Thursday March 29. 2001
i had a bad day
(Crit = short for critique, i.e., your professor and classmates picking apart your work, sometimes mercilessly)
I have just emerged from a four hour nap. It was an escape nap, one of those "I can't deal with the world anymore" naps, but when I wake up again nothing is solved, no great enlightenment or peace had come my way. I am just well rested.
I had a really bad day today. I overslept, and arrived at this morning's crit unwashed and half awake. The painting I had submitted was pretty bad, mostly because I had left it to to the last minute, but what else is new. I got a pretty bad review. Chuck was particularly vicious, not just to me, but to everyone. At one point, my friend Dan (who is an absolutely amazing painter), leaned over to me and said of his painting, "You know, it sucks when he cuts down the best thing you've ever done in a couple sentences."
So I got to metals, I settled down to for a long day's work, and everyone around me was getting ready as if today was the crit. No, tomorrow was the crit. I knew this. Crits are always on Fridays. Right?
I cornered Davis. "Is today the crit?"
He snorted derisively. "Yes."
So I returned to my seat, continued to work, trying to suppress the lump of panic and tears that I felt rising in my throat. No, don't freak out, Bethany, it's not going to do you any good now. So your project isn't done, big deal, it's not the end of the world. But it's not just like handing a paper in late. If your piece isn't ready for the group crit, you don't get any feedback from it, and with Daniella, not having projects done is the kiss of death.
I went first. Everyone, most of all Daniella, proceeded to rip me apart. Which I probably deserved, because the design and execution of the piece was not that great. But it was all I needed. I felt myself crumble inwardly. I tried to be tough, smile and laugh it off, but I felt like a failure. I felt sick my stomach. I zoned out for the rest of the crit.
You know, if it were one thing, I could maybe deal with it okay. But I just keep coming up against a brick wall when it comes to my work. My painting is shit. I can't ever seem to finish a project in metals on time. Ceramics is driving me crazy. I have two papers due the week after next. I have to work at B&N all this weekend. I just keep going into this emotional fetal position, crying and sad and worn out, like a shirt that's been run through the spin cycle one too many times. A copy of a copy of a copy.
So, um, I had a bad day.
I talked with John for a bit, and I feel better now, somewhat. I think I am in dire need of some perspective. Also that whole thing about relaxing and not taking myself so seriously. I need to work on that.
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One Year Ago:
"Through a haze of sleep, I looked out at the highway, all I saw was inky blackness interrupted by the rain, the windshield wipers and the occasionally oncoming car."