulness

I am rapidly vacillating between the urge to cry and the urge to throw up. I can't tell if this is because I'm horribly moody or just ate too many pancakes.

My body has been so out of whack lately. Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing I always feel unbalanced, like a bicycle tire with too little air. I feel flattened and weighted down with the enormity of feeling. It's an uneasy, melancholy sort of thing that I truly can't stand. I'm great at dealing with depression, with anger, with self-destructive tendencies but this suspended, halfway-gone feeling kills me. I just want to pump myself back up, settle at even-keel. I keep trying to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life, all my reasons to keep getting out of bed every morning.

I have a boyfriend who I am very much enjoying getting to know. He listens to my thoughts and my dreams and cares for me. I have an indescribably wonderful best friend that knows me in relative entirety. I have shared much with her and even though she can be a pain in the ass at times, I can't imagine my life without her. I have a chaotic, supportive, and deeply loving family that has stayed by my side through the darkest portions of my life. They have forgiven me for inexcusable mistakes and I feel as if my siblings aren't just my family, but friends. My mother, who I may fight with more than I like, is a strong and caring woman who has grown to accept me exactly as I am. I have thoughts in my head and the wits to write them out. I have creative ambition and the passion to see it through. I have a mind and hands and sight and breath and heartbeats.

I have much to be thankful for, things that I need to keep reminding myself of in order to make it through this month. Things are awful and sucky and often times vomit-inducing but I have concrete things I can hold onto to keep moving forward.