I need to vent

Everything that doesn't fit anywhere else!

Postby pitsnok » December 17th, 2010, 7:28 pm

So this semester started off amazingly. Up until about a month ago I thought I was going to have my first 4.0 semester within my upper division classes. I was busy, but not working so everything was okay. Then, my internship fell through. The guy I was interning for just sort of blew the whole thing off. Fine, okay...whatever. I get assigned a new guy. Call him, wait to hear back. Then he says to my instructor that he tried to call twice, never heard back from me, and is not interested in the internship anymore...Although I never had missed calls, or voice mail from him. So, I get an 'F' in the course...and have to find an internship for next semester in order to replace the failing grade. I feel like I got completely screwed because this was NOT my fault. But my instructor had told me to e-mail the guy and I didn't... therefore I wasn't being 'proactive' enough and I fail.
Fine, I'll live. I get over it...whatever.
Final project time comes around, (and pardon my french), but I busted my ass. For my metals class I had to construct a box, and for sculpture I designed, and had to build a piece out of deconstructed furniture that represented someone close to me.
For sculpture, I decided to create a bird cage, to represent my little sister who is going through big life changes right now...applying for college and making huge decisions that will affect her future. The bird cage represented the fact that she is still not an adult, so she is caged...and it is all eyes on her right now. She's on display. I featured a human heart as the 'bird' to represent how guarded she is with her emotions.
I really felt like it was a nice piece. I'm really happy with it. But my professor apparently hated it...or something. here's a picture:

Image
(I would have liked to have the wire be more solid, and the 'roof' didn't fit on correctly, but with my time constraints I did what I could. I was literally pouring wax onto it as I walked out the door to critique.)

She said that the wax I used to solidify the wire, and on the base of the cage didn't work. And she didn't understand why I used it because it didn't fit into the concept of my sister.
[Hugely frustrating because I genuinely do not think that EVERY SINGLE PART of any piece of art needs to fit in with the concept. I explained the wax by saying, "I needed the wire walls to have more weight to them, but without actually making them solid. Therefore I chose the wax."...I don't know why that's not good enough?] Anyway, so my piece gets ripped apart during our critique...and everyone else's is just like "oh okay, good." even if they were having the same 'concept' issues that I had.
Also I ended up with three absences and a tardy which dropped my grade one letter. Therefore, I get a a C in sculpture. (So much for that 4.0!)

In metals, I didn't even get my final project finished. My professor blames it on 'time management'. And continues, even after explaining myself, to insist that I just didn't manage my time properly.
[Let me let you in. I have spent countless nights, and countless hours in both the sculpture and metal studios... more hours than any other student in either class. I guess my instructors don't recognize that?]

Anyway, both professors in my final discussions, told me that I seemed 'absent' when I was in class, and don't seem to be 'working hard'. I have literally cried multiple times over this because I have never worked harder in my life! My metals teacher said to me, "I don't know what your previous academic training is, but you obviously weren't conditioned to have pieces done at the beginning of class." Which I am, I just can't make something get finished if I can't get it finished!!!!!

I have never been so connected to my artwork before. I really feel like sculpture and metals is my 'niche'... and I finally felt passionate again about my artwork. And now I feel like I just freaking suck.


I can't help thinking that all the stress of the dogs at home, paired with boyfriend being stressed about the dogs, combined with my knowing I have RA (just without a diagnosis) has apparently caused me to slack...unknowingly.

I'm sorry for the rant. I understand if no one reads it. I just really had to get everything that's going through my mind into words.
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom


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Postby madremissy » December 17th, 2010, 7:43 pm

:hug3: :hug3: :hug3: :hug3: :hug3: :hug3: :hug3: :hug3: :hug3: :hug3: :hug3:
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Postby Ino » December 17th, 2010, 8:02 pm

I am sorry they said things that turned out to be hurtful. Try to get past it and keep your focus. Hopefully there was a reason for it (maybe they saw strength in you that you don't and think it will motivate you more??). I know in the army, I had a drill sergeant that rode my ass all the time- turned out he did it because he liked me and saw potential- so it was his way of making some of my strengths stronger. I thought he was just out to get me. Will you be having the same professors down the line again in your degree program? Maybe they thought their words would make you do something differently? Anyway, try not to let it defeat you. Take what you can from it and toss the rest or let anger motivate you (not in a destructive way- for example, I am stubborn, tell me I cant do something and I will do all I can to prove I can- even if I really cant and even if it is something stupid :rolleyes2: ). I am no art or sculpture expert, but I think your piece is beautiful and heartfelt.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 17th, 2010, 9:08 pm

I'm so sorry. :( I never understood how artwork could be judged - it's so personal. I like the bird cage - the way you explained it made sense and had meaning. I also know, from your Facebook posts, how much time you've been spending in the studio. I'm sorry your instructors don't recognize that.

