Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Aria Progress

Having met my cat and seen how she has developed over the last two years, you might be wondering how I have changed over the years. I feel as though I'm reaching a marker in my life - Graduation is certainly a major life marker. Friends are traveling the country to visit grad schools. Some announced internships in California. A few got married. Discussion focuses on what we're going to do with the rest of our lives and where. It's such a time of change.

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At the same time, I am glad to realize that this blog has grown and developed with me. Sharing my process of learning and growing, I find myself proud of what I have written about for you. And for myself.

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I'm utterly amazed by the research work that I've had an opportunity to do! Looking back at my first summer internship, I feel pride in what I've achieved. Slow hard work transformed into an impressive resume. Working at the Smithsonian and MFA - what an amazing learning experience! Researching Japanese prints and designing a protocol has totally opened my eyes to how conservators and archaeologists are able to reconstruct the thought process behind material choices. The hands-on experience gave me a taste for the bench work of conservation along with the intrigue and puzzle-solving of research. I feel more prepared to begin my career, excited and informed.

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My academic work has continued to advance and improve. Lab work at MIT has been very different from my work experience. There's a lot more pressure as far as group work and time crunch. Certainly, our labs are designed to give us a small peek at many different techniques in order to choose the best tools to approach an problem. The stress preparing for presentations was almost unbearable. But somehow I survived. At the same time, I feel as though I can handle most things after experience the trauma of the DMSE lab classes. (I certainly don't wear pretty dresses to my lab classes at MIT!)

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I paint and draw in my free time even with all the school work. Art has been a constant companion in my life. My family is amazed by how I have improved over time. I still feel dissatisfied with what I produce, but that desire to improve is the drive to keep practicing and creating better art work. Also, I'm learning to share my work, both as a point of pride and to gain constructive insight. I love how I now have set up a little craft area in my apartment and desk. I think that this set up encourages my creativity in all of my classes.

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I still drink lots and lots of tea. I also have a mix of fake and real plants. The plants are much more limited, as far as species because Prilla will chomp on them. All of my hydrangeas, like the purple ones, are fake now! I love to nestle down on a couch with my books, close to the plants and cuddling with Prilla. Going on adventure in my mind while breathing in fresh plant-cleaned air just makes me feel so calm.