who the heck knows anything, anyway

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Residency: 1/3rd Complete

This residency thing is insane. I'm still trying to decipher exactly how I feel about it, but I think a good estimate is that it is proving equal parts useful, interesting, exhausting, and trying.

This is exactly what I've needed in the following ways:
1. I'm getting my butt kicked by genius faculty. I can't believe I can only pick four of them to work with directly over the next two years. Then again, I get four of them. (this place, man. everything's a dichotomy)
2. I've met a ton of people, and a few of us became instant bros. I've also reconnected with a few old bros.
3. It's got me stoked to get to work. Stoooooooked.

This is less than ideal for me in the following ways:
1. I never seem to get enough sleep, so I just somnambulate around, making small talk that may or may not make sense.
2. I'm homesick. I miss my cat, my room, my beau. I miss my shower, my desk, my closet. I am tired of looking like a bum who wears the same clothes every day and never learned about combs. On top of it all, I can't work very well here. Some places have good chi, and others don't. A futuristic dorm room with a prison bed and fluorescent lamp does not have good chi. (but, like I mentioned, dichotomy alert: it's beautiful outside, and I've felt wonderful when I've had daylight breaks to lounge on the lawn and read Zadie Smith. I don't think I've gotten this much vitamin D in years)
3. We still have four days of workshopping--three until my own piece is done--and this is my least favorite aspect of the residency. It's nerve-wracking. I know next semester will be better because I know what to expect, but it's painful to learn so much in so little time, and to not be able to fix those problems in the work you submitted a month ago. Instead, everyone can use these new tools of enhanced observation (which, reminder, I now possess, as well) to tell me how much something is blah blah blah buzzwords when I, too, can see these problems myself from a mile away. It just makes me feel like an idiot, and I'm not a fan. I decided (in no small part because I hand wrote all of my workshop notes to my peers) not to revise my feedback, to get it to them from the newbie perspective I came with. If Killian-sans-all-this-knowledge encountered certain hurtles or excitements in reading the piece, then chances are that other, less info-saturated folks might have similar comments. Since most people don't want to be elitists, hopefully they'll appreciate my proletarian advice.

All in all, it's a good thing. I'm learning more than I thought I could, and meeting more than I thought I would, and sleeping less than I probably should. It's a perfect recipe for inspiration and a side of mental breakdown, but I hear that's the standard fare at this sort of event.

Please forgive misspellings, etc. According to my trusty SleepBot, I have an 11hr 38min sleep debt, and it's only gonna get worse. Three days down, six days to go, and it feels like I've been at this grown-up summer camp for months. (Okay, slight exaggeration, but each day feels like many. Events from yesterday? I would swear they happened two days ago, at least). That's the other thing that happens here: there's a crazy time vortex that sucks you up into a realm where dates are totally meaningless and then spits you out ten days later. The shock of returning back to everyday life is, I hear, practically medical in definition.

Ok. Sleeping now. If I hurry, I can get seven whole magical hours in tonight. PEACE OUT.