• Hallucinations. Oliver Sacks. Still working on it…Actually had chance to read a smidge this weekend!
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Jules Verne. It was just ok for me. It was an interesting and novel story, of course, but maybe I’m just desensitized. I can’t believe Amazon Kindle chose his picture to put on as one of the screen savers. I feel like half of the book was just lists of things the character saw. Literal lists.
  • East of EdenJohn Steinbeck. I just started this one and it’s been on my to-read list for ever since it’s one of Carissa’s favorite books. Certainly a change of pace from Verne and the non-fiction I’ve been reading.


  • Yikes, I don’t know that I’ve been listening to any one song with intention this month. I have been working like crazy and have just been playing music in the background. 


  • I’m actually really pleased with my idea of a process blog. It’s so nice to have a place organize all the thoughts and work I’m doing for grad school.  I’m a little worried I’m putting too much on my plate…it’s supposed to help me, but it’s another thing I have to spend time on. I just started, so be gentle while it gets set up! 
  • I like getting to write again for my Narrative & Argument class.
  • I tentatively signed up for a design trip to Toronto this month. We’re going to be touring a bunch of the design studios in the area (if I get in).
  • I love the class I’m TA-ing. It’s called Communication Design Fundamentals and it’s a design course for non-majors. I never thought I would like teaching, but I think I might! It’s so fun to bring design to them and see them work through problems.
  • I’ve been trying to run on the weekends at Schenley Park. It’s beautiful. And for the first time I’m not absolutely hating running the whole time.
  • So much is happening this week/weekend and I have to try to make time for it! The International Festival of Firsts is here, Carnegie International opens up this Friday (the oldest annual exhibition in the US), and CMU is having a design symposium on the state of the PhD in design!! I need to find a way to do it all.
  • I really enjoyed working with After Effects for my prototyping class. I was so intimidated by it before, but once you get your hands in it, it’s pretty addictive.


  • There are so many things and projects I want to do! I’m excited for them, but also worried if I’m giving myself too many little projects and accomplishing none of them.
  • I keep trying new recipes, which is nice, but I don’t know why I don’t ever just cook the same thing?


  • I feel like I’m not effortlessly smart like my peers and I have to work very hard to keep up with my classmates. I feel like I’ve always been plagued with this work though. I’m in the studio all day and night. I only sleep for 2-3 hours before my 8-hour days on Mondays and Wednesday and then only sleep the regular 7-ish hours the other days. Keep the faith.
  • The buses make me so upset all the time. They really are not good for my fragile, sleep-deprived mind.


  • I did go to the super cool Hand Lettering workshop led by Ken Barber through AIGA Pittsburgh. More on this soon!
  • I saw Yo-Yo Ma perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. For reals guys! It was so beautiful. The orchestra’s theme was Once Upon a Time and they played some pieces that were part of operas or ballets and I really liked them. Ma played two songs from Tchaikovsky.
  • I went to a Pirates baseball game with the housemates. It was actually more enjoyable than I thought it would be
  • Went to Pamela’s Diner with my classmates and then again with a friend. I love diners and Pamela’s is a happenin’ place. Not spectacular, but it’s always busy.
  • CMU Philharmonic opening performance at Carnegie Music Hall. Two orchestra performances in one month, I know. Certainly the kind of things you can do when you’re a student. I got to sit up close (versus at the YoYo Ma concert where I was literally in the last row of the theater) and it was so neat to see their movements. Carnegie Music Hall is beautiful as well.
  • White water rafting in Ohiopyle State Park. I went with a friend from my program and it was great! I also invited some boys I met at orientation and that was not great. But let’s keep this upbeat.
  • Went to Google Pittsburgh to attend a lecture on how designers at Google work. It was surprising generic and not that informative. My favorite part was just hearing about their personal stories about designing during Q&A.
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