A Whirlwind of a Winter Break

And it appears I’m back from a month long, unexplained hiatus; hence calling for a well deserved apology.

The month long hiatus I had was unplanned. It was one of those things that just … happened, with the torrent of final papers and final exams drenching me like a hurricane. I’m more than ecstatic to have survived exams, and dumping the stress at the start of winter break was a welcome change of pace; however, the result of that “change of pace” was laziness. As soon as my last final exam was submitted, my friends said I “went off the grid” and felt distant. It took me awhile (all of winter break, actually) to realize that what I had done in separating myself from my friends and not responding to them and having all-about-me time was really selfish of me. It’s good to have alone time to recuperate and settle one’s thoughts, but I think there’s only so much time a person can have to him/herself that  some people will start to worry about them. Of course, my claim can be argued from many sides; and I won’t go into that because that’s not my purpose for coming back to this blog. All in all, I sincerely apologize for being away and intend to improve my presence upon this blog.

Winter break ends officially at midnight today. Honestly, I couldn’t be more happier. With my time away and time to delve into creativity, I’ve spent enough time dwelling and I’m ready to get active and be an interactive human being. My desk is still littered with construction paper, empty glue sticks, and paint chip samples that have yet to be cut into hearts; but on the floor, the true signs of academia reign: my new Batman notebooks ready to be written in,my Gender, Race, and Class textbook, folders, my loyal pencil case, and library books to return. I feel a little guilty since I took out four library books on feminism (three of them written by one of the professors I’m taking), but I only got around to reading three-quarters of one of them. So much for keeping a winter break goal, right? I haven’t been in the mood for reading so the books have spent time on the floor, being touched only when they need to move. However, I don’t feel much guilt over the books since I feel more satisfied that I made “stuff” for people and got in touch with loved ones.

I spent one week of winter break writing letters. I wrote five in total, two of them local and two of them “abroad” (Also Known As Canada). They safely arrived to their recipients yesterday evening, and I smiled when I saw photos of the (thick) envelopes with their owners. When I write letters it takes me a half day to a whole day, since I write a lot and basically tell almost every single thing that’s happened in my life. It can be tiring and frustrating, yet wholly rewarding once the last page is completed and I seal the envelope with stickers. Then I spend time doodling on the envelope, because I believe envelopes could look so much snazzier with designs on them instead of just being plain and one color tone; a decorated envelope stands out and shares its personality with the writer. I even had the pleasure of using my Hello Kitty duct tape on one of my small packages! Letters are one of the most intimate forms of conversation, and I’m going to continue letter writing so that its art never dies out (in fact, I’m going to make that my mission and hopefully others will feel encouraged or inspired to do the same!).

After I spent that week of letter writing, I did something school related, but not for school marks – I started my ePortfolio. I don’t know if any of my dear readers are aware of what an ePortfolio is, so allow me to explain. An ePortfolio is an online portfolio where a student showcases his or her papers, projects, accomplishments, volunteer/work experience, and anything else the student wants to share (for example, I could RSS feed my blog on ePortfolio). The ePortfolio is divided into pages for organization, and its layout is flexible in designing layouts and deciding which material goes where. I think I might have spent too much time playing around with fonts, layout, images, and content to put on my ePortfolio, but weirdly – it was a LOT of fun. My inner designer and artist triumphing over my common sense to sleep early, aha. Once I got past the frustrating stage of trying to understand how ePortfolio worked, I felt so … in awe knowing  I could make my ePortfolio customizable to my liking. I spent about two weeks on-and-off  my ePortfolio, considering the fact that I was away for some days and too tired then to work on it. Plus, oddly enough, I feel like I learned or remembered some things about myself while designing my ePortfolio, such as:

