Friday, October 18, 2013

Under Pressure

I told Kenz that I'd mentioned she was in her third year of school to a few of my local friends. I also told her that each of them responded in the exact same way: oooh, pressure's on. She wasn't too pleased. 

"Why on Earth did you tell me that? You think I don't know that already?" 

In case you weren't aware, the third year of 'Uni' in the UK is the one that really counts. Essentially, you can do nothing for the first two years and still graduate with the highest honors. Of course, the inverse is true as well. Screw up in your third year and it doesn't matter how well you did in the previous two. Don't ask me. 

I simply thought it was interesting that three different people said the same thing. So much for being a supportive husband, I guess (but let's not kid ourselves - idle smalltalk isn't an asset of mine).

This is Kenz's third year studio.

Her area (note the compulsory Diet Coke, probably her 3rd of the day). 
I can't go deep into the impetus, methodology, academic or cultural significance of her third year projects, but I do know one of them is a rope chair. She's going to harden it with resin (which isn't allowed on school property, so some sort of hijinks are sure to ensue in the coming weeks). That's really about all I know on that one. She's also doing some Arduino projects concurrently with the chair, but I'm even further in the dark on them. Something about lights and audience interaction.

You could say I should know more, but Kenz and I found out (while in Raleigh) that we're better when we support each other's academic pursuits from afar. She came to some of my presentations and I go to her art shows, but neither of us expects the other to 'dive in'. Her eyes glaze over whenever I get into variation within vowel systems the same way mine do when she starts going off about whether or not one can ever truly abandon preconceived ideas of an object they're currently drawing (or if the act itself is a reverberation of previously experienced norms). Essentially, we've given up the idea that each of us should have the same passions. It appears to work. We're just happy that the other has a passion. Besides, we still have the same interests.

And I'm now wondering if your eyes have glazed over reading the above paragraph.

Apparently rope is expensive. We found that out this week.

Some students buy textbooks; art students buy supplies.

Kenz made Annie a "rope mermaid."

Random Photo Break:

There's proud parents, and then there's this parent.

Found in our neighborhood.

Still a bit homesick, nursing that Rucker JIF.

An emptying, after-hours Spitalfield's Market.

Kenz has actually risen early this week. Five days in a row!
Kenz and I went out after dark this past Wednesday night. As we drew closer to our street, we wondered why there was an uncharacteristically large amount of traffic backing up near Albany Road. We eventually found the source: the city was repaving right outside our place.

They'd whittled it down to one lane of traffic.
We stopped to ask how long the work was expected to take.

We'll finish all prep work in an hour, then lay the asphalt. It'll set overnight. We'll be gone in two hours. 

Kenz turned to me, as we were walking inside, "Can you imagine that happening in Knoxville? Two hours to repave a street?"


Last Friday night, I was pecking away at the blog post when Kenz mentioned she was going "across the street" for "some snacks" and would "be back in ten minutes." I didn't give it much thought, nodded, and returned to the ridiculously long September update. Forty minutes later, I realized Kenz hadn't returned. I checked my clock, fell into a deep panic (she's been abducted!), and started to call her as I threw on shoes and a jacket. She didn't answer. 

OK, I'll go to her last known whereabouts and ask the gas station person if they've seen her

Just as I was opening the door, she called me back. "Oh, I'm fine. I stopped at another store as well. Almost home."

Five minutes later, she reentered the house...with a few videogames. My wife had told me she was going out for snacks and snuck out to the videogame store! On her own! I was equal parts astonished and proud (nevermind the fact that I haven't played a videogame in nearly two years).

Playing videogames, while at the house, is one part of her multi-pronged strategy for dealing with the "pressure" of her third year. She says it's a great way for her to stop thinking about what work is left to be done in the studio. I believe her; I did the same thing while we were in Raleigh. 

All this is fine. That is, until you see how she plays:

Like a five year-old.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.