I had my first course tonight - Foundation Video. There are less than ten of us. It's great. I'll get to play around with all sorts of technical stuff - camcorders, editing software... I'm salivating already! And we spent like 30 minutes today listening the virtues of the different television broadcast standards. Or what the differences and improvements in tape formats over the years have been. (I'm in Heaven!) And then we watched some really, really creative videos (well, two, because we were pressed for time - as it was, we were locked in and had to leave as a group, and I only just barely caught the 80)... imagine Barney & Friends edited to go with Prodigy's "Firestarter." Man, it was sweet. If they want to sell cleverness in a can, they've got to find this guy at NSCAD.
NSCAD is quite a campus. You probably remember how I've said the McNally building at SMU is a little confusing, and Nic will say the same thing about the Life Sciences building at Dalhousie. But NSCAD trumps them all:
5:50pm. Time to find my classroom. I budgeted a bit of extra time for this, because I knew it could be an adventure after having seen small parts of NSCAD when my mother was there for her Fine Art degree in the early 90's. On a tip from a security guard, I found the N entrance on Granville Mall without trouble. My brain quickly processed that all I needed to do was climb up to the third floor and find my class!
The third floor consisted of a landing with two doors, and the stairs continued to the fourth. Both the doors were locked. This was a harbinger of amusing things to come. "Was the class canceled?" I wondered. It had been a while since I'd checked in with NSCAD in any way, shape or form. After all, I had just schlepped off to PEI for a month.
So I went downstairs and poked around the second floor. I was looking for someone to talk to, but lo and behold, I found a sign. Multimedia something or other. So I go that way, and up the first stairs I find. Then I see a sign that says 320. Great! I go in.
The professor waved and asked if I was there for Foundation Video. Yes. Okay, go up the stairs and to the end of the hall. (This is when I went "Huh?" and tentatively looked down a hall on the third floor that did feature a few steps off to the left, leading to what looked like a screening room. But then I decided it had to be the big set of stairs.) Yes, those stairs, she said.
So this classroom, N320R, is actually on the fourth floor. But they call it 320, because you can seemingly only access it from a specific area on the third floor.
The professor told us that there was a vending machine within walking distance during our break. I needed some gum, so I went off with another student in search of this vending machine. Well, we ended up back at the Granville Mall entrance, no closer to our destination. Later, I thought I had a breakthrough, and I ran down a seemingly new staircase. But it was just a shorter way to end up somewhere else that we had visited while we were lost. We gave up and started on back to the classroom. I found myself wondering aloud if it would have been good to have a ball of string I could unravel as I went.
We got up to the 320 landing and I saw Julie with a sandwich. Great! She must have found the vending machine! I say this, and:
"No, my mom gave this to me before she left!"
"Oh, okay... do you know where the vending machine is?"
"Ha-ha, okay. Is this your first year?"
We laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Then we saw Fredrika coming down from above. And she knew where the machine was! So she led Julie and I there. We went up a level, and then down a level, and we somehow ended up on the deck, and then we went in another section of the building, and I think there were some more stairs, and frankly I don't know how we made it. Then we doubled back. We went a slightly different way, thus assuring my reliance on Fredrika for the time being (j/k). Well, I'm not complaining.
On the way out we followed Julie, despite her admonishments not to follow her, which were lost in the blissful after-classness (not to mention I was carrying a jar for her). We ended up on a street - Hollis Street instead of Granville Mall. We didn't care which exit was closest to our ultimate destinations. We were happy to be in the mapped universe again.
You know, they actually have building maps inside NSCAD. The only trouble is that they consist of coloured regions, omitting such details as levels, doors, and stairways. ("You are here" in a big blue "D") You see where N is in relation to, say, D or G, and you just randomly select stairs and doors (on different floors!) in the direction you want, until you hit paydirt.
I love it.
Oh, and my video project partner is a really cute Korean girl... She has a really nice smile and a pretty name. Anyway, it should be interesting to work with her. We're meeting tomorrow afternoon. It would have been my pleasure to work with anyone in that class, because there were so many diverse backgrounds and viewpoints being represented. Actually, I'm the only native Maritimer in the class. We've got accents from Alabama to Asia to Scotland. It's so cool.
Michelle was offered a spot in the Canada Corps program! Good for her! I haven't heard back from them yet, but if I can't go I'll be secretly relieved. I don't want to have to leave this promising new environment so soon. It looks like so much fun! This school is such a great environment! I love the attitudes and the way people dress and how people are allowed to be different. I feel welcome already.
I don't know if I'll ever be an artist of any persuasion, but I think I made the right choice by coming to this art school. I know I can be happy there. I'm in the zone. And I'm through comparing myself to others. Maybe I don't have a triple honours in astrophysics, computer science, and philosophy, but here I see the potential to be happy. I didn't see that potential with getting my English Honours. I'm not sure I see it with Canada Corps, but I think that would be a super experience in the end.
Tanya's father, for the record, thinks I may be making a mistake. I understand his thinking, or at least I think I do. I'm not exactly treading along the path to a sure thing. But this is the path I should have taken instead of doing a Returning Grad year at CPA and going into high-end academia. I got a 100 on my Film and Video final exam and won the Film Club award for a reason. (For that matter, I also got an A in Narrative in Fiction and Film and an A in Recent Science Fiction for good reasons.)
I still remember when Ms. Rossong (a great English teacher at CPA) expressed how surprised she was to see me back there. She figured I'd be off doing my own thing instead. Well, now I am. And I'm laughing. I'm young, and yet I have all the writing and academic experience from my aborted, poorly planned path. I read Dale Carnegie and went with Canada World Youth.
Man, this is going to be ONE AWESOME SUMMER. Let's see if I can make a new friend every day. I think it's quite possible. Ciao!