  • Admitting to the fact that since I’m more of a “photographer” than person who likes to be in photos, it was difficult to find photos of myself. It’s a ridiculous thought but one that stands true; I had hundreds of photos on my friends but literally ten with just my face. Now I know I need to listen to Apoorva when she tells me she’ll take a photo of me alone. 
  • Though people claim I’m organized, I will now shut them down at that. I am not organized. My computer filing system has to be worst, considering it took me awhile to find assignments from one or  two years ago because most of them weren’t in the right folders and some of them I didn’t name properly. So of course, the document I was looking for was literally in front of me the whole time I was looking for it; I just didn’t name it appropriately. It was agonizing to go through that scenario countless times in the past two weeks – I felt like ripping my head off. Luckily, since I’m done with ePortfolio (for now), I won’t have to go through that torture ever again because from now on I am going to title my assignments correctly AND put them in the right folder. Scout’s honor!
  • Going along with my lack of organization, when I found my resume (the one document that was actually in the right folder), I realized I hadn’t updated it for one full year. And its layout was disturbing to the eye. I can’t remember how my resume came out that way, but finding that in a distressing condition strengthened my resolve to update my resume and put it in tip-top shape. It amazes me that I don’t know what happens to my documents when no one but me touches my laptop.
  • While I was making my “Gallery” and “Visual Arts” pages, I had to search through my tactile and digital files to look for images and explanations of how I came to create the art piece. While reading my explanations and looking at the picture next to it, I went from being distant to establishing an instant connection. There were some images I didn’t understand why I did things a particular way and it sounds ludicrous that I, the artist, wouldn’t even remember why things were done a certain way – I’m even ashamed to admit that. But making my “Gallery” and “Visual Arts” pages brought back all the emotions behind the artwork and I had several “OMG” moments. It was like … my mind had an illuminating rebirth to experience that flood of emotions, particularly since it’s been more than half a year since I’ve done something creative. I feel more whole and connected to myself ever since I looked up my old paintings and drawings; and I hope that feeling stays.

So that’s all my musings on my ePortfolio. When I start blogging about school it’ll probably come up again, so its presence won’t disappear here. If anyone is interested in seeing it, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to find out how to make my ePortfolio public.

Before starting this blog post I was thinking of a not-boring-to-death way of telling you guys  highlights of my winter break, and I decided making a collage of my favorite moments. Starting at the top going from left to right, I present to you:

  1. The inside of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral – ’twas my first time going there this winter break, and the morning mass was just as beautiful as the church itself.
  2. Rockefeller Center – another first time this winter break, my mom was so excited to be there we took TONS of photos by the tree and skating rink; I felt like such a tourist.
  3. Poinsettia Christmas trees at the Rockefeller Center – simple yet stunningly gorgeous.
  4. My first purchase of the year on the first day of the year – I bought this ring that shows Paris to motivate to do well in school so that some day I’ll be able to pay for my own trip to Paris, either alone or with friends.
  5. My 2013 “Precious Moments” jar – I made this on the eve of 2013, to record all the good memories that happen in 2013.
  6. Shannon’s small package, sealed with love and Hello Kitty duct tape.
  7. BFFA’s birthday card, showered with glitter and more glitter.
  8. MPR’s decorated envelope – my hand looped circles everywhere on the edges.
  9. My Hello Kitty phone case cover!!! I refused to buy an ordinary cover from the mall, and I spent half a day on Amazon looking up various cell phone covers until I found this one and was immediately satisfied.
  10. My aunt gave me a red wristlet that’s cute in size and good for convenience, but its shade of red is dull; therefore, I added a red bow to “spice” it up!
  11. One of my best friends Shannon Tan gave me a Batman comic for my birthday, but I never got around to reading it during the semester. I read it uninterrupted during the break and I felt like a little kid reading a 60 page Sunday morning comics section.
  12. This was supposed to be dog; but I got bored with following the instructions so it became a starfish.
  13. Doodled cover of my Gender, Race, and Class textbook. I am so excited for my Gender, Race, and Class course tomorrow I can barely contain myself!!
  14. Vegetarian dumplings! My mom and I made these one Friday afternoon, and it was a fun afternoon in the kitchen.
  15. Daddy trying to be cool and doing the “Loser” sign. Not cool Dad, not cool.
  16. After I had an emotionally damaging day, this orange rose I saw at the farmer’s market made me smile, big time. It’s unusual color stood out from the usual array of pink and red roses, and I was mesmerized by its aura.

Another thing I made during the break I didn’t have room to post photos in the square were Batman inspired snowflakes! They were inspired by my Batman streak after reading the comic Shannon sent me; I couldn’t get Batman’s perseverance for justice out and overall awesomeness out of my head, and it had to come out some way- so I made the snowflakes fluttering below:

I’m making some more things, and will post them as soon as I’m done. But now, I’m going to end this post here and leave your thoughts to wander. There are much more worthwhile things to do than to sit and read this lengthy post from an intermittent blogger; but it’s  my goal in 2013 to blog at least once a week – short or long, meaningful or meaningless. I hope you’ll stay with me for the journey.

Take care everyone ♥

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