Today I wrote the last exam of my second year in university. Phew.
This year went quite a lot faster than the last. I spent much more time in the library. My grades are considerably better. The U of W has become a place I really feel comfortable in and am happy to return to every morning.
I'd have to say that 'On Becoming a Person' was the most satisfying book I read this (academic) year. The idea of unconditional positive regard as a requirement for growth forced me to think quite a lot about self-love, trust and genuineness. All four of Rogers' conditions for growth (Unconditional positive regard, empathy, understanding, care) have stuck with me and return often to my thoughts. Sometimes I imagine myself in a session with a Rogerian therapist. I tend to be too deferential when doing inner work and I feel like it helps to have an imaginary friend listen to me blabber. It doesn't need to be a therapist-patient relationship in order for these qualities to be beneficial: all relationships would be better for it. Rogers calls these 'real' relationships, and says that they tend to be more dynamic than other interactions. I'd like to keep those qualities in mind in all my relationships. The world can always use more empathy.
One of the most important lessons I learned this year was academics related; it feels fantastic to sit and study as hard as you can for as long as you can. It's like any other exercise: the more you do it, the more you want to do it. It's the learning that matters, not the grades, but this lesson has boosted them both. Thanks to Trapnell for the kick in the butt, and to Colin for telling me this last year. It took a while to get through my thick head but I feel much better for it.
I'm registered in a mathematics class for the spring term but that still leaves me with three full weeks until my first day of classes. Talk about luxury. I plan on spending some time at the Cave, and the rest of the time working on my resolutions for the year. One of which was improving my sketching, which I've been neglecting for the past month. To the left is today's exercise, another study of Michelangelo. I sometimes draw things that aren't nude male figures -- really.