Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I don't want to complain too much about my 2 day a week job, but teaching can be really fucking demanding. Not physically, although sometimes my glutes hurt from straddling an easel in fake-casual-I-have-no-ulterior-motive-conversation.
Teaching is hard because you have to achieve a kind of clarity in speaking to students. They need to understand you, which is difficult if your thinking is clouded by Queen ballads, residual Tylenol p.m and vending machine cappuccinos.
Anyway, I get really frustrated, flustered and tongue-tied, and it doesn't help that I look like a 20 year-old playing dress up in her dad's sweater vest.
I shouldn't get so frustrated though, it's not productive for anyone involved. I need to check mahself.

In the hopes of improving my attitude, I am referring to past professors who were helpful and/or awesome. I am going to list my top five favorite classes/profs in High Fidelity fashion:

1. Short Prose Fiction----Dr. Nelson----He was so passionate and full of wisdom. He introduced me to Flannery, Chekov and Oates. He began every class with, "tell me some exciting news," and he gave all his students Bonsai trees at the end of the semester. Mine was smashed (or stolen?) during a roving frat party that ended at my apartment.
2. History of Spanish Cinema---I can't remember the professor's name, something like Guarras, but he cried every time we screened a film, rode a motorcycle and was handsome.
3. Feminism and Visual Politics---Ann Reynolds--- She made us watch The Haunting and read Angela Carter. Femmeawesome.
4. Chemistry of Art and Artifacts--Dr. Beeston--I'm not sure I really excelled in this class, but it was so fascinating. We did cool labs like fresco-making. I learned a lot about the renovation of the Sistine Chapel. And Dr. Beeston took an interest in my art, which was sweet and unexpected.
5. Northern Renaissance---Dr. Serebrennikov---She was so passionate about Brueghel and his defecating peasants, how could I not be?

Maybe the link between all these teachers is passion. I would like that to be the case anyways. Or maybe these were just subjects I enjoy (or learned to enjoy via the profs). But not Chemistry, ew gross.


jasper said...

I had a professor that would sweat right through her blouse she was so nervous. Of course, I would flirt with her just for the fuck of it. Hang in there, you seem like you have a lot to offer.

Raymond said...

None of the professors listed were studio professors. Maybe it's harder to be a studio professor because you have to be able to address everything (history, culture, etc.), rather than a specific subject, text or image year after year. Proust is going to stay Proust, but whatever contemporary art is now it may not be the same in a year, or five, or ten. Like trying to describe a shape that never stops changing.

You're super smart. I'm sure you do better than you think.

Alison said...

Yeah, I thought about the omission of studio classes, and I'm not sure why none stick out for me. I agree that the curriculum in a studio class (esp. where contemporary art is concerned) can be really fluid...which I think is an exciting thing, but difficult to compartmentalize into a top five list.
Jasper: My blouse popped open my first day of TA'ing. I'm sure sweaty boobs went home and cried every night.

jasper said...

I would have had perfect attendance in your class in hopes of an encore. I was kinda referring to her pit stains.