This week was highly productive but I experienced a definite breakdown in my communication with others, particularly at a professional level. Where I needed extra grace and patience I wasn’t met with a lot of understanding. My attempts to smooth situations over and bridge gaps were refuted a lot. What could’ve helped only served to hinder. Burnout is what I trudged through as trimester one of college finally came to an end.
Doing a new thing is difficult and I still question at times if I’m cut out for higher education. Leaving school before senior year rolled around is not a decision I regret but I’m coming to realise that I’ve landed in a similar position work wise. I’ve never been somebody who is content to sit at a desk and do the hard yards day in and day out. I’ve always believed that my younger generation is right in our thinking of smart work being better and more effective long term. I struggle to know what that looks like in practice as compared to in theory though.
My tired muddled self landed in absolute hot water this week. It was a cocktail of procrastination, anxiety, miscommunication and lack of organisation. Throw in a streak of bad luck and you’re all set. I can laugh about most of it now but oh boy, what a wild ride I’ve been on. Such a test for the mental faculties! Term break officially started a week ago but I’ve worked up until a few days ago. I had a final assignment due last Sunday for my Design and Drawing class. It was a three dimensional model of my bedroom complete with select furnishings to show scale and possibility. I had made major headway on this project and logged in to the computer aided design program, Sketch Up, on the Saturday.
My intention was to make some final adjustments and then upload the file to our class submission box. This sounds simple enough, right? Well, here’s the kicker. I was using the free version of this Sketch Up program as it costs over a grand full price. There is a very heavily subsidised version of Sketch Up available to students but I didn’t have an extra hundred dollars to spare. I was content working with my thirty days. This would’ve been all good and well had the program not expired prematurely, leaving me stranded. While the file was still visible on my laptop, I could only access a preview and buying the software was impossible as I’d have to find a reseller. I was out of time. I sent my professor an email asking for his advice on how to progress with the assignment. He was quick to reply with a means of recourse and I was highly grateful and relieved.
I set to work on compiling photos of my room along with the screenshots I’d saved of my project. I also wrote about the trials and tribulations of Sketch Up expiring and how I worked with my teacher to create an alternative submission and problem solve. I was then required to attach relevant work examples from our previous assessment. Three dimensional elevations and a floor plan drawing, complete with measurements, all done by hand. I figured I’d compile the different bits and pieces and be done. It seemed clean cut and easy.
You can imagine my shock at discovering that I didn’t pass our prior assessment. I’d have to redo it correctly before moving forward or I’d fail this new task. That was not an option. Seeing as I was working under time constraints, my cousin who took a course in design drawing at tafe helped me complete the work using autocad. I sat by him as he talked me through the software and we measured parts of my room together. I had missed a lot of the hands on work last time as I’d only consulted floorplans. That would’ve been okay had I learnt how to read them correctly.
Ultimately I used my extension well and was able to redeem myself. I’m currently waiting on updated course marks for this subject, particularly as I then went on to struggle with our very last assignment. It was a simple quiz that revisited all the topics we’d covered this trimester but the link wasn’t there for me to access. I wasn’t issued with any marks and got a zero. This I couldn’t afford after having failed one assignment. I contacted my professor to see if I could have a pdf sent to me or if tech support could intervene. Maybe I could receive an average- I figured that was standard protocol.
As of now my enquiry has been taken to a higher up but I’m disappointed that the relationship I had with this teacher is compromised. A skill that most people overlook is conflict resolution. They let personal biases get in the way or become caught up in pettiness. I felt as if my professor suddenly turned and began viewing me differently. It felt personal. There was an instance where I accidentally misspelled his name and he responded in a similar fashion. It was just completely uncalled for and didn’t display any level of professionalism and consideration. I had previously been in this teacher’s good books- he’d compliment my attire and say that the rest of the class should take notes from me. That he appreciated students dressing for the job they want and representing themselves well. Perhaps my not living up to his expectations academically meant that he pushed harder and wasn’t as friendly. It just seemed like the wrong approach.
