Apologies for my being so aloof. I haven’t taken the time to check out all your recent work, give my praise and comments. Nor have I uploaded any photos in quite some time. It’s been a rough winter. First, I lost my job. I had been teaching English conversation at a university in Korea for the past five years. I’d been studying a Master’s in photography, visual arts, and design at the same school for the past year and a half, three semesters. Well, this is a national university, and as it turns out, all national schools in Korea have some sort of 5 year rule. If one isn’t tenured, then one must find work elsewhere after five years. Even though I had no major complaints from the students, had a good reputation amongst peers and staff, and was seemingly well liked by all, I had to go. Since I was a Master’s degree student there, with one semester remaining, I put up a big fight to keep my job. After all, I loved my job and I’d worked so hard, put in countless hours of study, and coughed up all my meager savings to pay tuition…only to be let go one semester shy of graduating was too much for me to handle. Yet, in the end, there was nothing that the school could do. The entire English department petitioned on my behalf, wanting to resign my contract, but we were still rejected. I felt my education was worth fighting for, so I was very very depressed and disappointed to find out that I had to leave. So, the only thing I could do was try to find work at a nearby university. If I signed on close by, then I could still commute to my MA courses at night.
And so the interviews came. I was accepted at two universities, both around 30 minutes from my old campus. I chose the job that offered better housing. One school offered a dormitory room, so I wouldn’t be able to keep my Dubu kitty. That was a no go. The other school offered a 3 room apartment off campus. I signed there. Dubu’s happy, and I’m transitioning. I’m thankful and humbled that I was able to find work. If I hadn’t, then I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to graduate.
Which brings me to a meeting I had with my professor last week. Now, for the past year and a half, 3 semesters, I’ve been told again and again that I would NOT need a thesis to graduate. Instead I would have a graduating exhibition. I would have a concept and I’d put my photos within that concept up in a gallery in Seoul. Perfect. A great way to get some exposure. So at last week’s meeting, my professor tells me that she had been wrong all this time. In fact I WOULD need a thesis, along with the photos and an exhibition. The due date? The first week of May. What? That can’t possibly be true. How am I supposed to write a thesis in less than two months? Somehow I’d have to find a way.
So I’ve just moved to a new town with which I’m unfamiliar. I’m working a new job at a new school with new students and with a new schedule. All unfamiliar. I have roughly a month and a half to create a concept, capture the photos, do research, and write a thesis…all while both getting acclimated and working. After I’ve defended my thesis ( if by some miracle I’m able to write it in the next 40ish days ), I’m still required to have an exhibition at a later date. I’m comfortable with and excited about the exhibition. I’m stressing hard about writing a thesis in such a short period of time.
So, how am I going to pull this off? If it’s going to happen, it’s going to be through a lot of prayer, late nights, and by being like the squirrel. Don’t know what I’m talking about? After the break, check out the link and lyrics posted below.
Anyhow, wish me luck! I need all the support I can get. I’ll still try my best to post at least once a week. And I’ll certainly update the blog upon completing my thesis ( or having it utterly rejected ). Thanks for stopping by my little piece of the internet. I wish you well! These seven shots were taken a few weeks back on a misty night with a Holga on expired ( 3-2010 ) Kodak Tmax 100 film, personally developed in the darkroom with D76. Enjoy! © Patrick Bresnahan
The White Stripes – Little Acorns ( click to listen )
When problems overwhelm us
And sadness smothers us
Where do we find the will
And the courage to continue?
Well the answer may come
In the caring voice of a friend
A chance encounter with a book
Or from a personal faith
For Janet, help came from her faith
But it also came from a squirrel
Shortly after her divorce
Janet lost her father
Then she lost her job
She had mounting money problems
But Janet not only survived
She worked her way out of despondency
And now she says, life is good again
How could this happen?
She told me that late one autumn day
When she was at her lowest
She watched a squirrel
Storing up nuts for the winter
One at a time
He would take them to the nest
And she thought
If that squirrel can take care of himself
With the harsh winter coming on
So can I
Once I broke my problems
Into small pieces
I was able to carry them
Just like those acorns, one at a time
Take all your problems
And rip ’em apart
Carry them off
In a shopping cart
Another thing you should’ve
Known from the start
The problems in hand
Are lighter than at heart
Be like the squirrel, girl
Be like the squirrel
Give it a whirl, girl
Be like the squirrel
And another thing
You have to know in this world
Cut up your hair, straighten your curls
Well, your problems, hide in your curls