Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A portrait of an artist as a young man?!

Recently I finished James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and had trouble getting through the first chapter. The following of one's thoughts is quite the challenge for an outsider and I was sure that this would be the most difficult book I would ever have to get through.

Turns out, after a little ways, Stephen Dedalus and I have quite a lot in common. For those unfamiliar, Dedalus has been said to be the characterization of Joyce, so in essence, Joyce and I have a few things in common. The similarities are really uncanny. Stephen goes from being a devoted church-goer, to a man drowning in sin, to a pastor-in-training, to a university student, to confused, to an artist. In between we see a young boy/man introverted and conversing with himself. Deep thoughts and unusual worries plague the character. He eventually sheds all that weighs him down to transcend the mundane for the exceptional.

I could not but connect much of my story to this one. Stephen even attended college for the same reasons I have. There is a message here, and I feel like it is pretty apparent. The trick will be putting it into fruition. How will I transcend all that I have let define me to truly find my voice as an artist. I would assume I am on the right path, but I must be weary of my actions, my surroundings, and mostly my plans. I must put aside many of the things I thought I may have wanted in order to reach my full potential (yes, Stephen and I even share the philosophy of what an artist should be).

As I move ever so slowly to find my way in my new surroundings, it is a great relief to be reassured that I am on the right track. Since this revelation/message I have become quite comfortable with my surroundings. Except Spanish, but that will just have to be something I endure. My mind is beginning to ease the frantic pace it had adopted and the calming, confident Brandon is beginning to reemerge. My teachers have already recognized my above average intellect (even while I feel I have done nothing to stand out yet) and that is really when I began to thrive previously. The semester seems evenly paced now, and my future here at McDaniel feels natural. The allure of planning three years in advance has given up reign as I have reclaimed my confidence in being in the perfect location. Not that I really needed it; McDaniel was glaring me right in the face before I made my decision, and I had no regrets when I made it.

It will be interesting to observe and see how it plays out, where it takes me. My excitement is returning ever so gently to its rightful location, coupled with my will to fulfill my calling.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Home is where the heart is...

I usually pride myself at adapting quickly to surroundings and environments. I have always fit right in and felt at home in locations. It seems that as I have matured and settled into myself as a person, that may have changed a little bit. Over one week in and that little something extra just hasn't clicked for me, as if somewhere inside of me I am not fully aware that this is where I call home now. Perhaps I just grew too comfortable back in Bellingham. I was established there. People knew me. The same is not true here, but undoubtedly that is scheduled to change.

 As a bit of an homage to my "homecoming" I have included some very rough video of my new area, as I understand it. They are brief, as I feel awkward carrying around a camera and talking to it, but they should give you all a better understanding of where I am right now. As you watch them I ask you remind yourselves that I desire to be a screenwriter and not a filmmaker ;)

I am truly in love with the aesthetic of this campus. It is gorgeous. I would not call it breathtaking, as it is a few waterfalls short, but definitely worth a daily walk-through.

As I move forward in feeling completely myself in this now still foreign area, I seek that which I truly came here for. True change. World change. I already have an assignment to help me along the way. My Communication Media class: the final project is to use media to change the world in some fashion. A PSA on tv, an article in a newspaper, a radio interview or something of those sorts to explain something I am passionate about. I love that assignment. I have ideas flooding my mind with where I can take it. Through it I can feel myself truly becoming focused on my pursuits here.

I hope to proceed successfully. Enjoy the videos (what there is to enjoy of them) and look forward to some real blog posts about my time here in actual crisp detail. I am arriving there shortly ;)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane of Transition

Finally had time earlier today to reach the IT Help-desk and get my computer compliant to network security standards. I then used the internet to fall asleep to South Park after dinner. It was productive. The mix of heat, time-loss, and jet-lag have all combined to throw my finely tuned sleep patterns into disarray. Night one I fell asleep for 10 solid hours. Last night I was up till 5. Let's hope tonight is a bit more stable as I start class tomorrow.

The move has been fine, it feels like a more humid any-ol-place. My campus is absolutely gorgeous. My house is spacious and comes with one roommate who is very cool. It could use some decoration, as its age is very apparent, but until I have funds start pouring in, that will be secondary. I still await my boxes full of clothes and electronics to get that full move-in feel I have been yearning for, I still feel incomplete, like I am in a motel. My worries stay focused on the future, when I have to move my stuff again, and I will be looking for somewhere close to hold an internship or job, but it gets much more confusing when breaks are introduced here at school, so I best leave that for later.

I had planned on staying relatively inactive this first semester, but I can already tell that won't last. I have overlooked the clubs list, and will be checking a few out soon. Just dwelling on that brings forth a flurry of activities I have yet to embark on, which stresses me out as I am running thin right now. But I look forward in anticipation.

Add on to that a hurricane meeting me upon arrival over here and one can only hope to stay sane. Luckily my town of Westminster was relatively unaffected. There are tree branches that broke, but no real damage to anything. Strangely, the hurricane remnants added a bit of peace to my night last night. It was still humid, so the rain was warm, but the breeze took it down a notch, and I went for a walk across campus, getting familiar with my surroundings. A few times I would pass by a light and be surprised at how hard it was raining. After the sweltering day previous though, I welcomed the cool air and wet surrounding. A little ironically, me and my fellow transfers took to the steadfast tradition of "ringing the bell" in the rain. I felt right at home. A little sign to remind me that everything is under control perhaps. Leave up to the big man upstairs to communicate calm using a hurricane. I dig it though.