June 19th, Coat of Arms

 

 


 


 

winters crest


 


 

 

Today (the 19th) has been an excessively stress-inducing kind of day.  There are a few activities that my body wanders to after these sorts of days- one of which being drawing.
This is actually a bit of an anomaly, as I rarely draw digitally (not to mention that now that I am out of school, I do not have a tablet with which to draw… this is all scroll-pad), but seems to have served its purpose of keeping my mind at bay and the time from passing far too slowly.

The latter part of my day did include a highlight though- I received an email asking when would be a good time to set up an interview! For a job I applied for not twenty four hours before, too.
Although it is not my dream job (well of course not, how positively lucky do you think I am?), it is one I am sure to enjoy, and is also located within the city (Boston), and guess what? Would allow me to gain invaluable experience as well as somewhat of a reprieve for my tear-stained bank account.

Alas, even though I had a drug-induced (not recreational, kids) nap from 1-5pm today, I am still quite tired and my totoro pillow is calling my name.

Goodnight!

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June 16th, meet Kay

A genuine smile caught candidly is one of the most beautiful things possible to behold in this world.

 

kay shoot 2

Right? I mean, if you deny that, then you must deny the fact that seeing a puppy will put a smile on your face or that looking up at a brilliant night sky can strike awe into the hearts of any onlooker.

Crazy people.

 

kay shoot

 

 

I was going through my photos, trying to find a good one of our little “family”, and realized that I didn’t have any of my own- they all belonged to others and generally have a different someone missing from each one.  With that, I decided, all right- I’ll just get a photograph of each of them, and then realized that I don’t have really nice photos of everyone, and I don’t want to leave one to two beautiful souls out.
And then I realized- I have a lot of pictures of little miss Kay.

 

kay graffiti

 

As you may have gathered, or I may have already explained (probably the latter, as I really tend to forget to whom I do or do not disclose what information..) I spent my final semester of undergraduate studies abroad in Italy, studying Italian (Venetian, mainly Renaissance) Art History and Documentary Photography.

That would be the reason why any human of college-age appearing in my Italy photographs is probably holding a camera.


kay kay

 

 

As mentioned, this is the lovely miss Kay “Yams”– a friend made on my latest venture and final act of my undergraduate career. She is a pharmacy student, a couple of years my junior, with an absolute love of Art History, which brought her to Italy with me.  Her lineage is half (South) Korean and half Japanese, and she is lucky enough to have been incorporated into both of those sides of her family, as well as being a complete and total American girl.

It was fun- whenever Derrick and Geoff or Steph started speaking in Chinese (at which point we just sit there with blank faces) we could turn to one another and speak in Japanese, allowing them a taste of how we felt.  We have a lot of common interests that allowed us to bond, and I have to say that I love this lady- she’s cute inside and out. Despite the fact that she is known to her back-home friend group as an (impeccably put) inside-out sour patch kid.

> The nickname is incredibly accurate, as she is a cute, smiling, positive and soft-spoken young lady in general, especially if you’re not well acquainted with her.. but once you do get to know her, you realize that she can actually be loud, hilarious, serious, and semi (yet still ladylike)-sailor-mouthed.

She’s awesome.

 

So here- bask in the glory that is  Kay Yams.  Her favorite color is black even when she seems to define a puffy, pastel-pink as a human in general.  She is incredibly intelligent and admirably worldly, and ever a presence I’d be glad to accompany.

kay so pretty

 


 

EDIT:


I just ran across this on Facebook; the amazing miss Carrie Ambo took and posted it, and it adequately contrasts the (outer/initial) personalities of both Kay and Derrick:

 

accurate; Kay and Derrick

June 9th – my morning coffee

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So this morning I was up promptly at 5:30am, despite the fact that I had only gone to bed (false: after a few minutes of attempting to sleep in this heat I was up with my camera again) at 1:30..
It’s now closing in on three o’clock and I’m still up working! I’m guessing that means the instant coffee I made this morning may have actually had some effect on me.  It was actually really good, despite having been made in an old microwave.

