Sunday, August 31, 2008

a day in d.c.

part of the mica orientation program is a day trip to d.c. tara and i went on this one last year, so tradition's sake we had to sign up for it again. it was so nice to get off campus. and neither one of us had any "need to see" things. we just took it slow. starbucks at union station. lounging on the mall. lunch at potbellies. perusing the national gallery gift shop. sticking our feet in the fountain at the sculpture garden. just lots of relaxing and soaking in the last bits of summer. felt so nice.

last time i was in d.c. i had my eye on this book titled "the accidental masterpiece: on the art of life and vice versa" by michael kimmelman. for whatever reason, i didn't grab it. but this time around i made sure to buy it. the concept is perfect, "that art provides us with clues about how to live our own lives more fully ... how creating, collecting, and even appreciating art can make living a daily masterpiece." sounds good to me. the book jacket goes on to say that "the accidental masterpiece encourages us to live life with eyes wide open, because the drive to live life more alertly is instinctive, and, whether you are an artist by trade or by desire, the art of seeing well is one that can be learned." and "you don't have to be an artist to experience art's truths and consolations because art is not just created, it is also discovered. kimmelman contends that art can be found almost anywhere and everywhere, if only our eyes are trained to see it." i'm looking forward to reading the rest.

edit: these posts are pretty delayed. but i figured i'd cheat and put them up anyway...

how an art school does orientation

a group shot of all of the orientation leaders post extreme bingo. (my green sequined thrift store dress ended up being perfect for the occasion.) this is one of those traditions that makes you realize mica is like no place else.

edit: these posts are pretty delayed. but i figured i'd cheat and put them up anyway...

Friday, August 29, 2008

exploring baltimore

"we live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold." (from "the unbearable lightness of being." a book that is basically my life right now. thanks for that one, jackie.)

one of my focuses during orientation (besides answering any and all questions mica related and getting freshman to dance at freaky tiki) was working with a group of 3 other mica sophomores on redesigning the hour long "charm city slide show" presentation that essentially welcomes the new freshman class to baltimore. this was quite the undertaking, and we had been meeting and discussing our approach since last spring. summer email communication was fairly successful, but once ol training hit it was hard to get the time to take to reconvene and finalize things. which, realizing the magnitude of the message we set out to convey, made me nervous. i like improvising and tackling things as they come. but when it is something really important, i like knowing that it will happen without a hitch.

much of our message (actually all of it...) rested on andy's mad scientist map creation (something he was working on pretty much the entire school year.) what it really came down to was wanting to provide the freshman with a tool that would give them the resources to explore baltimore on their own. so instead of listing off ten random places to visit, we would break things up into categories and corresponding modes of transportation. this is something he is still working on, so you can imagine how much more can be done with it. it's huge. this is something that not only hasn't existed (especially in such an interactive form) at mica, but doesn't exist in baltimore, either. the focus now it to highlight locations that are essentially dubbed "mica student approved," but imagine if it becomes a resource for an entire city of residents...

here's the website:

even if you are miles away in michigan and may never visit baltimore, check it out. make sure you mess around with all of its features (there are both transit and walking maps.) and if you happen to call baltimore your stomping grounds, don't hesitate to email andy,, with more places and addresses. (or to tell him how amazing his map is!)

edit: these posts are pretty delayed. but i figured i'd cheat and put them up anyway...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ride the ducks

a year long dream came true during orientation leader training the other day. i finally got to ride the ducks. and it was everything i had hoped for and more. captain al was such a treat. and i was a total tourist with my camera and duck bill "quacker."

edit: these posts are pretty delayed. but i figured i'd cheat and put them up anyway...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

moving on up.

"you're electric again." - mom

she's right. and it feels so good. this gateway gets me giddy. the crazy green windows. the convenience of career development on the second floor. the "infinity pool" fountain out in front. the late night cafe. and the pimped out bbox (black box theatre.) it's insane. (enough that i can over look the odd orange walls in our apartment and the funky bathroom cabinetry.) i just keep thinking about how extremely lucky i am just to be here. and to be living in the gateway on top of it all.

in retrospect, summer seems like it was just this waiting period. like i was just waiting for life to get going again. and thinking of things to fill the time before i could get back at it. even when i was at mica for pre-college, it just felt different. it's another story when you get to be the student, and you're gearing up for another jam-packed year.

let's do it.

ps. i promise the next post will have pictures!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

things i learned in art school

now, i'm not saying this is as monumental or as artsy as sagmeister's lessons, but i ended up with this neat journal from a summer impulse purchase at barnes and noble, and i couldn't bear to let the money go to waste and have it's multicolored pages sit around empty. i set it up so i can jot down those little art school gems that i learn along the way (and dump some of the freshman year lessons in so they don't get lost.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

dive into graphic design. get dirty.

