The Only Day the Earth Matters

Final Presentations in Baltimore, Maryland

My final presentation for my Baltimore project happened a few weeks ago. We got up 6:00 AM and drove down in a university-owned creeper van. I slept. We all slept. Because 6 AM is very early for the average college student.

Around 10:00 AM we arrived at the Parks and People Foundation campus and set up our projects in an old, stone house that the foundation refurbished. Our boards were massive and we had to get pretty creative to fit all nine of our projects in the room. Mine wasn’t even in the room but put over some bay windows in a side area. They gave us some sticky dots to use for our posters but we were skeptical they would stay up. In the background, The Big Labowski was playing on the mini projector one of our professors was trying to set up. We finished hanging our stuff and sat around for a bit and talked about nothing. Then we left for lunch at this place called R House which is an “adult food court”. Its pretty good. I recommend it. On the drive over, we bet on how many poster would be down by the time we got back.

2018-04-20 11.20.23Lunch passed and we drove back to the stone house. Our presentations started at 2:00. At 2:30, people started trickling in and we were well on our way by 3:00. Instead of doing a live presentation, we played our recorded power points and stood up at the front awkwardly. I had recorded my power point at my apartment and my chirping birds were pretty noticeable in the background. Oh well. After our presentation ended the audience asked us questions. There were some people from Johnston Square, some Penn State alumni, and a few who work at firms in Baltimore. I am very happy to say that my design was quite well received. The community members seemed very excited about my ideas and my concept which made me very happy. 🙂

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After presentations, we went to an Oriels baseball game. We all wanted to go home, but our professor was so excited about it (and he already bought tickets for us. Don’t worry we paid him back.). Anyway, I had never been in a major league stadium and I gotta say it was pretty cool. It’s like a little town. Our seats looked over right field so it was hard to see what was happening. I don’t think any of us were invested in the game but we had a good time. At one point, I came back from the bathroom and some of my friends were watching something very intently. They said a couple a few rows down had been fighting. The girl stormed off at one point but had now returned, looking irritated and huffy. In the end they made up, and the guy’s arm returned around the girl’s shoulders. It wasn’t super warm but it got colder as the sun set. I shivered a lot because I didn’t dress warm enough. The Oriels won and we went home.

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Earth Day at the Residence

On Monday, I got to talk about my rain gardens for the Earth Day celebration at the Governor’s Residence. It was fun to see the Residence staff and my old supervisor. I got to do it because DCNR was invited to set up different stations around the grounds to talk about plants and other earth day things. There were some local area schools in attendance. Including my old elementary school, Londonderry! I got to see some of my old teachers and a few of the current students. They told me I was “like a million years old”. Thanks guys.

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My Third Spring Break

Well I have really been quite terrible about keeping everyone updated on my happenings. But then again, everyone said that this year would be the most difficult and time consuming year of all and I have yet to disagree. A majority of my meals last weekend consisted of chicken tenders from the commons and breakfast sandwiches from Au Bon Pain. After a grueling couple of weeks, I have finally reached that beautiful checkpoint of spring break. YAY! So, here is what I have been so busy with that I didn’t have the time to let you all know:

Studio Stuff

Our latest studio project was a to design a mixed-use community with different housing types and a commercial district. I designed a community that gave creative and educational opportunities to lower-income people. I wanted to call it “the starving artist community” but felt like that was too on the nose. Haha. Anyway, here is a pdf of my project boards if you are so inclined to view them 🙂 [EDIT: Just kidding, it’s not a PDF anymore it’s a document viewer]

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/3b4cb7b3-eef8-403b-8e4b-e8b37a8d57fe?startpage=1&allowFullscreen=true

Our next project will be on the “scenic” Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY. If you are unaware (as I was) this canal is not scenic. It smells. And apparently has a dark sludge residing in its murky bottom which is affectionately called “black molasses”. We’re going on a site visit soon, so that should be interesting.

Photography

The last assignment we submitted for photography was a “narrative.” The goal was to create scenes that told some kind of story that the viewer didn’t understand. Think sci-fi fantasy kind of deal or The Twilight Zone but in color. Here are the two photos that I submitted:

My next assignment is to choose a photographer (famous) and imitate their style. I chose Ansel Adams who photographed beautiful landscapes of California and the South West in black and white. I almost feel bad trying to copy them because mine are no where near that caliber. Also, I need some mountains.

Apartment Life

So you may or may not know that my lovely little apartment is not equipped with a washer and dryer. I recently decided to start washing my clothes in the bathroom and hanging them on a clothesline. This has proved largely inefficient due to living in a basement that is always slightly humid so that nothing every really dries. So, my dear mother decided to purchase me a tiny electric dryer and a crank washer. I am very excited to be washing clothes in my apartment and will update you on how everything works out!

Have a nice day!

The Obligatory Thanksgiving Post

So Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

 

Too lazy to write anything about it at the moment and will get to it later (Bottom line: It was delicious). But for now, here is a short, incredibly choppy stop-action animation of my family setting up the table for Thanksgiving dinner whilst also eating all the black olives.