 

 

coffee jar close

My morning coffee while in Italy is always a bit.. unique. For the past six weeks I’ve been using an emptied jam jar for pretty much everything.  It took me a while, but I found instant coffee that is 100% Arabica beans- I hadn’t known it before coming here, but Italians don’t just use coffee beans in their coffee. They have caffe orzo- a mix of coffee beans and a grain. I forget which one orzo is (pretty sure it’s wheat), but it contains gluten so I always remember to steer clear.  I’m at the very end of a bottle of mixed coconut and rice milk, that I water down and heat up in my jam jar.
I’m actually really impressed by this instant coffee- it makes a pretty satisfactory cup o’ joe.

Since I was already up and had my camera out from shooting at ridiculous hours, I decided to take a photo of this particular morning’s concoction, and ended up extremely happy that I did so.  I even pulled out my tripod while my roommates went down to breakfast and took a few photographs of myself too.

Being the person behind the camera, I don’t generally end up with nice photos of myself.. so sometimes I indulge in a private and inherently embarrassing venture of “self-portraits” (I use quotes because technically, that’s what they are, but I really don’t see them that way).

Forgive me, yet again, as I haven’t the time to really write much- especially since I need to convert any images I plan to use to a smaller file type since I perpetually shoot in RAW.
But I leave Italy in three days! So while I may be crying, I guess the positive side is that I’ll have the time (to find a big girl job..) and the internet to resume writing and working with images, and therefore providing some form of entertainment for what sparse few come across Dusk Dawning.

Wish me luck as I power through my last ever undergraduate finals!

May 21st, Burano

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A classmate of mine took a photo of me.. taking a photo. It’s photo-ception, guys. So the first image is that photo of me (hi!) and the second is the photo I was taking (for my capstone/documentary photography/photojournalism project).

On Wednesday (May 21) all of the students from our school studying abroad here in Venice took a trip out to the island of Burano.  It was a bit of a ride, about 40 minutes each way on the Vaporetto (it’s like Boston’s MBTA or NYC’s MTA, but with boats).  We played the game Heads Up to pass the time on our rides, with a growing crowd of entertained and confused European onlookers (we hold a cell phone to our forehead, a word is displayed on the screen and everyone gives that person clues so they can guess the word; if you get it right you dip your head down and back up to move to the next word, and if you’re stuck, you throw your head back and then return to normal head-positioning in order to skip.  we obviously looked quite silly).

The island of Burano is known for two things. 
   a) its incredibly colorful arrangement of buildings
   b) its lace
– As you could imagine, for a group of young adults studying Italian history and documentary photography, it was a field-day of sorts. Just running around with our cameras and looking through all of the lace (yes, even the men.. although it was mostly for gifts for their girlfriends and mothers).

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I was super tempted to pick one of these up for my mother’s lovely neighbor Val, who is expecting her daughter Maya this summer!
But then I realized that she wouldn’t be big enough to fit into one this season, and would probably have grown too much by next summer to fit into it either..

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Unfortunately I didn’t buy anything, due to the inflated prices of tourist-poaching shopkeepers and my wallet’s still being in shock over the unexpected expenses of this trip.  Had I found something that I really loved, though, I would have pushed myself to purchase it.  I’ve decided that I will do that, while I finish up my stay here in Italy, as a graduation gift to myself.
I mean come on- I graduated from a five-year top-rated institution with my sanity intact, magna cum laude.
I need to learn to give myself a break and reward my efforts once in a while.

 

All in all, I had a lot of fun wandering around the small island (and by small, I mean take a ten minute walk from one side to the other), taking photographs with my newly-apropriated friends.

