Fata Morgana (chimerically) wrote,
Fata Morgana

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classes and rants

Tonight I ponder the meaning of the saying, lifted from a bumper sticker, "Don't keep your mind so open that your brain falls out." In high school I was often a very, shall we say, subjective thinker. I could expound at length on any number of topics, filling the air with voluminous yet vacuous monologues. (Perhaps you would argue that I still do, especially when blogging. :~)) But when I reined in my wild thoughts and subjected them to a rigorous, quantitative, results-oriented course of study (namely, the computer science curriculum), I started to find the metaphysical conversations I used to get so passionate about fanciful at best. In addition, I learned to subject my thoughts and opinions to careful analysis (scientific, if possible), and as a result, became more confident of my own opinions. I could analyze and accept or reject others' opinions, rather than giving equal weight to all and ending up in a postmodern morass of "everyone is right." Anyway, the event that set me pondering all this is one of my classes. The reader for the class is awesome, on par with my book The Art of Looking Sideways for captivating tidbits of information. But so far, the class itself has been somewhat hokey, talking about how we should change the way we think and how we don't really see the world around us and such, without giving reasons for it or benefits of changing. (Maybe it's self-evident to the "enlightened" who don't question?) I was telling my aunt about it, and she said it sounded like a cheesy sixties education class. :~)

My other classes are much less "open-minded," but most of them are very right-brained. I went to my animation class for the first time today, and we talked about how to make a cartoon storyline. Who's the character? What do they want from other characters? What's the problem? How will the character and others deal with the problem in this scene, and in the cartoon as a whole? We analyzed the storylines of a bunch of short cartoons, mostly Loony Toons, and discussed the storylines in some longer movies as well. The instructor, Jonathan Luskin, said that good cartoons should be understandable without their soundtracks; cartoons like the Simpsons (and Strong Bad, I realized tonight) are just animated radio.

I also went to a (mediocre) databases section today, and before that, my four-hour drawing course, where I did a decent gesture drawing of my shoe (along with other gesture and contour stuff):

The instructors are big on an exercise they call "spherology," where you gesture-draw a sphere for several minutes by making many large, sweeping circles and ellipses. It's meditative.

Today I learned that I was accepted into the photography class. This Thursday we will go on a field trip to MOMA! I used to go all the time with my aunt's membership, but I haven't been in over a year now.

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