Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Work and Play and Spring Break

Justin Botz

Old Band

Old Band

I propose we call spring break something else. The name is a little deceptive.  The word “break” suggests some time to relax. That’s just not the case. It is a week to work on big projects, which where due today and yesterday.

But it hasn’t been bad really. It’s actually been a bit of a refreshing break with time to relax, refocus, and refresh.  Whether I had time or not, I decided to schedule some “me time” anyway, and it was great.

Scott Belskey wrote in his article, “What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking and Sacred Space“:

Interruption-free space is sacred. Yet, in the digital era we live in, we are losing hold of the few sacred spaces that remain untouched by email, the internet, people, and other forms of distraction. Our cars now have mobile phone integration and a thousand satellite radio stations. When walking from one place to another, we have our devices streaming data from dozens of sources. Even at our bedside, we now have our iPads with heaps of digital apps and the world’s information at our fingertips.

So I took the first half of spring break to refresh. Here were some of the highlights:

1. I started juicing! I recently watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and the next day went out and bought a juicer.

Juicing will make me healthier

Juicing will make me healthier

2. I started homebrewing. My roommate and I have been talking about homebrewing for the last two years and finally decided to get started. Our first concoction will be a German Apple Wine.

Home Brewing here we come!

Home Brewing here we come!

3. I started biking again! The weather is getting better, and it’s time to get healthy again.

4. Sleep. So much sleep. One day I woke up at 10am and stayed in bed until 2:30pm. It was great. Perhaps the highlight of my spring break.

The downtime was great, but it was important to be productive. After the intentional downtime I was able to be really productive. Some big projects that got finished/close to finished included:

1. Rhizome grant for 3D printer. My colleague Chelsey Shilling and I are working on gathering funds to build a 3D printer for bio-printing.

2. Final Media Performance piece. The class is almost over, and I have been able to explore projects that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. We showed our final pieces on Monday.

3. Collaborative interactive display project with Tom Ruiz. We finished this project, and it will be on display across the street from the Oriental Theatre next week.

This spring break gave me some much needed time to rest, refresh, and refocus. I now feel ready to move forward and do some awesome work this semester.

Work and Play and Spring Break

I propose we call spring break something else. The name is a little deceptive.  The word “break” suggests some time to relax. That’s just not the case. It is a …

Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA Justin Botz, justin.botz@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience