retro:july

September 23, 2008

Summer recap. (written right before i went on holiday….somehow never made it way to the public ’till now)

I love summer in the AzerBeJay Watermelon (garpuzi), long days, early morning runs, cold showers after, blinding sun, invasive heat, friendly people, Sunday morning market (like the Mpls farmers market on Nicollet, but louder, dirtier and smellier), pomidor for 40qap a kilo at said market, new HA fountain (with colors and timed music), dusk, dawn, open windows, no school, picking peaches from the yard, wearing Faux-Bans (from Istanbul), and huge awesome powerful storms with painful rain and shocking thunder followed by razor sharp lightning.  (ha and the part I just found on my f–ked computer 9.28.08)

Additionally to all the present things that make summer,  there is, in the near future, the promise of a rad 2 weeks of begin normal and and doing all the drain/photography/ninja/dirty things a girl could hope for.(in retro this is even more funny)

Since moving to my little hayet ev (yard house) I can say with absolute certainty that my outlook and productivity has improved/increased by nearly 100%, I was busy before, but now, I realized that it’s the end of July (errr actually mid August) and most of the personal things I wanted to accomplish by now, such as studying for my GRE’s, sketching at least one page a day, losing my Xerdilan roll, and learning Russian, have only slightly been incorporated into my daily to-do lists. I’ve been damm busy and while last winter I dreaded being alone, I actually have to make myself sit alone at home, doing nothing, just meditating, for at least 2 hours a week to ward off any craziness from being around people, both Azeris and Americans all the time.
For the first time in my life, I truly love my work and the youth I work with. I was very nervous about starting the photography classes, but after a few rocky weeks the entire project has gone amazingly well. Its strange being in the position of having to explain the concept of personal expression and original thoughts to 17 year olds who’s only idea of art is copying what they see in books. Though I’m only teaching one class at a time (each session lasting 5-6 weeks) there is more involved that just showing up with a lesson plan. The youth have never used cameras before, they only want to take pictures of the HA statue, the batteries must be charged, the photos printed, the costs reported, the assignments checked, the questions answered (“What does ‘frame’ mean?” “How do I photograph people?”) and constructive criticism dolled out accordingly. Next session, I’ll have one of my current students help me teach, as one day the class got stuck on the words ‘contrast’ ‘subject’ and ‘emphasis’, which even with my mad Azer/English/Hand Gestures skillz were nearly impossible to translate completely. With Mike leaving soon, I’ve been scrambling to organize all my ideas for further photo projects that will build off the classes we teach this summer. As of now, the furthest I’ve gotten is typing an outline of a documentary project that will follow students in their first year at university as they move away from the regions and into the big Vegas of the east that is Baku.

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