reileen: (reading - books)
I'm currently reading Empress by Karen Miller, and am a little under halfway through the 700+ page book. The story revolves around a village girl named Hekat, who is initially sold into slavery but soon proves to be a lot more special than that. While I like the world-building (non-Euro-flavored fantasy world FTW - I think this particular world, Mijak, has very faint echoes of Egypt in it?), I'm far less sold on Hekat herself, who is easily one of the most unsympathetic main characters I've ever run across in fiction. Yes, she was a slave and she had a hard life, so I understand why she's so bitter, hateful, and aloof, but there's almost no humanity in her - she has very few moments of doubt and weakness. Maybe it's a result of being godtouched in her world: Hekat's life revolves around serving the nameless god of her world. We do see that there is a palpable divine influence in Mijak, and so Hekat serving as "a slave to the god", as she herself put it, isn't so farfetched.

At the same time, because of this, Hekat's character rings shallow to me. She's only a vessel for the god; she has no wants or real needs outside of serving the god. Because of the one-dimensionality of her personality, we as readers have to turn to the overall external plot for a reason to read on, which is actually why I'm continuing to read the book. This book doesn't feel like it's about Hekat herself at all; it feels like it's about how Hekat ended up as this slave to the god. Essentially, it reads like a fanficcer trying to explain how a canonical Big Baddie became that way. Not in terms of quality or anything like that, but in terms of Hekat's character development, or lack thereof. And judging from the summaries to the other two books in the Godspeaker trilogy, which indicates that there's a change in the main character POV from Hekat to someone else, I half-wonder if Empress wouldn't have done better as a prequel apart from those other two books.

***

As a result to getting to campus late, I'm skipping ART105 at the moment, which I think either pushes me one absence closer to having the instructor drop my final class grade by one letter, or has already done so. (So even if I get an A in terms of classwork, my absences will drop that grade to a B.) It's already more than halfway through the quarter and I still end up being wildly inconsistent with what time I end up getting to LPC on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Oh, well - I think I'll actually be able to score an A in ART200, and I'm almost certain I can get an A- for JPN105 and a B(-?) for HON301, so it shouldn't affect my GPA to the point where I'd lose my scholarship (cutoff is a 3.3; my GPA as it stands from last quarter is 3.486). At any rate, I should be able to make up for it with spring quarter. Here's hoping, anyway.

I finally got to meet with an A&D advisor this past Tuesday. It turns out that, yes, I will be able to feasibly graduate with a BA in art & design by spring 2010, so now I can write a request to my scholarship director to extend my scholarship and refer her to my A&D advisor for proof that I only need one more year at DePaul!

My schedule for next quarter looks like this -

MONDAY
JPN106 Intermediate Japanese III 10:50am - 11:50am
HAA115 Principles of Asian Art 2:20pm - 3:20pm

TUESDAY
ART227 Digital Imaging 8:30am - 11:15am
ART264 Typography I 5:45pm - 8:30pm

WEDNESDAY
JPN106 Intermediate Japanese III 10:50am - 11:50am
HAA115 Principles of Asian Art 2:20pm - 3:20pm

THURSDAY
ART227 Digital Imaging 8:30am - 11:15am
ART264 Typography I 5:45pm - 8:30pm

FRIDAY
JPN106 Intermediate Japanese III 10:50am - 11:50am
HAA115 Principles of Asian Art 2:20pm - 3:20pm

Pah, so much for never taking another 8:30am class after finishing with ANT120. But my advisor really stressed the importance of this course, since it's a foundation course in design theory, so I figured that I just gotta put up with it if I want to graduate. I'm also not exactly thrilled with having another huge gap of time between classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I think I can figure out how to deal with that. (Hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill?) I decided against taking my Honors Senior Seminar next quarter and thus finishing up my liberal arts requirements, because I still have to work on stuff for Artist Alley and I really do not need the stress of an Honors class on top of everything.

***

Working setlist for 2/21:

1. Bacchanalia (instrumental)
2. Triskaidekaphobia
3. Gravity (Vienna Teng cover)
4. Cold
5. Cynthia's Lullaby
6. Sphinx
7. Between the Lines
8. Almost

I'm not entirely sure of the total running time for this setlist, but I imagine that it's similar or even less than the setlist I drafted out in this entry. I might try to time it when I get home today instead of studying for a kanji quiz tomorrow. I actually had Vienna Teng's "Augustine" as the final song for a little bit, until I realized that 1) I needed to find a way to capture the bass part without killing my wrist and 2) I had to get a better set of pipes to sing the damn chorus. Then I switched to VT's "Harbor", but then realized that I might not have the stamina at the end to sing that particular song (again, especially for the chorus). So finally I decided that I'd just take the happiest-sounding original song I had and stick it at the end ("Almost" was initially #3). The Gods know the audience would probably need it after the emotastic, six-minute ballad that is "Between the Lines."

Dear Gods, I hope it's not freezing on the 21st. That would be horrible for playing "Gravity", "Sphinx", and "Almost." I think I might have to bring, like, a hot water bottle or something.

-Reileen
well, I know it's wrong, why do I do it?

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Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

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