Saturday, December 23, 2017

Quilts in December 2017

My winter break began on December 15, and I made three quilts by now, also, quilted for a big quilt and a small quilt for a customer after a looooong time. I felt it is getting harder for me to do because of presbyopia, though, I appreciate there are still people who ask me to quilt from my old address.

R and I were planning to visit friends in our previous place after Christmas, but we could not hold the place to stay this time. Instead, I can join a meeting of my new quilting group for making charity quilts activity. I think I will have fun.

So, about my work in the last 7 days!

Sometime in November, my friend asked me if I can make something special as a Christmas gift for her daughter who loves Japan and cats, so I promised to start working on it after the fall semester is over.



The backing is a fabric that I dyed this past summer. I thought it is convenient to have a stock of this kind of fabric - so I would do a lot of indigo dye this coming summer, maybe a few times if I can.

For a baby girl born in a Syrian Priest family we got to know each other because R was teaching him English, and we are invited to their periodical events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For a baby girl born in a boxer family who come to a the same gym that we go.

"Wa" table runners for etsy.

Ready for quilting - Hand-dyed big one for etsy. The top was made probably in summer.

Ready for quilting, 2 small ones with hand-dyed fabrics for etsy, approx. 50 x 50 inches. Finally, I am using fabrics I dyed in the last 2 summers.





Once I started to make quilts, it's difficult to stop! There are plenty of fabrics, and plenty of ideas of what I want to make. I am often overwhelmed by just thinking of my future projects.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Thoughts after my last semester is over.

My last semester was finally over. I will walk in May 2018 for graduation with a degree in B.S. psychology (major) and environmental science (minor). But, I do not have a feeling yet that I am done with school. I am still working on my thesis, the due was postponed to the middle of January, because I could not get it much done in fall due to the process went inefficiently. Also, I am taking a short term class in January. I do not need credits for my degree anymore, but since my university issue a degree only in May, I can still take a class until May. Especially, the short term class is free for students who were full-time in fall. It is with one of my favorite professor. I am looking forward to it. When all are over, it will be the time for me to leave, and I will desperately miss my professors.

What college education brought me is a chaos. It introduced me a lot of perspectives and interpretations of wild nature, as that is the only way for humans to understand the world, which we call “knowledge” - and this is my conclusion at this point about what human knowledge is about. Because human’s sensors are insensitive to feel the reality, all we can do is to guess - “what is really out there?” Unlike animals who do not have a large brain, human need a brain to guess and think to “understand” the world, so human need a concept for everything to make senses only to humans. Animals without a large brain “know” the world because of sensitive sensors to feel the reality thus they do not need the brain to guess. In fact, all of human knowledge are based on and began with observations, guessing based on individual interpretations, and imaginations.

I think I am still looking for which or what belief system I want to belong that was established by others, or my own way to make sense out of the world. I think that is the only way to become full aware of my life. Psychologists and philosophers call this “actualizing self” that is the happiness for humans, and I agree with it.

There are too much of I do not know about, and I do not even know what I do not know about, so I will be a part time student at community college until I find my way of understanding the world, as R does. We never know what takes me to the “A-Ha!” moments and more A-ha! is better to obtain happiness - like my case.

It is interesting to look back my history about how I got to environmental study, and I see this discipline as part of my life now. It started with my advisor’s word “Why don’t you change your degree from B.A. to B.S.?” to adjust my transferred credits hours and required classes to take, etc. He also said “Human physiology is good to take for B.S. in PSY.” So I had to take Chemistry before physiology. Also, because I was interested in how culture works to maintain human society, so from psychological or sociological perspective, I took a class called “Food, Culture, and Social justice” which took me to start my organic garden. “Environmental Science” class that I took with the Food- class made me add environmental science for my minor.

In order to satisfy the requirement of my minor, I had to take “Environment and Politics” which made me think a lot about social injustice including how industrialized countries have been taking advantage of “developing” and “poor” countries, which the terms were given to them by Western culture, and I learned a lot about western perspective of the world from “Environmental Ethics.” Most importantly, “Ecology” made me think about my organic garden as a “Backyard Science” and get involved in it seriously.

As I am from Japan that has a very different culture (way of thinking), I think I identified myself with environmental study and sustainable life that encourages a simple life appreciating what nature give us. I had never thought of finding something that I can go with my culture in this country. The classes I took initiated by my advisor’s word led me to realize what is happiness for me, and I strongly believe that it is true that education will make people happy only when they are curious about how the world is operated at multiple layers from bacterial worlds to human thoughts, which are concrete to abstract; otherwise, people will fail and confused, and end up to merely follow what they are told to do and to study only for grades, then would conclude education is useless; furthermore, fall into a victim of capitalism.

I am very lucky person who was able to have R who always encourage me to take classes. He is still the best mentor of me. I now, also, have our girl Que. She gets attentions from us all the time. Our life revolve around her. This end of January will make a year with her. We think she likes her life with us, especially with our backyard.

Que’s reserved seat when I am playing with my compost.

At almost the end of 2017, I am looking forward to see what my life in 2018 will be like.