Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On Exams

My first exam is today. What do they call this? Test anxiety? Doesn't everyone get this though? I just hope that I don't freeze. Try to think positively. "I know this information." "I retain what I study." "I'll ace this, fo' shizzle." Okay, maybe not that last one.

I don't think I mentioned: Geary tap danced in class the other day to "Singin' In the Rain". I couldn't see her feet, sitting where I was in the back row, but I could hear what she was doing. It made me smile.

Yesterday's classes:


Cantrell is still going over the brain. I still can't comprehend anything he's saying. This reminds me of something in a movie... oh, Ryan Gosling in Stay. He says to Ewan McGregor's character, referring to the weatherman: "You know, I can't understand a word he says anymore." I feel that way the last two lectures in Psych. Cantrell talks about genetically linked psychological disorders. One student asks whether it's been proven in certain illnesses that nature is stronger than nurture, or the reverse. Cantrell doesn't really answer his question, so after class, the student and I talk on our way down the hall. I tell him, "You know, I've asked the same question lots of times, and tried to find studies on it, but they really haven't been able to isolate yet which is more significant. The problem lies with the opposing ideas that illnesses are genetically linked OR learned behaviors, and in so many cases, it's impossible to tell. Most people who suffer from mental illnesses grew up in homes where their parents had mental illnesses. There are too many factors involved and in those situations, how can we tell which is more significant: biology or environment?"

I tell him that I would be very interested in the completely unethical idea of taking children whose parents have been diagnosed with mental illness and placing them in homes with psychologically stable adoptive parents just to see what would happen? Would those disorders show up in the children as biologically linked, or would they skip that generation because the child was removed from the environment where they would have seen the behaviors of the mentally ill over time? It would be interesting to see the same study with identical twins as children of the mentally ill as well. Removing one twin and placing it in a psychologically stable home and leaving the other with the biological parents. Of course, this sort of thing would break all kinds of ethical codes and oh, those pesky moral questions. But it WOULD be interesting. The other student mentions that he would love to see them isolate the specific genes linked to specific psychological disorders. It would be quite an advancement in science to be able to do such a thing, but that nagging question still remains. Is there really a gene? Or just a combination of factors and variables that push people over the edge?


Shepherd goes around to check off the one-point perspective assignment. She gets to mine and says, "Wow, very cool. A little morbid, but cool. Did you like this assignment?" I tell her, "I didn't like it until I added the body, and then it got better." She laughs.

We do peer critiques on our last still life and people are generally pleased with the results of their work.

We work on value tonight, learning the seven shades visible on a lighted sphere: highlight, light, soft core, core, shadow, reflected light and cast shadow. We work on another still life, this one lit harshly by a studio lamp.

Two-point perspective is due next week. I still need to do two hours worth of drawing in my sketchbook. I'll be glad when this class is over.

There was frost on my window a few mornings ago. My sweetie pointed out this morning, "Soon we'll be getting to the time when we'll have to be scraping our windshields every morning." Groan. Don't remind me.

Two things to do:
See the DaVinci exhibit in Provo before it closes.
See the Body Worlds exhibit in Salt Lake.

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