Category Archives: class

Gender Inequality at Universities

I’m 39. I can’t pull all nighters like I did when I was 20.

In my office we talk a lot about equality and inequality and feminism. This morning at 3:15 when I notified my professor that my part of the project was complete ( a nearly six-hour straight design and implementation) I realized that he had hoped that I would just take it and not complain.

We’re on day 3 of week 6 in our 10 week Spring Quarter. One of the two classes I’m taking this quarter requires us to do everything in teams. The theory behind it is so that we get some real world experience working with others. What SCAD has once again failed to realize is that most of their e-learners are working professionals who have experience working with teams – we do it every single day.

In the beginning I told my professor that this quarter I had several after work programs that would need me to work from 8 a.m. in the morning to around 9 p.m. at night. I gave him the date and the name of each event so he would know. I told him that I did not want to be a Team Leader because of my crazy schedule. We even had a long instant messaging chat about it where I explained again that I work full-time, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and could not do homework during my working hours; and gave him my special dates list again.

A day later I found out that I was the Team Leader for my team of three. Are you kidding me? This should have sent a red flag because I looked at other teams, teams of 5 members, one team made up of nothing but working professionals like me who I asked to work with because I knew we’d have similar schedules and realized that my team was not at all what my professor and I discussed the night before.

By week 3, my teammate J (another woman, a young woman with a chronic illness) and I had enough of our other teammate, Big Ego Boy (BEB). She and I pow wowed and decided that we would invoke the ability to fire one of our teammates. The curriculum for this course is threaded with “you better do well or your team will fire you!” rhetoric. I told the professor about our issues with BEB; and being the nice sweet woman I said he was a good designer and could our professor help him so we could continue working together. Professor said he’d reach out to BEB and let me know.

The following week BEB still hadn’t completed his tasks causing J and I to go into stress overload. J encouraged me to truly fire BEB. So I went to our professor again. I laid out all the instances of BEB’s problems and why we didn’t want to work with him. Our professor took 12 hours to respond. He wanted me to see if we couldn’t work it out with BEB. I said no. He suggested that we finish the project together and then he’d let BEB work on the next project by himself. I said no, we wanted him gone now.

Then the professor came back with, well, didn’t BEB do the logo design by himself and didn’t BEB do the moodboard by himself? WHOOSH up went that red flag. I told him that if each team member had contributed individual moodboards, that we each submitted sketches and drafts of the logo and as a team we decided that BEB’s logo best defined our team philosophy and work aesthetic; but in no way did BEB do all these things on his own.

This resulted in more hemming and hawing from our professor and hopefully we could all work together.

This morning at 3:30 a.m. when I was finishing part of the project that BEB dropped the ball on (and to be honest, I am not faultless here) I told our professor that I would not work with BEB again at all. That BEB had disrupted my life too much and that I should not be expected to put up with that childish attitude.

That’s when it dawned on me: Our professor doesn’t want to deal with BEB, another guy. But we as women should be the better people and just suck it up and make peace and learn to deal with it.

All the conversations I’ve had at work (which I’m missing today as I’ve had less than 2 hours of sleep since 6 a.m. Tuesday morning and 6 a.m. this morning) about feminism, inequality, double standards for women was something that I had dealt with ALL QUARTER LONG! Had BEB gone to our professor and said Wendi wasn’t doing her job, you know that our professor would have come to me and said the team has decided to fire you. But BEB is a guy. He’s kind of “expected” to be rough around the edges and it’s okay that he has an overblown sense of ego. He said as much to me during one of our conversations.

I look back at some other exchanges I’ve had with male professors; this isn’t the first time I’ve been patted on the head and told to run along. Another professor that I repeatedly asked for help told me several times if I would just read the assignment I would get it. On my last exchange with him I told him that I had read the assignment several times and that apparently something wasn’t clicking and that he should want to work with me and teach me instead of telling me to run along and reread the assignment. Then I emailed the department chairman and a couple of other people. All that did was get me a time slot to call the professor and be completely ignored the rest of the quarter.

So not only do I have to deal with the professors at SCAD not understanding the non-traditional student who does all our work online, but now I get to deal with gender inequality too! FABulous! Just what I wanted. So progressive SCAD, good job.

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I gave up

I gave up. I had enough of this drawing exercise – I asked for help. I got some of it. And I ran out of time and patience. But I’m done and sick and tired of trying over and over and over again to never get anywhere. It was supposed to be a door knob. It’s crap. It just looks like a really bad, lopsided wormhole. I’m almost a week behind in this class and my sanity is just not worth spending another 4-plus hours wasting page after page after page and not getting anywhere.

So I quit. I’m trying to remember something a psychologist and cellular biologist once said, “You have four choices: 1. Do what you have to do and enjoy it. 2. Do what you have to do and hate it. 3. Don’t do what you have to do and enjoy not doing it. 4. Don’t do what you have to do and beat yourself up for not doing it.” Ultimately, choices 1 & 3 are the best two she said for health and wellness.

I have chosen #3. Now that I’ve said that I’m done. Good night.

Crap

Crap

Week 2: Feeling Keyed up

I don’t like feeling keyed up. In fact, the things that make me anxious often tend are things that make me physically uncomfortable. I don’t mean, “my pants are too tight” uncomfortable, but the “I should never have lit that candle because the smell makes me want to barf and I have a head ache now and I want to barf and I’m dizzy too which also makes me want to barf” kind of uncomfortable.

I know I’m not going to barf, but the feeling that I’m out of control of how I’m feeling. The nice thing is that just admitting it makes me feel a little better. That, and I’m going to go to bed in a little less than an hour. I’m wiped.

