Walker, the professor of my computer art/design class, is indeed the tough grader that I suspected him to be. According to him, if you get anything above a 90, you should be "very impressed with yourself." An 85, or a B, is "doing just fine." My GPA and the GPA-dependent scholarships, however, would dispute that statement.
Although there is a chance that my GPA will slip this semester and I will be in the "semester grace period" (a.k.a. "fail to pull it up, and you lose us giving you money that funds over half your tuition"), I suppose I have the consolation that college art classes are not high school art classes. It is not a matter of just doing what you're told to do, or breezing through. I am trying hard (though I feel still I could try harder), and I am applying more effort than I have in many years.
It seems that (especially on portfolio weeks) I spend more hours in Kirkland per day than many people work. Yet, I wonder why I still feel as though I am not doing enough. Is it because I am so grade-fixated and accustomed to the family statement that "you can only get Bs in math and science, because you are capable of doing better than that in English and Art" that a "B" insinuates "you haven't put forth enough effort" ...? Or is it because this is the first time in years where I haven't been emotionally deadened by depression and exhaustion, and I do not yet know my true limits? Or is it because I am capable of doing much more, but since I have never done it before, I'm not sure what's going on?
During my splurge on Saturday, I bought a copy of Newtype USA - so much information, it's almost like overload! The thing is in full color on almost all glossy pages. Full color, ladies and gentlemen. They're really selling it cheaply for the amount of stuff in it, how it's made, and how small a segment they can target with it. And it reads like my old left-handed magazines do. : D So for once, I was reading through a magazine from front to back instead of from back to front! (Am I the only one who first leafs through a magazine from the back?)
Sakaki - ... ::cracks up::
So, after a long, long battle, I finally hit the big power button and ducked for cover - my bedcovers, that is, since I had been fighting Ultimecia/Griever in all their various incarnations for about three hours by that point, and it was three a.m. I had done all I could with what I had - at the end, when I was most determined that I would not die unless I could do no more - having missed reviving Quistis by a second, Squall was by his lonesome, all Magic stripped from him, smacking Ultimecia's fourth form for only 300 - 400 HP each round. Every hit from Ultimecia knocked him for precious amounts of HP, and her favorite Hell attack drained his HP to the lowest. I developed a long-lasting, if not very dramatic, tactic of "Hit, hit, Recover! Hit hit, Recover!" No Renkokuzen for Squall - despite doing more damage, it's too much of a risk when you are alone and at 1 HP. Any hit, any spell, and that's Game Over. So I took my time and slowly chipped away at Ultimecia, 300 - 400 HP at a time. Hit hit, Recover!
When you are this low on options, knowing what's up ahead gives you an ability to plan with what you've got. Looking up an FAQ, I discovered that I had not yet reached Ultimecia's 4.5th form (cheese on a stick, people!), the one in which she uses the attack magic Apocolypse - something which would hit me for about 7000 HP. Since his junctioned Magic was completely gone, Lv. 80 Squall had barely over 6,000 HP. XP I laughed, and said that "that's that."