AC Arts Orientation

Well, I dragged myself out of bed and onto the bus yesterday for the orientation for my Bachelor in Visual Arts. I’ve been looking forward to this a great deal, being a single student enrolment until now meant I never had any directions around the campus or instructions about how to use the library etc. Now I’ve had a crash course in both. It was great to have a look through the ceramics studio – this term I’ll be doing the foundation class in ceramics, and next term the one in sculpture. I’d never seen it before and it is impressive! I can’t get over how well set up the studios are, they are such inspiring spaces! Ceramics is in the basement behind the Light Gallery space – many years ago I had my year 12 artwork exhibited in that space! There’s a room for throwing (that’s where you work clay on a ‘wheel’ a disc that spins, to create pots and rounded shapes like that) another couple for hand building, one for glazing, and a kiln room. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on some clay.

There is a relationship between ceramics and sculpture, A sculptural form can be made from clay and might therefore be considered a ceramic sculpture. Ceramics as a term covers everything made from clays or earth. I’ve always loved the feel of clay in my hands, I did my work experience at the Jam Factory, and my favourite of the menial tasks was reclaiming the clay. Clay that had dried out was set in huge lumps in a vat of water. I would reach in up to my armpits to squish and work the water into the clay as it softened. Pretty awesome.

I have contracted a head cold or throat infection or some such bug, so I’m feeling pretty dreadful. But this week still has full days, today I’ll be at the Peer Work orientation, then Sound Minds, then the Radio Adelaide induction in the evening. I think by Saturday I’m just going to fall over and sleep for the weekend. I was going to invite my new neighbours round for afternoon tea, but I think giving them all a cold is not the best way to introduce myself. Maybe next weekend.

In the meantime, I’m working hard on building new routines and making sure I’m not so busy that I let my health slip. I’m making very healthy lunches and snacks to take with me, drastically cutting back on sweets and treats, and taking Charlie out for a brisk 20 minute walk every evening. I’m also working hard on keeping my sleeping patterns manageable, I now have an alarm that goes off at 11pm every night to get me off to bed and taking my meds early. The new meds are suiting me well, although the throat and ear infection has badly set off the jaw pain so I’m having a bit of a rough time at the moment. I’ve also started coming home from a big day and having a nap if I’m really tired, before going for a walk, making dinner, and taking the evening slowly. Sometimes getting overtired will stop me sleeping so I’m hoping this will help keep me on an even keel. I’ve been really good this year about keeping to three meals a day and I’m finding my appetite has significantly increased as a result – which is weird and a bit unsettling after many years of not ever feeling hungry. I’m carrying healthy snacks of fruit, nuts, seeds, and yoghurt to keep my energy levels up and lots of water. I’ve also made a big cut back on sugar and replaced it with stevia wherever I can to try and protect what remains of my teeth.

It’s going to take some time before all this becomes my new routine and easy to keep to, but I’m pretty determined. I can only keep up with my planned schedule if my health is well supported so I’m hoping better quality food, sleep, and exercise will help me keep up the pace. The other really important thing is maintaining my social support so my mental and emotional state are also going well. By the end of today’s induction, surrounded by predominantly much younger students and feeling pretty wrecked, having to get a photo taken for my new ID card was enough to destabilize me considerably. Photos and mirrors can be a pretty challenging area for me – very common for people who experience dissociation. There’s a lot going on that stretches me at the moment, the new house, taking the bus, new classmates, plenty of fuel for anxiety and stress. I’m very excited about everything and also keeping a pretty close eye on myself. That resilient/vulnerable combination can really catch you by surprise on occasion! Fortunately they were happy to use my previous photo for the new card, so I got out of there and home without any meltdowns. One down, two more orientations to go!

4 thoughts on “AC Arts Orientation

  1. Thanks Stephen, yes the Radio Adelaide induction tonight was great too. Really looking forward to learning more and working there! Social support – another good topic for a blog article. Let me get back to you on that, I need to knock off for some sleep at the moment. 🙂


  2. Hi Sarah,
    I hope you enjoy all your study and activities and thrive on the challenges.
    I love the way you describe experiences……'resilient/vulnerable combination'…..perfect words!


  3. Sounds like you have a good number of strategies in place. Well along the recovery curve.
    Hope you enjoy(ed) the first Radio Adelaide training class. Hopefully they will let you have a show on there.

    Could you elaborate on 'social support', you mentioned it was important and I am pretty sure this is something I lack.


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