So I’m sitting around and doing summer homework on the second official day of summer (or whatever day of summer it is when I actually get around to posting this; it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’m sitting around and doing summer homework anyway). I guess this isn’t actually summer homework, but it feels like I’m being productive, so that works for me.
Right now is simultaneously the best and the worst part of summer. Not having to go to school is great and I’m not sitting here missing English class (yet…) and I have ten weeks to fill with whatever I want to do. This is the part of the summer where I still believe that I can write fourteen college essays and read a ton of books and take too many photographs and hang out with my friends every week and actually exercise and I get to be optimistic for now because summer is just beginning and I haven’t had a chance to fail yet. At the same time, though, while I’m telling myself that I’m going to do all kinds of fabulous stuff, part of me already knows that come August, I am going to realize that I didn’t do even half of the things I had planned. If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then summer is kind of like insanity. Does that even work?
Also, every summer I clean out my room (aka reorganize all my clutter…) and I got started on that yesterday. I have this giant collection of notebooks from elementary and middle school and I started reading some of the things I used to write. There was a really cheesy mystery series about these four siblings who basically uncovered crimes everywhere they went (think Scooby-Doo meets Boxcar Children. I had an interesting childhood). There were also lots of doodles and lists and a collection of “useless information” (did you know that a can of SPAM is opened approximately every four seconds?). There was a catalog for an online crafts store that I never actually started and a musical that my friend wanted to produce with a cast of four really reluctant ten-year-olds (including ourselves). Mostly, though, there were lots and lots of blank pages—I don’t think I’d actually finished any of the notebooks that I found. I don’t have any single reason as to why that would happen; it could be anything from my inability to pay attention to any one thing for a long time to my love for stationery supplies. Like I know that even now, when I’m doing homework, I pretty much rotate through all of my assignments instead of sitting down and finishing one thing at a time. I’ll do half an hour of math and then I’ll do English and then I’ll go back to math, and I’ll keep switching subjects until I’m done. I’m not sure if that’s my attention span struggling or if I’m actually being inefficient or if I’m just afraid of being bored.
I don’t have cool photos like Sami does even though I’m taking photography. I guess that’s a life lesson or something—you get more interesting photographs on vacation than you do when you’re sitting in a classroom listening to the professor talk about shutter speed and aperture and the rule of thirds. Oh wait, you probably already knew that.
Seriously though, photography class is fun, and pretty much everyone who knows me is probably tired of hearing about how ridiculously excited I am about taking photography. I love being able to choose whether I show the best or the worst or the everything-in-between of people or places. Plus, I get to pretend to be super artsy without having to try to draw. I can’t draw.
Anyways, though, one of our assignments for the week is to take a picture in which a moving subject appears to be still and the still background appears blurred. I don’t actually have a picture like that yet, or else I’d post it. The concept behind it is really cool—it’s almost like the world is revolving around the person or thing that you’re focusing on. It’s really easy for people to assume that they’re the center of the world; no matter how nice and selfless and patient you usually are, at your absolute worst, it’s difficult to convince yourself that the world is not out to get you. (There’s an essay about this in the AP Lit summer homework about it, so I can’t claim that this idea is mine.) But in the same way, this style of photography captures that self-centeredness and makes it art. It’s like the world is revolving around you and whatever you’re focusing on. Everything else melts down into a blur until all you can see is one thing, and maybe it’s the one thing that matters most to you in the world, or maybe it’s a beat-up soccer ball or something. It doesn’t really matter, because for the split second it takes to capture the photograph, they’re really one and the same.