Monday, December 9, 2013

A December to Remember

This December is one of the busiest months I've had in years.  There's school, homework, field trips and real trips, expected and unexpected appointments.  There's Christmas.  So far I have only set out our tiny fake LED Christmas tree and still need to decorate.  When we received our first Christmas card of the year, I panicked, realizing that I hadn't included sending cards on my agenda.  I've only gone gift shopping once and didn't come back with much.

I've taken all of my doctors' orders for tests and tossed them aside.  I don't even want to touch Pandora's Box with a ten-foot pole.  All hell can break loose after December.  I don't have time for tumors and high CA counts right now.  I'm too busy living.  This goes back to the quality of life issue we discussed in the last post.  Who wants to spend days on end sitting in doctor's offices, being poked and prodded, and peeing into cups?  Not me and not my pets.

My daughter is finishing up her Master's Degree and has been interviewing for mid-year teaching jobs.  Her future is a blank slate, which is both exciting and stressful.  She doesn't want to make a decision she will regret.  I, of course, was hoping she'd take a job near to me so that we can spend more time together.  I offered to volunteer in her classroom to take some of the load off, and she just twisted up her face as if having her mother on the job with her would be a major embarrassment.  I promised her I would only fart in front her students a couple of times.  Fortunately, my promise didn't deter her, and she did accept a job teaching in a first grade classroom containing both regular ed and special ed students within our district.  Yay!

I think it's amazing that she got a job offer that includes her own classroom after the first interview.  I lived in a small town after earning my multiple subject teaching credential, and I spent ten years doing odd jobs while waiting for an opening.  Then when an opening finally came, they gave it to the Assistant Superintendent's niece who answered every interview question with the phrase, "I like kids."  I guess getting jobs without having to be related to someone on the inside is one of the benefits of living in a metropolis.

My photography classes have been fun, but stressful.  We are doing photo shoots at least three days a week and giving our best pics to the models and having them critiqued.  So, I am under pressure to do my best.  When my instructor uses one of my photos as an example of a good shot, other students start acting weird.  They sidle up to me and ask questions about my qualifications and knowledge regarding photography, and then they give me these back-handed compliments that come across as insults, or vice versa.  You'd think I'm taking food out of their babies' mouths by taking a good photograph.  I've never understood why artists feel so competitive with one another.  There's plenty of room in this world for everybody's art.

I'm discovering that there is this snobbery over people who take good photographs because they have an eye for composition vs. people who take good photographs because they understand how to create one-of-a-kind photos by using unique camera setting combinations and subjects.  I've been accused by other students of "just having a good eye for composition."

Well, it's more than that.  I have an eye for light, texture, perspective, and mood too.  (When I try.  Half the time with this blog I'm just snapping off quick pics so I can have something visual to support the text.  There are only so many journalistic shots you can take from a horse's back or after you dismount.  Next time I will get underneath the horse and shoot up.  Only I'll be careful not to get the boys' junk in the shot.)  But I openly admit that since my training up to this point came mainly from online courses and reading materials, I needed to become more adept and confident in using the camera settings in my favor.

That is why I took all these classes at the college, and I can now say that I no longer have to check what the auto settings are before making decisions about manual settings.  I understand the effects of light, distance, lenses, aperture, speed and ISO all working together.  I am being taught good habits so that I can capture what I want the moment I press the shutter release without having to use Photoshop later.  I am being taught how to work with both human and animal models.  These classes have been great.  They've been exactly what I needed, despite being time consuming and demanding.  But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now, so it's easier to be optimistic.

I've been blanketing the horses and keeping them locked up at night so that they can't destroy each other's blankets.  When I get a few hours off from activities, I tend to choose to just vegetate.  I'm being careful not to start something that could result in more items being added to my To Do List.  If something breaks, it will have to wait until January.

This is from a few weeks ago when the horses were still wearing fly masks and not blankets.  I've got a lot of these sunrise pictures, but I need to get out into the desert at sunset on a cloudy day.  It's so hard to do anything out of my routine between 5:00 and 7:00 PM, though.  That's animal feeding and medicating time.  And people feeding time.

This blog gets a lot of my point-and-shoot camera shots, because I upload the pictures from those cameras onto the Windows laptop that I blog on.  The pictures from my professional camera get uploaded to my Mac, which I don't like to type on.  The Mac isn't very portable because of everything it is attached to, so I have to sit at my uncomfortable desk when I process photos.  I prefer to sit in my recliner with the wireless Windows laptop when typing blog posts.  I probably should be walking on the treadmill while typing blog posts, though.  And now that I have a high storage flash drive, maybe I will get into the habit of transferring some of the photos taken with the professional camera from the Mac to the Windows laptop so I can post them on this blog.


Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, I'm so glad your daughter got a job near you! Our daughter and son-in-law (both teachers) are also near us and it makes such a difference! THey are only 12 miles away...

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Cheryl Ann - I'm glad too.