(Some creature/character design thumbnails and sketches done while waiting on Friday.)
This past week was Orientation Week at Art Center. It's like any other orientation, except that the advice prescribed gets very specific by the end of the week.
The first day was about as awkward as any orientation could be. Unlike a more typical college setting, the mis-mash of age groups lends itself to being either intimidating or sobering, depending on your age, and may or may not cause anxiety. Not being separated out by majors makes one feel a bit alone, especially students from smaller departments, which is then intensified by the fact that the past week or so was spent living with only a few (if any) room mates, and not a dorm full of first term students.
Content wise, it's the usual fodder. Uplifting, open, endless possibilities. Feel good. Those things that lift the heart before it is bogged down by the workload. Public safety would like everyone to note that one should not pick up rattlesnakes in a bid to impress others, that the local mountain lion and resident coyote should be left alone, and that people get into a lot of car accidents during the last two weeks of term.
Day two was a bit more relevant(?). A walkthrough what critique means at ACCD and a student Q&A. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if it's sort of a subconscious decision for upper term students to want to scare or intimidate the first term students. The staff and instructors are all very reassuring, and then the students are anxiety inducing.
Thursday consisted of a tour of the library, a place briefly mentioned in the previous post. While it might not be the most spacious or beautiful library, it has a distinctly cozy feel, un-intimidating and down-to-earth, with the only annoyance being the steel girders that run diagonal through part of the library and should probably be striped with yellow duct tape. I've been in a lofty beautiful art library before, the Fleet Library at RISD. It feels like the library of a high institution. It didn't feel like as much of a home.
Later in the day we were finally broken into our respective majors and attended a short session on the type of work found in each track and what foundation work usually contains. It was nice finally being able to meet fellow illustration students, which included the obligatory exchange of tumblr urls and sketchbooks. And much gushing, modesty, and general feelings of incompetency.
Friday was a short day dedicated to each department giving a presentation to their new first term students. Unlike many other schools, no one goes into ACCD undeclared. You show up knowing what you want to study, thus ending Orientation Week with a department specific orientation. It's interesting seeing all of the big ideas and work from current students, but at the same time, it tastes slightly of the endless possibilities that all orientations have. However, it's much nicer hearing about these possibilities from within your major, because, well, it is your major, and therefore something within your grasp.
On a final note! Prospective art students! Take AP classes! Get good scores (4 or 5)! Passing an AP test transfers 3 units worth of credits if the class qualifies (the ACCD website does have a list of what classes fall under which credit categories). A typical term at Art Center bounces between 15 to 18 units (or 5 to 6 classes), so if you want to lighten the work load, clear elective credits prior to graduating high school. Especially English. Passing either AP English Lit or AP English Comp will allow you to skip first term Writing Studio, thus bouncing you into one second term class. I cleared 15 units worth of credit via AP testing (and maybe a bit more, had I decided not to slack off), which equates to a lighter workload later on. Granted there are plenty of fabulous classes at ACCD to take, but it does give more flexibility so you won't be stressing about fulfilling a certain number of credits for a particular elective category.
Classes technically started yesterday (yes, ACCD has Saturday classes), but my first class isn't until tomorrow.