Please don't doubt your talent. You'll get through this!
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Postby pitsnok » December 17th, 2010, 11:23 pm

Thanks for the kind words. It helps so much to hear the opinions of people that aren't my school peers.

These two instructors will pretty much be my only two for the restof my undergrad. They are the department head, and assistant head. Also happen to be life partners...and they have a pit bull!

I am one of those people who gets really really upset if I feel like a disappointment... I've always been that way. I cry when I am in trouble, or if someone is mad at me...you know...I'm a people pleaser I guess. It just really caught me off guard with these two because I am very close to them. Or I feel that way anyway.

The hardest part is when my metals instructor replied to an email I sent in which I was saying how I didn't want her to feel disrespected and think I blew off her class... and I am so upset with it being unfinished and I don't think I've ever turned in unfinished work EVER and all of this stuff where I was basically pouring my heart out to her about how it should have been finished and blah blah and she responds with--(direct quote)

"i expect the projects to be ready to hand in when class begins.  Since I don't know your academic background, I have to assume you have not been well trained in this protocol"

Personally I feel like that was a low blow. Especially for it bone ONE piece ou of all my work.

And she also kept saying that I need to just be honest about I being unfinished and quit blaming it on running out of time...which is exactly what I did!!!

Anyway, sorry for the continued rant. I'm upset and also just really pissed! Hopefully it is just a case of them seeing soooo much potential in me. But if that's true they are doing a really crappy job of making me want to continue!
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom


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Postby TheRedQueen » December 18th, 2010, 12:15 am

It sounds like they have something going on in their lives, and are taking it out on you. I went through art school, and NEVER got crap like this from professors...art school is usually more free and open about crap like this.

So very sorry to hear all of this...I've been through many a critique...and it's one reason I think I stepped away from the art world..it's too much for me at times. I don't handle it well either...so I completely understand. (I have a BFA and was planning on being a book illustrator). But critques shouldn't rip a piece of art apart (unless it's truly a piece of crap lol)...that's not the reason for critiquing. :nono:
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Postby Tubular Toby » December 18th, 2010, 1:41 am

I do not think you should let them discourage you. Art is about feeling connected to your work, not working to please someone else. The biggest problem I can see is if they are going to be your primary professors from here on. But even then, I wouldn't let them get you down too much. I've seen your sculptures on facebook and they are amazing! I would say you have a very creative mind and I wouldn't want to see you getting discouraged.
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Postby pitsnok » December 18th, 2010, 3:41 am

TheRedQueen wrote:It sounds like they have something going on in their lives, and are taking it out on you. I went through art school, and NEVER got crap like this from professors...art school is usually more free and open about crap like this.


I know! I can't help but wonder if they talked about me at home and influenced each others' feelings. I really wouldn't expect that because they are VERY professional with their work life, but then again...I dunno. For my metals teacher to have said I am 'disconnected' in class seems... odd. Because I have always felt on point during that class time--I also think I stayed after class was over 90% of the time. I actually only remember leaving at the 5:30 end of class like...twice.
During sculpture, I will admit I struggled with my focusing. It's a 9am class... which I know isn't all that early, but the morning is just not a good time for me. I hurt bad in the morning, and it takes a long time for me to get all my 'switches turned on'. So I kind of have a fear that my sculpture instructor's feelings partially influenced my metals professor.

I dunno, I guess at this point it's just beating a dead horse and all I can do is improve on it next semester. I actually think I'm going to drop Sculpture II so that I won't end up with the same workload that I had this semester. I can always take it in the fall so there won't be much harm in doing so.
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom


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Postby TheRedQueen » December 18th, 2010, 9:25 am

Is there another professor or dean that you can talk to, to air your problems?
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Postby amalie79 » December 18th, 2010, 11:46 am

Ugh. I am SO sorry. This is my biggest problem with huge swathes of academia (and I work in it). So many professors are on a power trip or are inflexible or forget that their classes and assignments are not the only thing going on for each student; their interests are not the most important interests in the world. People have lives outside of school, as they should.

Hang in there.
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Postby TinaMartin » December 20th, 2010, 12:18 pm

I wouldn't let them discourage you. Art is personal. What one person sees as wonderful another may label "garbage". I had a professor who was a semester sub for my regular professor shred my work. I had valid reasons for doing the piece the way I did. HE didn't like it. When I showed my work the next semester to my regular professor he didn't understand the grading either. I think it boiled down to I'm not an ass kisser. I was suppose to make a piece of art for a specific person. I made what that person would like. He told me I was wrong. Oh really? Last time I checked he knew nothing about my mother. I asked my mom what she would have thought if I had done it the way he wanted and got told "I would have thought it was a piece of crap and would have told you you don't know me at all". Don't let them effect how you see your work. Always strive to improve your artistic vision while staying true to yourself. You are the artist.
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Postby Jenn » December 20th, 2010, 2:37 pm

:hug3:
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