Why did I light that dang candle? Oh that’s right, in the New Age store it was touted to inspire creativity to the sufferer smelling it. It’s not outside on our porch. I’ll let the creatures of the night take it away – maybe a possum or one of the two strays we feed will want it to decorate their hidey-holes. I will never light that dang thing again. Now I remember why it was sitting in the corner of a room collecting dust – blech!

I was creative before I light the candle. I’ve been pretty busy today. I had two projects to turn in. I was messing around with the background of the calendar I was trying to make. That’s it below. The only piece that’s mine is the bust of the Madonna and Christ child. The sugar skull painting, which I love is one I found on Pinterest.com. I ended up with another background altogether – the guy with the umbrella. The illustration came from The Graphics Fairy (LOVE her vintage graphic stock!). I don’t know why I am stuck on using vintage pictures in the background. But that’s what I ended up with.

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What a day. I’m terribly glad its over. One day down, five more to go and then there I can relax. Until then I will soothe my anxious soul with school work, work work, and flipping between Breaking Dawn 1 & 2 and Veronica Mars Season 2 – I know, I know, don’t judge me. I am mentally ill after all.

The Skinny. The Low Down. The Thing We Don’t Talk About.

I did not go on my trip to see Sarah in Philadelphia. I’ve been trying to figure out how to say that and the reason why for the last few days, only to be spared from thinking about it while I had the worst head cold ever last week.

While I don’t need to justify to anyone other than Sarah and myself, I feel that visibility about how an anxiety disorder can wreck things is something that I should share.

Double Trouble!

Double Trouble! That’s me on the left and Sarah on the right. What the heck am I wearing? A purple tank top? WTH?

Two weeks ago when I picked up my blog again, school being the biggest reason I don’t write in it, I posted a couple of times about the trip and my worries. That week I had also been given some bad news about my health that require huge changes (with little support for how to make those changes by my doctor). So by Wednesday of that week I was so in a tizzy that my anxiety was acting out in other ways besides the usual panic attacks.

This is something I’ve been able to track – sometimes when I’m really anxious about something I will instead project my anxiety onto something else instead of the thing I’m actually anxious about. Why? I have no idea. This time it was school. I’m on the quarter system so I go to school for 10 weeks and then have a couple of weeks off before the next quarter begins. I’ve been going to school since September 2011. All four quarters: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.

The stress of school, working full time, and trying to not let that stress interfere with my relationship with my husband is really hard. I sometimes fail miserably and the balance goes all wonky. I was only into week 2 when my anxiety about the trip started. I should have really considered my school schedule along with my trip before I made any plans. But as someone with my disorder, I often feel guilty that my anxiety and depression keep other people from having any fun with me. The “People Pleaser” in me comes out in full force instead of being honest.

So I had crying break down. I did a couple of stupid things – remember I’m projecting my anxiety – and emailed some professors and classmates about the “unfairness” of a class we are required to take. I’m so embarrassed. It was a stupid email. Finally my husband asked me, “What is really going on?” And that’s when I broke. We decided together and later validated by Sarah and my therapist that the trip just wasn’t in my cards just yet. Oh its there, and its going to happen but maybe not when I’m not going to school and working and maybe not after I’ve gotten some crappy news that equally makes me anxious but also depresses me.

So there it is. I didn’t go. I ended up catching a horrible head cold and spent my vacation time in bed. But it was the best stay-cation ever. I really needed the rest and the sleep I got. I’m back at work today. Yesterday I did some homework. I feel a little more clear headed than I did a week ago.

I’m also not stressing about school. The class is crap. That’s how I feel about it. I know several other people in my class who feel the same way, so at least I’m not alone. I also talked to my professor and he knows how badly I’m struggling and has offered to help me as much as possible – as long as I ask for the help. So we’ll see. I’m shooting for a C in that class. It’s not an A or a B but its realistic. Finger’s crossed. Six more weeks to go.

It is finished

Mind you, this is just a very basic website for my digital design class. It doesn’t have any Flash or sounds or purchasing capabilities. It is just a website. That I got an A on. You know, the internet is quite the place for templates and Google fonts and all other kinds of happy happy joy joy.

So check out my site. Behold the first timer’s A project. First time I used Dreamweaver, that is.

I will say I enjoyed the planning stages and coming up with the color scheme and type to use, but coding is for the birds. I am not a fan. Website designer, yes. Website developer, no.

This was the first project I’ve worked on since switching my major to Graphic Design in which I feel really good about my design skills, that I might just have a chance at this whole art career thing. YAY!

Musings on My Work

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For my digital design class I have to create a website for a product line. Since I already have a product line in place, my currently-on-hold jewelry line, I thought I would use that. I have the branding style, the photographs, the name of the product line, all the stuff that’s good. So tonight’s homework was to play with type studies. Considering that my banner on my Etsy site is this:

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I figured I should stick with the arty fart type, but also pull in some vintage look to it since I use a lot of vintage components in my jewelry. I prefer the title on the top left. What say you, internets?

Besides this, things are going really well this quarter. I’m borderline A in my history class and borderline B in my digital design class. I am pretty sure I can earn a B if I keep asking questions and showing up for class. I made one really big mistake mid-quarter. One that I’m pretty embarrassed about. Its my fault entirely, but I could have gotten a much better grade had I actually paid attention to what I was doing.

I’m really enjoying learning how to use type in InDesign. It’s so amazing! I love learning how to use a grid to make a publication! I just have a good time learning it. But website design? oy It’s a struggle. I’m trying to not think of it as a website but as a single design. Dreamweaver is giving me fits. I have the book. I have Lynda.com. I just still struggle with it.

Truth be told I’m not all that interested in creating websites but I know it’s a necessary evil. I need to be able to do it all if I want to be a viable candidate for future design firms. So every day I have to dig down into Dreamweaver and try my hardest to figure it out. I will get it. I will. There’s no choice in the matter.