It's back to school! Or, I guess it's been back to school. Yeah yeah I graduated back in spring, and yeah I'm e.l.a.t.e.d. that I'm officially done with homework for the time being, but I honestly miss the hours spent in dining halls, computer labs, cafe's, and on benches around the Center for the Arts. I miss the feeling of sitting down in front of a computer, cracking open a book with a pen in hand and zoning into whatever it is I'm working on.
So since it's fall, and since this is only my first fall as a graduate, I've decided to continue with my favorite school rituals (which sounds a little crazy- every kid dreams of the day they're completely free of school!) I'm taking classes through the online classroom, Skillshare, and have been holding myself accountable to completing personal projects, work-related copy writing, and I'm now working on establishing my blog and social media presence a little more. At least once a week I excuse myself to sit in a cafe somewhere for a few hours and get back into that zone.
Now with all that being said, I'm scaling down! I have a lot of things in common with my mother- one of them being our tendency to carry around anything and everything we feel we might need. So much of college (partially because I was a commuter for half of my career) was spent hauling around a Fjall Raven Kanken bag full of lord knows what. And oh man has my back suffered because of it since.
So what's currently in my "book bag"?
A great read: currently a re-read of Ars Botanica by Tim Toranto
I'm constantly sucked into some sort of screen when I have downtime, so by making sure I always have a good read with me, I never have an excuse. By spending my free moments (or moments where I feel like I need a break from working) reading I feel like I'm involved in something a little more tactile. Reading let's me feel like I'm involved in another reality.
Plus! By spending time reading books that are about things I'm passionate about (or simply reading in general), it inspires me and guides me close towards my personal goals for artistic or professional growth.
But about Ars Botanica more specifically- I'm obsessed with this book. As the first read for my favorite class in college; it really showed me how beautifully crafted a nonfiction could be while maintaining a more comfortable conversational tone. The content itself is a memoir dealing with the acceptance and adjustment to loss. Obviously I think it's worth a good read- I can't even bear to part with it just to let any best friends borrow it (sorry Jess!).
Google Pixel Book
So I know this seems like an advertisement for the tablet-turned-laptop, but I've been long overdue for a new portable device. My last laptop had been loudly humming itself to life every time I turned it on since 2009. No joke. Not just that but it's given my bare thighs third-degree burns from its overheating mechanics too many times to count. Since I'm looking into pursuing creative nonfiction or marketing, I thought it was about time to make the jump. I've tried writing in notebooks or on my phone for quite sometime now, but for me personally, there's nothing that compares to the flow of sitting at a keyboard and letting the words on the screen keep up with the ones behind my eyes.
But a little beyond that, my new chrome book lets me draw and paint in new ways. It's let me play with creative connections that I've never been able to access before. It makes it easier to whip out my book and pen and quickly and more effectively etch out an idea for a future sketch, or add color to my work for the first time ever!
A sketchbook or notebook
It might seem a little redundant having my tablet-laptop, which can function as a notebook and sketchpad, AND a notebook or sketchbook but hear me out. Like I said, it's sometimes easier to sit and type everything out hastily if I'm in a flow, but by writing in pen on a page where I can feel the tip scratching against the paper, everything feels a little more permanent. Writing or drawing on paper has a more concrete and consequential air to it, which forces me to focus a bit more and become pickier with what I choose to put on the page. With all that being said, I do also keep a few personal notebooks (or diaries one might say begrudgingly), however not with me usually.
It's so important to me too to have a small or difficult-to-carry bag. This sounds a little ridiculous but this causes me to really evaluate what I'm putting in it. If it doesn't fit much, then I can't take much- easy.
I'm excited to continue my seemingly infinite career as a student- whether I pursue grad school or not :)