IMG_5495Look! I finally got around to writing something slightly more descriptive about my Thanksgiving break! I went home on Friday and spent time with my lovely family. I made muffins and ate real food which was pretty exciting. I also played guitar a lot and practiced some new songs (including the theme song from the NBC TV show Community). On Wednesday, we went up to State College for Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandparents’ house which was super delicious!!! Basically, the entire time at their house was spent eating various sort of large portions of food. We had the whole turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes (and obligatory peas) deal on Thursday. Friday was a Ziti, sausage, and home made tomato sauce thing, and Saturday we had ham an broccoli and sweet potato casserole. This is really the best thing one could possibly do on Thanksgiving break. However, I’m a little worried I’ll be suffering withdraw from not eating as much food anymore. Oh, and here (still) is my lovely stop-action animation.

*DISCLAIMER* This music was free/royalty free music from incompetech.com. It was not created by me*

Studio has Priority Over Everything Else, Apparently

Hi people! Gosh! It’s been a while hasn’t it?! Well, luck for you, I’ve been doing lots of things in studio and what not. Get ready, this will be a very long post.

BUT! Before I dive in, I must announce that I tried, once more, to make the cooking in the mug, with exemplary results. (at least, it looked edible enough that I could take a picture).IMG_5265

It was very delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

And, speaking of food, here is what I’ve been doing in studio:

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EATING DOUGHNUTS!!! Drawing doughnuts!!!!!

This was an in-class assignment where we had to draw a doughnut. Ok, let me elaborate. We are learning how to draw objects in plan, elevation and section. A drawing in plan perspective means looking at the object right on top of it (a birds eye view). An elevation drawing is done from the side of the object. A section drawing is as though you cut the object is half and you draw whatever would be in the middle. Drawing the doughnut was pretty handy for this part because I could actually cut it in half to draw the section perspective (That was the drawing on the bottom of the page). Another example maybe?

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Plan View

Plan View

Our first studio project was to do the plan, elevation, section, and prospective of a single Lego block (did you notice my neatly-lettered labels). Then, we had to do the same things with a stack of blocks (Drawings on the left).

So I might have said before that all the first year LARCH students were split in to two groups. One did the digital sequence first (that was my group) and one did the analog sequence first. Then we switched. All the people who started with the analog sequence told me that it was lot of work and all the complaints that go along with that. On the first day I was like, this isn’t so bad! We get to eat doughnut and stuff. Then we were assigned that perspective project with the blocks, and I was like, Ok, they’re steppin’ up their game. Not too bad… HAHAHA.

In class, we did this exercise where you’d take some form and morph it into something else through a series of 5 steps. Example: They gave us each a toy animal to draw. I got an iguana. We had to then morph that animal (iguana) into a pencil. This is hard to explain. Also, I didn’t take a picture of the exercise. Anyhow, our homework assignment was to Use the large Lego blocks and morph them into some other object that people could interact with. That sounds fairly ambiguous? You have no idea. So our homework was to do that for thirty different objects. Meaning, five little thumbnails for each object. They were like, don’t worry! it’s only thirty drawings! But really, it was 150 of those little thumbnail sketches.

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Then, after we finished 150 I mean 30 drawings, we had to pick our favorite one and do a perspective, plan, section, and elevation (there seems to be a pattern emerging). I picked a giant, wavy speaker thing that I imagine would be situated in a public square and would play music.

Below you see a terrible picture of my half finished homework. I apologize for not taking another but I forgot. I will post a better picture later.

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Oof. I can’t look at that picture anymore. So moving on.

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I went home for the weekend, and I have a pretty good analogy for how I feel about going home for the weekend (I think it’s pretty clever).

Going home for the weekend is like taking a shower in the winter when you’re really tired. I don’t really feel like taking one because that requires all the necessary preparations for doing that. Likewise, I don’t like having to pack and take all my homework with me. I also don’t want to miss anything that might happen in my absence. So I drag myself into the shower, and it feels refreshing and warm and suddenly, I don’t want to leave. I just want to stand in the hot shower and steam up the bathroom and not worry about my upcoming tests or all the unchecked emails or the laundry that I’ve neglected for two weeks. I think, “What if I could just stay home and watch Netflix and eat late-night snacks all the time? I could be with my pets (and my family) and not have to buy food all the time and always have toilet paper in the bathroom.” But then the rational part of my brain is like, “No Zoe, you can’t do that.” I have to get out of the shower, which is hard at first because it’s cold and my hair keeps dripping on my PJs. But, after I’ve dried off and I feel all clean, I’m really happy that I took a shower.

Also, that book under my little sign is The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It is the first non-fiction, completely adult book that I voluntarily bought! (Actually I’m reading it for a class). I’ve only read six pages, but it is very interesting.

The other day when I was getting ready to take my shower, I was getting out my soap bar and it fell and look how it landed!

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I got so excited, but no one was home, so I took a picture.

Also, here is proof that I am still being productive in gymnastics. It is only one of two photos take of me during practice:

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It’s really blurry because I was holding the camera while leaping, and attempted to capture my split leap in mid air. Unfortunately, I forgot that the camera would also be moving. It’s artsy, right?