Time Off Is Good

At a career centre workshop recently, I looked through a series of job guides. I think that they're called the Wet Foot Guides or something like that. They look like 'zines but instead of being about anything even remotely interesting, they give you the low down on big corporations. Specifcally, how to get a job at a big corporation and what to expect. I read the guide for Credite Suisse and under additional information there was one sentence dedicated to vacation time. The gist: "Credite Suisse employees receive three weeks of vacation time every year but they're expected to not use it." My unedited response?

Fuck that.

I was being hypocritical though. Since starting my doctoral program, I haven't really taken any time off, except for a couple of weeks in September 2004. During that time, my house was full of relatives and I married the love of my life. Needless to say, I needed a vacation from that vacation, although I did get one heck of a souvenir out of it. With the mailing of my final chapter to my advisor on Sunday and my ruined intended day off on Monday, I decided to take Thursday off. Thursday off turned into Friday off turned into the whole weekend off. It has been super. I didn't feel guilt. I didn't wonder about the state of the diss. I drank coffee and lolled about and worked out and wandered and crawled back into bed and played with the neighbor's cat and daydreamed and made stuff. And now I want to go back to work tomorrow. I want to edit my dissertation and finish marking those tests. I will work better now. I will work more quickly. I will still be happy even as I put in ten-hour days.

I never would have wanted this without my four-day weekend, which is why, if The Powers that Be at Credite Suisse were truly smart and not into cultivating an unhealthy corporate culture that ultimately transforms people into hollow shells, they would make their employees take their three weeks' vacation every year. They would collect all PDAs and cell phones and laptops as the employee left for vacation. And then Credite Suisse could take over the world.

In retrospect, it's probably a good thing that Credite Suisse employees don't take their vacation. Who'd want to be ruled by am investment banking firm?

Now, for two of the things that I made this weekend. These are for a landscape ATC swap at EC. I've been thinking quite a bit about landscapes recently. I blame it on the directors and playwrights about whom I've been writing for the past couple of years. I could talk about imaginary space and mise-en-scène until I'm blue in the face and then I would talk about it some more because I am a total dork. In spite of my interest, I haven't really done anything visual with landscape and space until recently.

This ATC is loosely based on the piece of katazome-shi that's pictured at the beginning of this post. I originally bought the paper for the colours. Then I bought a bulletin board to use as an inspiration board and tacked the katazome-shi on it, so I stared at it. Tonnes. I love the shapes, the outlines, the use of pattern. This is my first ATC inspired by the paper. I'm working on some other sketches for bigger pieces with more detail. Coloured pencil on watercolour paper.
I'm also obsessed with boundaries, constraints, and hidden things. This is, I'm afraid, a long-term thing. I recently received an announcement for a talk about prison at the university and my first thought was, "Cool!" This ATC the latest in the series of pieces with hidden pink circles. The interest in round things tucked out of sight may pass now that Easter has passed but who knows? Coloured pencils, silk thread, and asa paper on watercolour paper.

Both ATCs are heading out to Wendy on Tuesday.

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