Challenge Blog #4- Skipping Class to Learn

When I first came to the university, I cried when I skipped class for the first time.

I know I was/am not alone in feeling this, but I was so wrapped up in performance as a part of my identity. The thought of missing a class—or even going to the bathroom during class—made me anxious about the information I could possibly miss (which would certainly be on the class exam and thus cause me to fail the class, and by extension, relegate me to a life without a T-14 law school and a happy life).

It challenged the only anchored pillar of my ipseity.

Uncertainty has always been an uneasy experience for me. Having multiple chronic illnesses is college have forced me to continue confronting this reality.

In a lot of ways, my experience with my capstone project has mimicked my tenuous relation with uncertainty. I am lucky to have my writing mostly complete for my capstone (is anyone good at titles, help!), but there remain unanswered questions.

Is my language the correct way to confront these issues? Are my horror elements too superficial? Am I drawing false similarities between contemporary life and the supernatural? Does my project even matter? Am I being too vulnerable in a way that is isolating?

Contributing to my uncertainty is the requirement of a website. I came into the project knowing that my capstone would be housed on a website, but did not give this standard more than a cursory acknowledgement. Now, I am confronted with a piece, full of my hopes and worries, that will almost certainly never measure up to my vision because I do not have the skills (or money) to make a website capable of realizing my vision.

At the surface, maybe this realization this should give me an “out” in some manner, though it does not feel that way. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn how to put my work in the platforms of the age. At the same time, this house does not feel like a home—at least, not yet.

I am trying a new thing: narrowing the scope of my agency within my own project. By limiting what I can be responsible for, I am hoping that I might have some planned accidents!

If anyone has any suggestions, I would be grateful to hear them. Hope everyone is enjoying their last couple weeks with your capstone babies!

One thought to “Challenge Blog #4- Skipping Class to Learn”

  1. Hey Nicole! I can definitely relate to this feeling of uncertainty, both in life and creating material. In my personal experience, the uncertainty has stemmed from a need and desire to be good, even great. It stemmed from a want to meet expectations I had set out for myself and expectations that had been placed upon me by others. Something I have learned recently, in the wake of my senior concert for the Department of Dance, is that sometimes you will not know if you made the “right” choice until you make it–and that to some, the “right” choice might be the wrong one.
    For context, for my senior concert, we have to choreograph a group dance as well a solo that we perform. The solo I made for myself was intentionally a solo meant to stretch the boundaries of my performance. I choreographed movements and actions in that would make me feel uncomfortable. I felt a lot like you did–I didn’t know if the way I sequenced the movements was right, if my music choice was the most effective in setting the scene, if the narrative I chose to perform was important and relatable. My advisor told me that the whole point of such projects was to try–to try new things, to try to make choices that were new and scary and uncertain. The point wasn’t to make your seminal work, but rather to take a beginning step toward an eventual seminal work 🙂 I wonder if looking at the capstone in such a light might help with the uncertainty?

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