However, the saga continues. I then worked with my Graphic Communication teacher on another extension to submit a final assignment. I felt extremely pressured to do well as I’d gotten almost full marks last time and wanted to end on a high note. I am still baffled as to how the dates got mixed up but I read the assignment as being due Sunday of week twelve or yesterday. Somehow the due date was actually Sunday of week eleven, even though that’s not what I read online. Work I had submitted for other classes lined up with these dates so I know it wasn’t due to confusion on my part.
The project was to render finishes on a living and dining room space in Photoshop. Remove furniture, add in new selections, edit current furnishings. We had to document the process and give a rationale for the initial and finished space, then request client feedback. Even as a long term content creator, I’m not familiar with this software and was learning on the go. Thankfully I used very little other than the warp and lasso tool. They were easy to get a grip on but didn’t always work as they should or look realistic. That was where things became challenging. I am still waiting on results for this assignment but I’m confident in my abilities.
While I’m really proud of myself, I’ve resolved to do differently next trimester and make use of the resources my college offers. Book a couple of sessions with a counsellor to ensure I stay afloat and do more than just get by. I want to enjoy my career. I’ll also be consulting my individual success coach for some mentoring and time management building suggestions. This made up the bulk of my time and I honestly did little else.
Eid, the Islamic celebration that marks the end of Ramadan or the thirty days of fasting was on Friday. My dad, brother, step mum and I met up with her family and went to a local Pakistani restaurant, Himalaya. We ordered our usuals of chicken tikka and seekh kebab, both of which I have mild with yoghurt. As I eat predominantly western food and am highly partial to a good pasta I’m not used to spice.
Afterwards we headed about half an hour away to a cafe called Sydney Manoush for lebanese sweets. I’ll admit that I didn’t enjoy the sophisticated foods the adults had and took a slice of the nutella pizza along with the five year old. Dessert pizza is really something, that’s for sure. To celebrate they put out these free shortbread fondant cookies that I couldn’t get enough of. The little boy was very sweet and pilfered a few for me with a very cheeky smile on his face!
The highlight of my week was seeing my cousin Aaron and his partner Rachel up in the Blue Mountains. They came to stay with my grandma and I for a few days and sort through antiques to keep before we sell some off. They were up early most days playing records and picking out different radios. We even managed to get the radiola sitting as decoration on my chest of drawers working. Granted, it resembled more of a white noise machine but it was cool seeing the light flicker on and the dials turn. You get the picture. Lean in close enough and we could hear faint whispers. Alright, just a little creepy, haha.
We also put my bed together. It took the four of us and a few hours but we managed. Some of the hardware had broken when the tradies put my bed together when I first moved in to the parramatta apartment. This meant that my cousin had to run out and buy brackets for reinforcement. Once the frame was up I pulled out my hotel bedding set- the mattress topper, quilt and pillows. My bed really makes a statement now and is the focal point of the room. It’s so fluffy and felt like sinking into a cloud when I slept there for the first time yesterday. It’s cold at night as there’s no electric blanket but linen warms me up pretty quick naturally. It locks in heat. I was so comfortable that I slept in even longer than usual.
I also saw family more this week, had lots of good eats, ordered a new desk and some winter clothing and watched some new netflix films. I went for a coastal and hamptons inspired workspace with a white desk, copper handles and light wood top. It has these legs that cross over at the sides. I picked up some linen pants in a natural colour and a ruched broderie skirt in cream. Both I’d had my eye on so I was very happy to find them in the sale section!
My aunty and uncle came over this morning to help my cousin with more of his antique packing and we saw them at a house party on monday. Some other relatives were over too and we had a mini dance party and ate garlic bread and a maltese classic, a dish called argene il forn. I’ll always joke about how this translates to oven fawn. Always made my dad and I laugh. It’s basically a pasta casserole, the italian version being lasagne. It’s best served with a nice fresh greek salad for some contrast. I feel much more myself when I get an adequate amount of leafy greens in.
Yesterday was pretty easy going. My grandma and I ordered a chicken pizza and gozleme for our movie nights and have plenty of leftovers today. So far this week we’ve seen Oxygen and The Woman in The Window! I’ll admit that the first movie was intriguing but aspects of it felt too close to what we’re experiencing in the world nowadays. The latter was compelling though and kept me guessing through the twists and turns. It reminded me a lot of The Girl on the Train.