SFPC: Day 68 - Last Day: Potluck, Feedback, Farewell
Today was our last day at SFPC. We had a potluck-style lunch in the kitchen and then had a feedback session about our experiences at the school.
How I Felt the Last Day of School
Arrived at school at noon. It was a long cold perilous trek up from Red Hook where I now live to Soho and then the West Village. It’s been tough traveling to school in the cold just like it’s been tough traveling to school period. 5-6 days a week and an hour on the train each way. If it sounds like I’m complaining, maybe I am, but it also just wears you down. My favorite part of school being over is that I’ll no longer have to commute.
Upon entering SFPC, I found Taeyoon at work in the kitchen, with a whole heap of Indian food in plastic containers stacked upon the kitchen counter. I set about helping clear the counter of extraneous things - projector mounts, wilting roses in the beer donations jar, spackling tools - and more classmates trickled in.
I’d brought chocolate rugelach from Citarella and was forcing them on anyone who’d accept one.
Adnan made garlic bread. Jason, Bryan, and another made a big salad. Hiroshi made tamari sushi.
Pretty soon we were seated at our big classroom table and eating. The whole class was there, save for Ruby. Her presence was missed. Ingrid B. was also there. Talked to her about travel plans over the holidays and the upsides and (mostly)downsides of owning a car in NYC.
It was a good meal. I spoke to Hiroshi for some time and was really glad to finally have had a conversation with him. He’s a really interesting dude.
After we ate, we had a feedback session about our experiences at the school. I won’t go into too much detail - sometimes discretion is best. But it was cathartic to have the opportunity to tell Taeyoon and Ingrid about what we thought the best and worst aspects of our experience at the school.
We shared and discussed for about an hour, going through the questionnaire question by question. There were 7-8 questions.
It's Not an Ending
At the end of the feedback session, Taeyoon said, “I’m just thinking about where you guys will be in a year. You’ll have your own universe.
“We really think of this as a collaborative experiment. I really like that we don’t have a graduation. It just kind of goes on. Thanks, guys.”
I hung around school until around 7pm. Dannie, Bryan, and I had made plans to go to the “pay what you can night” at the Whitney.
I washed dishes and cleaned out the fridge. I also had an intense phone conversation with a friend.
After that, Dannie and I walked the few blocks up to the Whitney Museum on 14th street. It was freezing cold but the museum was pretty warm. I paid a dollar each for my ticket and Dannie’s.
Downstairs, I felt like I coat-checked half my life: my backpack with laptop, a shopping bag of salvaged groceries from SFPC, my coat, scarf, gloves. It took me maybe 5 minutes to shed it all, and then when the nice person behind the counter had put it all away, realized that I’d left my phone in my jacket. Doh!
We went straight to the Dreamlands exhibit on the 5th floor. An exhibit on immersive cinema. Photos from then:
I particularly enjoyed Hito Steyerl’s work, Factory of the Sun. She’s probably one of my favorite living artists and writers.
After the Whitney, Dannie and I took a train to the holiday party at Dark Matter. It was pretty lively. I stayed for a couple hours, had some drinks, talked to folks, and then took a long walk in the cold to the G, and then a long walk from the 9th st.-Smith ave. station nearest my home.
I was really glad to get home and planned on sleeping in for a long, long time.
This is my final post on this blog. It’s been a wild ride. I never thought it would be this hard to blog every single day for 10 weeks but it was, in fact, incredibly challenging.
And incredibly rewarding. My goal for this blog was to give anyone who considered attending SFPC a most complete document to see what that experience might be like. I wanted any online reader to be able to “go to SFPC without going to SFPC”, if that makes any sense.
And a lot of it was just kind of “dear diary, do I still exist?” journaling. I’ve been actively journaling, sometimes every day, sometimes not, for 10 to 12 years. Doing it in an online blog form has been interesting. It takes a lot longer, mostly because there’s a whole workflow to sort pictures, audio, and video. Troubleshooting github can be a bottleneck too.
I really like blogging on Jekyll and plan to start a new blog that cross posts to Medium. I’m starting a new blog because I want this one function as it’s own sovereign and contained work. This blog was a near-70 day experiment in endurance, reportage, and what I had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So thanks for reading. Really. I was surprised that anyone read this blog, as I was mostly writing for myself, and an imaginary audience.
The best way to keep up with me is to follow me on twitter at @alexdw5.
Chocolate rugelach from Citarella on 6th ave.
Indian food, garlic bread, Hiroshi’s sushi.
Leftovers from lunch.