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  • Catherine Greer

Summertime - Is Living Easy?

Hey y'all!


I shared how overwhelming my Winter term was, and also dug into some of the introspection I was led to in the wake of that stressful term. Then I dove headfirst into Spring term...


Which, all things considered, was not as bad as I expected. It wasn't the best - I'm still adjusting to my new college. I'm also still trying to figure out the specifics of my degree in the context of WOU and their programs, and I'm trying to figure out when I'll be able to graduate with my Bachelor's. When I began at WOU in Winter, I was very saddened by the idea that I was just blitzing through a life experience and that perhaps I should slow down. It's only six months later and honestly, I'm ready for a break! Which makes me want to lock my eyes on the prize, buckle down, and get the fuck out. But you need energy for that, and well, I'm out of it.


I've been feeling creatively stunted and supremely demotivated. The work ethic I pride myself on having is nowhere to be found, and I'm barely dragging my ass out of bed for the work I desperately need to do in order to achieve the grades I want and the work I even more desperately need to do in order to pay for my ability to work for those grades. I'm so tired, every day, and I don't know how to snap out of it. I don't know what's wrong, so I don't know what to focus on to heal and get back on track.


I haven't really painted for myself much this year. I have so many half-done projects lying around, and my studio space is horrendously disorganized right now. I feel so guilty for not working on these things that I think it's preventing me from wanting to work on them, as stupid as that is. I've been spending a lot of time in my head, surrounded by my plants at home. A lot of the time, I'm not even thinking a thing. I'm just existing.


Despite feeling pretty out of sorts, I managed to get two A's and two B's, with a term GPA of 3.03 for Spring. This was an improvement from Winter, but was still not as good as I was gunning for. I'd cultivated a near-4.0 streak during my final years at CCC in an effort to correct my mangled GPA from my first attempt at my Associate's. I'm frustrated that those habits aren't as helpful now, at least not as tangibly as they were at CCC. That frustration is bleeding into my work, and I think is contributing to my currently stunted creativity.


For Summer, I've signed on for three courses. Two are Art History 4-week intensives, held back to back. The third is a 6-week Psychology course. All three are online, so no commute! However, the workload is extraordinary, and I'm panicking about how to pay for the tuition costs, as financial aid doesn't cover Summer. I'd managed my funds fairly well (a feat for me ) and I had managed to pay for nearly 50% of the tuition with my loans. But now I'm saddled with what feels like a huge urgent debt, and I'm struggling to get out of bed in the morning to go make the ca$h I need in order to pay for those classes in full.


On top of it all, I realized that I haven't been leaving my house much. I'm avoiding a lot of things, for goddess knows why. I signed up for Summer classes because I desperately want to rocket through this degree so I can ideally take an educational break, but I didn't think about the workload I was putting on myself. I haven't treated Summer as fun in a while, because once I turned 18, Summer was for working a ridiculous fuckload of hours and getting money in the bank while I could. As an adult, Summer is not the magical thing it used to be. And that's sad! I miss the excitement of Spring term letting out and then feeling like the world was my oyster, and I could turn the Summer into *anything*. Maybe I read too many YA novels, but Summer is a seductive season simply for the potential it holds.


So, I did what any overworked, overwhelmed "alternative student" should do - I made a Summer Goals list like I was 14 again. Yay, to-do lists disguised as fun! :D :D :D But for real, I made a point to sit down for twenty minutes and think about the things I'd like to accomplish this Summer.


Summer Goals ~test run resin Ding Dings

~crochet shawl

~pay tuition

~straight A's

~Painted Hills

~camp once a month ~visit 99W Drive-In theatre

~check out a new restaurant by home

~find a local place to hear live music I included some items that need to get done - paying tuition, crocheting a shawl for a friend's wedding - but I also included some fun things. A crafty thing, some traveling, and some local adventures. I spontaneously dyed my hair with my sister on the full moon, and I'm making plans that force me out of this bubble of avoidance I've been inside for six months. The living is not easy this Summer, but I'm determined to enjoy the shit out of it regardless. If you'd like to help me with any of my goals, let me know! I camped for Litha this month, but I don't currently have a camping trip scheduled for July. If possible, I'd like to also squeeze in an early September camping trip - my Fall classes don't begin until the end of the month, so there's technically time for a weekend getaway. Interested in learning to cast resin with me? Come over and help me figure it out! Want to see the Painted Hills? Dope, me too - let's do it! Wanna pay my tuition? I'll cry but I will also shamelessly accept your dollars. Know any restaurants or bars that play live music that are local-ish to Tigard/Newberg/Sherwood/Tualatin/Beaverton? Please let me know, and maybe we go together! Okay, that was a lot of exclamation points. It's a stormy night and despite it being day #3 of this Summer session, I've got a buttload of work to catch up on. I'm going to curl up in jammies, pop on an art history lecture, and only half pay attention because I'm enjoying the rain too much. Much love. xo, Cate


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