Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Parting Thoughts For Fall Semester Art 3 and Art 4 Students
Some of you know that I have been awake a lot lately. Mainly I have been awake at 3-4am thinking about work, and unable to fall back asleep for at least 90 minutes.
This makes the mornings tough, but doable with an extra coffee.
What also helps in the mornings are the smiles I get from you as you walk in the door. Well, at least from most of you since some of you are still wake up mode yourselves.
What also helps is when you are "on it" and producing interesting work.
But why have I been waking up lately? As far as I can tell it is because of you - and I only sort of say that in a tongue in cheek kind of way.
I have given the opportunity to redo and rework so much this semester (which some of you have taken positive advantage of), and that leaves literal piles of work that I still need to wade through.
Those piles weigh on me because of the expectations that go along with them from your point of view. Or at least that is my perception, but you can inform me of otherwise if necessary.
To tie two points from above together, today the magic number was 3am and the primary word on my mind has been opportunity.
My guess is that all of this is there since I was finally able to get to most of the Art 3 and Art 4 Portfolios yesterday. In short, they were not as strong as I was expecting. Yes, there were some standouts, just not many.
You were given the opportunity to showcase your work.
You were given the opportunity to use a format that is easily shareable.
You were given the opportunity to be creative in any way you best saw fit within a given resource.
You were given the opportunity to create this piece over time so you could play around with it.
You were given the opportunity to use class time to create this culminating piece.
What I think really happened for most of the Art 3 and Art 4 students is that this project was looked at as a task to complete. Not much more and not much less.
More along the lines of "Did I do it?" or "Did I include everything?".
I also need to remind you that it is your responsibility to make sure things are actually submitted. This is your education, not mine and not that of your parents or peers. You need to take control and own it yourself.
Show me that you are owning your own education.
Do you remember one of my big points from earlier in the semester, effort is the expectation, not the exception.
I am adding to that now - and for next semester, Doing the minimum does not earn an "A".
Please ask yourself, in the realm of a letter grade (which you know I would get rid of if I could, but I cannot), what is "average"?
When I think of other elements here at the end of the semester, I also think about finals performance. This, in turn, makes me think about the doing of "the minimum" as mentioned above.
All Art 3 and Art 4 students had the opportunity to create (nearly) anything they wanted using an extremely vast trove of possible starting points. Remember, these starting points were all created by you, the creator of the piece.
It is true, I did give certain limitations (such as time), but you had a lot you could have done within my limited constraints.
Some of the pieces were very interesting.
Some of the pieces were definitely trying to meet the minimum and not much more.
Some of the pieces didn't even meet the minimum.
Do you feel you will create close to your best work when you try to take the easiest route possible?
I'm not sure why one would intentionally try to come up with the least action showing "verb" possible, but I guess that's for another conversation on another day.
There is a ton of possibility in periods two and four. I have seen it over the years.
There is a ton of really good work and growth that has come from those class periods this semester.
I look forward to next semester.
I look forward to it because of who you are as individuals.
I look forward to it because of what you have the potential to make.
I look forward to it because of what you have the ability to make.
I hope you look forward to next semester as well.
Happy New Year!