one thing this summer was good for: spending time on design websites and following links without end from the comfort of my own home. i'm calling it preparation. because this year i actually take graphic design classes. even though my ocd design sensibility found its way into just about everything i did foundation year anyway, i am still a little nervous to start taking classes for real. i totally have to step up my game. it's been so nice to kind of just do my thing design wise without judgment or guidelines. but it's time for that to change. it's too easy when it's just on your own terms. i need to add in the pressure of insanely good peers and insanely challenging professors. and i've been told that the technical tricks of photoshop/illustrator/etc. never really get taught. you just have to come in knowing those things. so i'm trying to soak some of this in, without "soaking it in." there are lots of designers (fellow students, recent grads, and old folks) out there doing crazy cool stuff.

so here are the fruits of my summer labors, a short list of people and links...

alex ostrowski
amin musa
ethan bodnar
kasper ledet
leslie kwok
matthew burvill
monica nelson
nikolay saveliev
rose reeves
thomas brooks
william davis

Saturday, August 16, 2008

slogeris family vacation

ok go. kip is done with football camp, dad is (sort of) on vacation, and i have a good solid week here to squander. with cedar point out of the picture (for whatever reason) that leaves... put put golf! always a family favorite. kip got competitive. i kept the scoring legitimate. dad became quite the motivational speaker. and the only hole in one to be had? momsie! believe it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

i'm back.

back home from a few weeks of bouncing around. and back to the blog scene. yes.

i got back last night from this thing called "the leadershape institute" in champaigne, illinois. i was a little weary going into it. (if you are constantly preaching something as a life changing experience, does it automatically prevent it from genuinely becoming one?) and after you've been to so many of these leadership things, they start to blur together. (literally. how many times can the earthquake exercise and star power simulation be done?)

i realized quickly that it wasn't so much about their actual construct of the "institute" (all of the cluster meetings and lectures and handouts and videos.) it was about every other moment outside of that structure. and that part was totally in my control. (bruce mau had it right: "coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms. real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces.")

going into it, i saw leadershape as an excuse to spend time on a project that i had been thinking about for a long time (i'll explain more about this one later...) but, my dad reminded on the drive to the airport, "don't let that separate you from everyone else." (which tends to be my problem.) so, perhaps more importantly, once i got there i started seeing it as an opportunity to talk with other people from vastly different perspectives. i always underestimate the potential of simply talking. of asking people more questions. and sharing a little more. (why should i filter, when chances are i will never see these people again?)

i was put in my place right off the bat, when i found out my roommate was from thailand. yes, thailand. here i was expecting the other participants to be mainly from the midwest/east coast, and i was doubtful of what they could offer. i still feel like i didn't really get to ask her enough. i kept saying, "tell me more about thailand." and after hearing about things like the really good shopping there, we got to the good stuff. i was so intrigued by her thoughts about what free speech means in thailand. how here, in the us, we complain about too much information. when, in thailand, they don't have the opportunity for it at all. we have the benefit of too many ideas. but when there isn't a conflict of ideas in a country, there is no progress. and to stay the same in today's society means to move backward, because everyone else is moving forward. (she attributed this line of thinking to john stuart mill.)

and on the second day i met someone from ghana. (according to donaghy- "dot.") he was sent to leadershape by the ghana youth leadership alliance. i asked him immediately about emmanuel. and tried telling him as much as possible about avondale leadership. the coolest thing he said was how his generation is in the position to do what our founding fathers did. i've never thought about it like that before. how exciting.

and there were so many other exchanges... it was totally unexpected to be in a group with someone considerably older (at least ten years older) than us, and to listen to him talk about his commitment to preserving his native american culture. really, he just wanted to know that his children would know the language in order to talk to their grandparents. and i will definitely stay connected with a guy i met from american university, who decided his "vision" would address the struggling dc school system surrounding some of the nations best colleges and universities. we have a lot of thought in common.

this isn't to say that here weren't your typical frat boys around. because they were definitely a presence. (leadershape was initially started by alpha tau omega.) and it wasn't until the last night that i truly appreciated their presence. (even though the ropes course would have been impossible without their football player physiques.) i totally stumbled upon a conversation between two of them. and they invited me right in. they were talking about how the past week was such a life changing experience for them. for me, it was far from life changing. it was really more about reaffirming what was already there. but it was really important for me to see that this "leadershape" thing did have a powerful impact for people that had never been pushed to think in this way. it was the coolest thing to spend a solid hour (or more...) drilling them about their fraternity, offering my naive and simple outlook on the function of frats in a university setting, and hearing them recognize the need for higher standards and a fundamental change in structure. (one of them used jenga as an metaphor. he was right on. at first you pull out the pieces that are safest to remove. but eventually there is nothing left but for the entire tower to fall. and then you just have to build it back up.)

now that i'm back, and completely re-energized, and i'm ready to start getting things done. there's a lot on my mind. and i have a to-do list ready to go.

ps. i got a new camera! and can i just say, it feels so good to be able to see things again, and know that i can document them. but i did get busted in the champaign airport for taking pictures. (i have no idea where that police officer came from, because he clearly didn't care when the group of us that was stuck in the airport for 6 hours were mastering the art of running up the down escalator.) according to him, people usually take pictures of airplanes and such, not of signs in unauthorized areas. oops. i tried telling him about compositions and helvetica, but needless to say, it was a lost cause...