Day 25 – A Year Already

22 Jul

Last week I spent an afternoon telling a friend about my masters courses because she is considering taking the same program. It’s amazing what sticks with you after a year. It took me two years to complete my masters while I was working. I took online compulsory courses during the school year, and took my four electives during the month of July for two summers in a row. It was last July that I finished my last course.

Last summer I took ‘Ways of Knowing: Theatre’ and ‘Ways of Knowing: Visual Art’. The theatre course was physcially and emotionally exhausting. We were on our feet almost all day, acting it out. We really had to get to know our classmates and we shared very personal stuff. The art course was exhausting in a different way. We spent all day creating and went home every night with three hours of homework.

I said it’s amazing what sticks with you because when telling my friend about choosing electives, I told her not to choose the art course. I liked it, but not as much as I resented my choice. While I spent three hours of my evening with charcoal up to my elbows and all over my clothes, my dormmates who took another course spent the evening going shopping and out for ice cream. I certainly had to ask myself what had possessed me to take an art course. At least the theatre course was useful in my practice as an English teacher. I expected a ‘Ways of Knowing’ course that was part of a literacy program to be about art and how it could be a way of knowing and representing what you know through art. It was about technique.

I did learn something very valuable, something that I’ll never forget. As far as I can tell, Art is 20% talent and 80% extremely hard work. I think that anyone can do well in an art class if they’re willing to put the work in to it. Those people who have the 20% talent to go along with it, will love it and stick with it. As for me, I don’t have the talent, but I’ve got the work ethic. I’m proud of my pieces but I didn’t love it, and it’s not something I desire to continue.

I can’t believe it has been a year already since I finished my course work. I loved the learning, and wouldn’t change a thing, except I wouldn’t have taken that stupid art course and opted for peanut-butter fudge crunch in a waffle cone.

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2 Responses to “Day 25 – A Year Already”

  1. Lori July 23, 2011 at 8:01 AM #

    You were dedicated Debbie. Others would’ve quickly finished their assignment and gone for ice cream with us! Your hard work and dedication paid off. It sure is nice having our ‘whole’ summer this year though.

  2. Diana Otteson July 24, 2011 at 2:59 PM #

    Debbie, it was interesting to read your blog today. Zachary just finished his second year in a Bachelor of Design course at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University. When you say you are taking an art course, people roll their eyes and think “bird course”. You will only know how much work is involved if you have done it yourself or know someone who has. Normal university classes are 50 minutes long. Classes at NSCAD are three hours long and then you have another three hours of work in homework assignments to be completed too. Zack has one brutal day coming up in his fall schedule where he has classes from 9 – 12, 1 – 4 and 6 – 9. You are close to being correct about the relationship between talent and hard work. The only other variable is the ability to be creative and come up with ideas for the various projects. Zack was ready for a break at the end of the summer as his creative juices were pretty much dried up. I salute anyone who does well in art school – it’s just as difficult, if not more so, than mainstream university courses.

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