I woke up naturally today as my parents had already fed Daisy.
It’s April 5, and since I finished most of my homework yesterday, I hoped to relax. As I drudged into the living room, I suddenly remembered that for my Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition class, everyone must read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. Though I’m not too sure about the pacing on my reading schedule anymore, I know that I should be almost finished with it by now, but I hadn’t even flipped open the book once yet. Almost immediately upon opening the paperback, the content of the introduction blew me away. The tale exposed how burdened the soldiers in the Vietnam War were; not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally. I guess I never thought about how armed forces, even if they or their causes are foreign to me, are still incredibly human at the end of the day. The beginning was intriguing since it’s mostly about a specific moment in the past, but it seems that the rest of the novel is in first person. The juxtaposition between love and fear, instead of love and hate, was also interesting. Perhaps this helps reveal the emotional significance, whereas discussing hatred against the war could digress from O’Brien’s point of heavy mental weights.
I badly yearned to know what happened after Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, a commander of the unit that the author was in, realized Martha, his love interest, did not and would never love him. I didn’t get to read too much, however, before my mom made me eat something for lunch, so I let a carrot, serrano peppers and onions caramelize while I skimmed a few more pages. I wanted to read while I ate but didn’t wish to ruin my book in case I dropped any food, so I watched random YouTube videos instead. These were mostly Minecraft videos, but I also viewed Randomfrankp’s recent showcase of desktop setups. I adore cool gadgets, especially artisan keycaps (the bits on a keyboard people use to type with). I would love to make my own, but that would require special equipment, like pressure pots and molds, which are pretty expensive, especially for those just got into liking computers.
The memoir and the videos had me thinking about everything going on in my life at the moment, so I wrote in my bullet journal. Fear marked today’s entry as I wrote about how scary the coronavirus situation in America has gotten and how I never fully realized it’s a life-and-death situation for some. I am afraid for my grandparents and young cousin in Wuhan; alarm bells ring for my parents living here. Moreover, though it is extraordinarily selfish to say, distress for my mental health is rising. Living at home has only made my undiagnosed eating disorder worse, since being at home compared to learning at school means more constantly present food and people who encourage me to eat. I’ve talked to my parents about what I’m dealing with, and though they don’t totally understand, they want to keep me from not eating at all.
I felt weary; I needed a mood booster, so I picked up my controller and played “Slime Rancher.” I actually finished the game today, but the journey never stops — I planned to fully deck out my Slime Ranch, complete with teleporters to every map region and decorations as I see fit. I am far from my goal since supplies needed to make these cool technologies come true are depleted. By then, though, it was getting close to dinner, so, in order to save the gathering of materials for my Slime Rancher plan for later, I finished drawing the piece I started two days ago.
After messing around a little with different styles, I stuck to using the same way I draw hair on pets: little vertical strokes next to each other, rotated in various ways to indicate the way the subject’s hair moves. I’ve seen other artists use this technique before, but I can’t decide if I truly like it for sketching people. I ended up putting shadows and highlights down underneath the layer of pen marks, which was more difficult as the colors I chose for the latter were similar to colors I used for each colored section of highlight. I was going to post it on my Instagram account but hesitated, saving the completed piece as a draft instead. I’m not sure what made me pause. Perhaps adding a fourth semi-realism piece would ruin the three-post setup I’ve been going for. Although I don’t strictly adhere to three posts in a row with similar styles, I prefer doing so when I know I probably won’t post for awhile. This time, I’m uncertain about when I will draw again, as school will continue online tomorrow, and I will likely be very busy.
Perhaps once I settle into a schedule I will post on Instagram again. For now, I’m content with sharing
my piece on Bearing News. This odd decision to not publish my artwork on my usual platform, combined with the turbulent start of the day, made today strange. Hopefully the workload teachers are planning will allow students like me to resume an academic agenda that will take my mind off of the immediate events.
How will you deal with school starting up online again on Monday? Let us know in the comments below.