Wednesday, January 6, 2016

While We Were Gone: Jessica

So... wow. It's kind of been a while, no?

I recently texted Sarah saying something along the lines of, "Hey, maybe we should pick Rococo Babies back up," having remembered that she'd mentioned the same thing to be a little bit before. Only I found out, upon actually looking up that particular text message, that 'a little bit before' had in reality been almost exactly a year before.

You could say procrastinating is sort of our thing.

But enough is enough, I say! So here we are and I figured we'd pick this back up and summarize on these past three years all in one go by picking one thing from every year to write about.

Here I go.

2013: Paris

I spent three weeks in Paris in the month of November, thanks to the generous hospitality of Jovid and Deanna. Even though it was mostly raining the entire time (what made me think that Paris in November would be a good idea, really?), we still managed to see plenty of parks, go to Versailles, and visit museums. Many, many museums.

2014: Back to School

I'm still so angry over this that I thought, "Nah, I'll pick something else to write about." But no. It's been a bad experience and I'm almost completely unhappy with how all of this went down, but it's still the most important thing I did in 2014. Also, I'm done pretending bad things don't exist, so let's talk about it.

In 2014, I decided that I wanted to go into Video Game Design, so I began my search for programs to go back to school. The trouble is, most of these (presumably, better) programs are ridiculously expensive, as is to be expected, so that I ended up applying to do a Master's in Computer Graphics.

This was a mistake.

First of all, I should not have been admitted into this program. I do not have a technical background (we all remember I have a degree in Art History, right?) and I hadn't taken a math class since Freshman Algebra in 2008. But I thought, "They know this. They will look at my CV, they'll look at my transcript, and if they deem me capable, then I'll get in, and if not, I'll find something else." Nothing to worry about.


I was accepted, when, I repeat, I shouldn't have been. What's worse, we (we, because I wasn't the only person with a humanities background to be accepted into the program) were told that it really wasn't so bad, that we'd be fine, that we didn't really need to know how to program, that all we needed was passion and dedication and perseverance, and that with a little bit of effort, we'd make it through.

Lies, all of it.

The program requires an understanding of physics, calculus, and programming, none of which I had. I scraped by with the lowest grades I've ever gotten in my life, failing finals and having to re-take them (thank you, Spain), and all of this only with the help of one of the most generous people that I've ever met (thank you, Laura), without whom I would have been stuck having to pay to do the entire program over. As it is, I have the final project still left, which is being its own little adventure (spoiler alert: I haven't actually started to work on the thing), but, you know, it could be worse. Or so I choose to keep telling myself.

It could be worse. And good things did come out of it.

2015: EA

At some point in March of 2015, Laura mentioned that EA was hiring testers, and suggested that we apply. My first thought was, No way. No way in hell was Electronic Arts, video game publishing colossus, going to hire little me, even as a tester. But she nagged me, so I applied. And then they called me. And then they interviewed me.

And then they offered me a job.

(They hired her, too.)

And that's where I've been since June, working as a Certification Tester for Mobile games, loving it sometimes, hating it some other times, but appreciating it all of the time. And just trying to learn as much as possible.

I think that's been the biggest thing this past year, if I'm being perfectly honest, just learning. About who I am, about where I want to be, and also about who I'm not and where I don't want to be. I have decided, by now, that video game design is not what I want to do with my life, which makes me feel like I wasted a year studying something that I don't want to do anymore. And it's true, I did. But the people I met, and the fact that it led me to this other place where I met so many other new people and which opened the way for me to grow so much as a person by enabling me to do so many things that I couldn't do before (like going to see Sarah, which shall be happening in late February - I'm continuously freaking out over this), makes that wasted year better than all the other wasted years that came before that. It doesn't stop being an improvement just because it's not perfect. This is something I need to remember.

So, here's to the rebirth of Rococo Babies (hardy har har) and to a new year full adventures and growing up and learning. I hope to never, ever stop learning.

Aaaand, here's to repeats of this in just 51 days!

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