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So many of our thoughts are locked away in our minds, in the family dynamic or stuck in the classroom. Sometimes you have something to say that's larger than what you're used to tackling; and sometimes you just need to say it, put it out there to see how it really makes your feel. And then sometimes you read something and remember something about yourself that you though lost to the shuffle and frenzy of life.

I like to keep some of my essays or writings from college. It was such an enlightening and illuminating time of great highs and lows; you just produce so much work that you really don't have any time to reflect on any of it- and that's probably the part I hate most about traditional schooling.

This paper i'm gonna share is nothing mind blowing but, I guess it's important for me to have a root. A root that will keep me stable and growing upwards when i'm in such a "dormant" state during this season of change.

This was written before I was able to publicly announce my PTSD and major depressive disorder. I'm lucky that I somehow found the strength to go to school (and actually did really well) when I was in literal hell everywhere else.

I had a lot of faith in myself. I was genuine (though there were somethings I had to fib about just to prevent worry from my instructor). And even a little self-deprecating (which is almost a required personality trait if you're trying to be my friend).

But anyway, I think it's important to have markers like this that you can look back on when you need them.


Steven Brentnall

Professor Tim D. Wright

Art 111


“Self” Assignment

My name is Steven M. Brentnall, i’m 26 and I am a photojournalism major at College of the Canyons. I have worked two Retail jobs for the past 2 years at Albertsons & Old Navy. I graduated high school from Canyon High School in 2005 and have been going to community college off and on ever since. Now, if you were to ask me who I really am on a day to day basis, I would tell you that I am a musician, photographer, somewhat artist, poet and writer.

I have been in local bands since 2007 and have tried my best to stay in the ever-changing circle of artists in the Santa Clarita Valley. Often times, the city being what it is, most of the great artists leave for more fulfilling lives in San Francisco or Los Angeles, sometimes as far as Oregon, Austin or New York. I have only been involved on a small level when it comes to showing my own photography, mostly my work is traded by word of mouth. I have played in various hardcore, punk rock, folk, and experimental bands for years and i’m currently in 2 active groups. I write all of my own music, whether it be composition or lyrics and love to collaborate with other musicians. Although, I have no formal training in music or dance I still have a huge passion for both and have obtained some little amount of notoriety and respect among my peers in both fields. I paint and draw whenever the idea strikes me to do so but, I also have no real guiding force in this practice other than my own interest and drive. It is my goal to make music, photography and the arts in general, a larger part of my life.

An “A” letter grade obviously has it’s collegiate as well as gloating appeal but, for me it would mean coming back into good-standing with the college and thusly, being able to continue the career path that i’m already pursuing with such intense focus.

If I were to receive an “A” in this class I would be completely ecstatic. It would represent not only scholarly excellence but, also the change in attitude that I have been attempting to exude since my only brother’s suicide early last year. The passing of all of my courses on a whole would too mean the culmination of positive reinforcement that I have received from friends and family, in my decision to return to school. I am attempting to present myself in a more professional manner and I think the marks of good grades would help me in my journey to becoming what is widely deemed as a greater contributing member of society. The validity of a college degree does not surpass what I think I could do on my own but, it certainly helps others take you a lot more seriously than they would without it.

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