Road Trip Crazy

Seriously-
When I came back from school for my mini-summer break, my mother dropped all my stuff off at the house up North, while I spent the weekend in the city with my boyfriend before going back to the house(which is on the market, so it’s all a bit crazy).
And included in my belogings were my vitamin supplements, PT bands, and prescriptions..
Awesome..

As you may know (or probably not, since, well, I’m not a large internet presence, and I tend to write more peronal things on my journal-ish wordpress, which is locked so only I can see it unless I invite you), I have to continuously be working at my health. It’s not something that is just granted to me like most. I can’t just eat whatever I want, or whenever I want. I can’t do all of the things I want or when or how.

I have to take various prescription medications, and have a record of popping tums like a kid would tic tacs. I have physical therapy (now) due to an operation I had to have done on my leg to be able to even “walk right again”.
But I digress-
I did not intend to get into why I needed to get my medical stuff from the house up North; just that I had to go up there.

So- On Wednesday night I took my pup (Lace) and drove up, alone for the first time, to the house. a 2.5 hour drive (aka 3+ for me). And I’m not a big fan of driving either. The next morning (yesterday) I drove us back down with my medical necessities in tow.
This morning at 6am myself, my mother, and her husband Ken left the house for VA, where my sister is graduating tomorrow. This is a fourteen hour drive.. Yikes.
So far we’ve gone, what, 6 hours? OH JOY.
Good thing I have my dramamine for carsickness..
I actually have a whole bottle of zofran up North still.. I left that, along with a few other prescriptions I don’t take daily, up there…

So ANYWAY, because apparently I have a ridiculously short attention span today- we’ll arrive in VA tonight, then leave again tomorrow after the graduation. We’ll get back home on Sunday.
At some point next week I’ll need to go back into the city for physical therapy and to meet with my academic advisor again.
I’m hoping he’ll have an availability on Wednesday or Thursday so I can just stay. On Friday, Preston (boyfriend- yay) is bringing me back home with him to New York (He lives on Long Island!). I’m so excited! I really don’t even care about the travel for that one- I just want to go!
I’ve never really spent time in the city there before. I have family in the countryside there, and the last time I was in NYC it was between horrible bus rides back up to MA from VA (I was loaning my car to my sister for the summer).
Also- I’m excited that he’s bringing me home! I really want to see what his family is like, and see his sister’s bearded dragons and try some of his grandparents’ home-cooked chinese food. It’s always better home-made.
and maybe talk to his Dad about his work! It really interests me, especially as it is art related (aha!).
He’ll be introducing me to his friends from home too- I hope everyone likes me (friends and family).
He’s been such a dear- planning it all out, finding places that I can eat food that I haven’t been able to eat since we found out why I was sick, finding places to bring me to and things we can do around the city.

I got myself a good one.

My First Day in Fukuoka

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad asked me to complete a survey about my study abroad experience.  Once of the questions was to tell your most memorable experience.  This, in short, is one of mine:

My first day in Fukuoka all of the students met up with their host families for the first time and were sent home to spend the day with them.  Another student, who spoke no Japanese, was going to be living with my host father’s brother, so she came home with us until her host father got out of work,  When we got to my host father’s house I got to meet the rest of my family- three little girls and my host mother.  One of the girls was really shy and wouldn’t talk or do much when we (the foreign students) were around.  After dinner my host father and I dropped the other student off to her host family.  When we got back home I went to my room to change and unpack.  While unpacking I left my door open, and my youngest sister came in and sat on my bed.  I began to talk with her and one of her other sisters came in, hopped on the bed, and joined us.  After a few minutes the oldest, and most shy of the three came in, sat on the bed, and when I talked to her she opened up and we all had a fun time.  They taught me games, had me pick them up and flip them onto the bed, and played hide-and-seek with me until it was their bedtime.  It was just amazing to have people, especially this child who wouldn’t even speak in front of foreigners (at first), accept me into their home and family in such a way.  I had a wonderful time with my host family and still talk to them regularly- including talking about when I will come back!