Semester Close…

grading mysteriesMy first semester of art classes are done. Sort of.

Classes ended last week, and finals began. Neither of my classes had finals, though, since they aren’t those types of classes. However, we did have critiques of our work and other fun ways to close the semester out.

There’s only one problem.

I have no idea how I did, from a grading perspective.

This entire semester, I received no grades. None.

I’m kind of used to not getting grades throughout a semester. During my MFA, it was pass/fail, and you either submitted your work or didn’t. If you did it, and you did it right, then you passed. But there were monthly deadlines, and your work was critiqued and returned, so you knew if you had to redo anything or not. In my drawing and design classes, I didn’t get that. I got some critique, but there was no chance to re-do, no offer to re-do, no grade or even idea if I’d gotten it right.

I’m stressed.

Seriously stressed.

Because while the classes ended last week, my final grades still haven’t posted.

The college closes on the 18th, so I know I’ll have my grades before then. But that means up to two more days of waiting…waiting…waiting.

But, hey, at least I’ll only have to go through this another four semesters or so…


The Art Degree, Part II – Disillusionment

It’s begun.

I’ve been disillusioned with my art degree.


Because I totally suck at it.

Okay, maybe that’s not a fair assessment. I didn’t originally think I sucked at it. I didn’t go into the program convinced that I sucked at it.

Then I thought that I was learning.

And, to be fair, I am still learning.

I’m still drawing every day.

I’m still seeing improvements.

But the second projects are harder than the first ones, and I feel like I’m not keeping up.

My portraits are…uhhh…well, they sort of look like people. Mostly.

And my design class…we had to draw in it, followed by making a 3-d design from an abstraction we made from the drawing. My final piece, the drawing of the 3-d design, reminds me a lot of a truly abstract Tank Girl. (That part is cool, I admit.)

So I’ve gone ahead and included some of my current work, and we’ll see how it goes.

I haven’t given up, and I don’t plan on giving up. But it’s definitely getting to be more of a challenge than I had originally planned on.

Charcoal "Portrait"

Charcoal “Portrait”

Abstract Design Drawing

Abstract Design Drawing

Second Abstract Drawing from Design Class

Second Abstract Drawing from Design Class

3d Design (Cardboard and Tape) Made from Second Abstract Drawing

3d Design (Cardboard and Tape) Made from Second Abstract Drawing

Why should you bother reading yet another blog on higher education?

Kate at Grad
I will explain. No, wait, that will take too long. Let me sum up.

First – I loved my first high school. Private. Catholic. All girls. You’d think I’d probably have hated it, especially since I hated the Catholic school I went to from fourth to eighth grade, but this school was different. Hard classes. Hours and hours of homework. I even swapped out my study hall period for Latin, so I was taking both Spanish and Latin. And almost all of our teachers were nuns. (Yes, I was learning Latin from a nun.)

But then it happened. My parents ran out of money. I went back to public school. And it sucked. It was boring. It was easy. No one cared what I did there, and I slowly slipped out of caring myself.

Then more stuff happened. In my sophomore year, I had the nerve to get tonsillitis repeated. Even though I had received excellent grades, and even though I had plenty of notes from my doctors, the school determined that my absences were “chargeable,” and they failed me for missing too much school. Whoops. I caught up. But then, in my junior year, I foolishly let myself get strep throat repeatedly. Again, my school decided that I should be punished for getting sick. Again, I failed classes that I had been receiving A’s in because I spent too much time with a high fever and being contagious.

I rallied, though! I would pass! I would get through it!

Senior year. Weird stomach issues (that have repeated throughout my life and still never been figured out). By the time it hit Thanksgiving, I had missed too many days again. And I was going to fail. Again. I did the only thing I could think of; I dropped out.

I got my GED before the rest of my class graduated. I had no urge to go back to school after that. Completely unattractive to me.

Somehow, though, I got convinced to try again. I went to a local community college in my home state. Took two classes. Failed one, passed the other. The one I failed? It was because I had gotten sick, and I didn’t know to talk to my teacher. Although I couldn’t help but feel that if I had been older, I might have gotten by. Why? On the first night of class, the teacher got up and announced, loudly, how much she preferred night classes to day classes because the students at night were older and wiser. She spent a good ten minutes making fun of how her younger students were stupid and ignorant. Oh, yeah. That felt good.

So how did I wind up where I am today? And where am I today?

That’s right – today I have an AA in General Studies. A BS in Information Technology. An MA in Liberal Arts. An MA in English Lit. A Post-Master’s Certificate in College Teaching. Forty-eight hours at the doctoral level in Post-Secondary and Adult Education. And, as of the end of this month, I’ll have an MFA in Creative Writing.

Crazy. Absolutely crazy. And also some good reasons as to why you should come on back and check me out next week.