self servings

Work as slumps and slow turns between productivity and preoccupation. Old habits die hard and new ones even harder. But with slumps, slow velocity, and slouched posture comes as a result of. To make, I intake and have shifted my perception of periphery perturbations. A new notebook with four corner constraints for comics and self infographics, a long desired septum piercing and permitted metamorphic indulgences, and assertions of any kind of reading. No more segmentation. Everything is connected at varying strengths and weaknesses (enough of a lesson this first year).

Today is requiring much inertia. I am trying to work to this rhythm:

I wandered the library leaving with 24 books; some I intended to uncover, others surfaced on the shelves. I have not thought about  how or why but about this and that.

I am trying to imagine myself to this rhythm:

I made this for my (peers) (students) (self)

a ripoff of Project 826's postcard

a blatant ripoff of Project 826’s postcard

autobiographing/moving forward

This is a self(ish) post. It is personal and contains no academic content. Except that it does.

kinetic transfer/transition

I’m in the transition period between MA and PhD. It’s not limbo; I don’t feel free-floating, aimless in waiting, or still of mind. Each day feels like some sort of spirit quest in which I am learning and getting to know myself, and with each day come rituals that I explore and abandon to better prepare myself physically and mentally. Some breakfasts give more energy than others; some times for exercise seem more beneficial to my ability to concentrate; to-do lists rarely result in doing; I can’t work on my computer in bed; breaks really need to be timed; etc. What I didn’t anticipate is the level of inner reflection that I’m practicing – I slice vegetables and meditate, I run and think of my future scholarship, I cut strips of tape to hang pictures and think of the connections I have established, need to maintain, and where I want to relate next. I hope these are synapses connecting to establish habits of mind that will serve me well as I continue on. Leaving my MA program and school (and state and professors and self(s) space…) is difficult; despite all of the good advice I’ve received, the support I continue to get, and all that I now carry because of the program, nothing could quite prepare me for this. And what I’m realizing is that it couldn’t, not entirely – and this is where I come in. Momentum requires my energy, moving, acting, doing, making, thinking require me to do so. This probably seems trite, but to me, this is life changing. It’s the time/space to establish who I am (want to be, am being, what I have done/yet to do). I’m not just going into a PhD program, I am moving forward.

looking at myself(s)

Working to better myself and know myself better, I bought a Fitbit monitor.

I’m flipping vertical lists into horizontal plots to graph progress. I realize this doesn’t change anything I actually have to do, but changing perspective brings a change in perspective.

I’m working to create more malleable daily plans, or ones that can shift based on circumstances without being obliterated. Yesterday I planned to write the entire day (as if that wasn’t setting myself up for disaster) but was struck with one of the worst migraines I have gotten in a while. Unable to pick my head up, writing didn’t happen. But sideways note taking, sketching, light reading, and watching generative documentaries (documentaries on creating and object making) could happen with pause. Another change is perspective: days are not lost, they sometimes change their focus.  I want to account for my time, but it rarely exists on a clear dichotomy of on task and off task.

Reasons I Don't Work





Reasons I WorkI want to be able to represent myself in my academic activity. This means using this space in earnest, and making my action/working/making/doing/thinking visible. Blogging notes robustly, attending and reflecting on events, having conversations, producing scraps of scholarship; but too – hand drawn comics, lists, graphics, asides, wonderings. A more visible (and known) self.

when composing, jana, quit being such an eraserhead

Today is the last meeting of ENGL527: Multimedia Writing. The fruits of my labor are showcased in this sort of digital installation/Google Site. This was my first real/focused experience with creating video/visual compositions. Maybe they’re not much to look at, but they required a lot of careful work, much exploration and self-teaching, much revising and re-imagining, ultimately a large portion of my life this semester. My struggle with these partly came from identifying myself as invested in visual rhetoric, which then meant I was beholden to creating texts that better have a rhetoric to their visual composition. Maybe they aren’t as established in their rhetoric as they should be, but I attempted to be thoughtful in the material choices I was making. Maybe they aren’t are not not not not not not not not lacking. Maybe, they are and can and do in their composition. Maybe I can create/write/compose visual texts. And maybe I am beginning to understand some of the complex considerations that must take place in teaching visual/multimedia/multimodal composition.

It’s small. But I’m not going to give into my urge to erase the works created. It’s not about perfection, not about polished products locked into finality in amber.

I need reminding and so do others. Professor Krause jokes that the lesson of this course is to beat perfectionism out of us. I think I’m actually letting myself do this though, doing without fretting and sweating over not looking creative or insightful or enough for others. It’s still careful, but it isn’t paranoid. composition isn’t perfect, pass it on.

Eraserhead: This class also made me realize the depth of my David Lynch fixation. And the extent to which interests influence the composition process.