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mfa and age again!

updated fri 15 dec 00


Jeff Campana on thu 14 dec 00

"Come on America, wake up,
the work ethic in our country sucks! just ask any 18 yr. old."

Ok, Dan, or Shane, or whatever....

You may think that you can bash people for being young, because you are relatively
young (I would assume due to recent graduation) But the truth is, it is just
WRONG to generalize due to age. That is the same as if you had said something
like "The Work ethic in this country sucks! just ask any black person...." That
statement evokes anger and is immediately wrong, however when you say 18 year olds
I bet nobody cares. I have already made this point clear, and will do so again.

Stereotyping age is a horrible thing to do. In far to many people's vocabulary,
young = bad, stupid, incompetent, LAZY, ignorant etc. When in fact the person
stating this negative generalization usually boasts these traits. Like I said
before, age has nothing to do with these traits, because these are personality
traits which people don't age out of. Many people overlook ageism because it is
the one injustice that you will eventually grow out of. That still doesn't
justify it in any way.

I think the problem with your MFA program was that there was no excitement in
there. As my Prof. Karl Borgeson said to me, It only takes a couple strong
students in a department to boost the intensity of the program. With the same
teaching methods, he has had years go by with no one after hours in the studio,
but at other times 10 students spending a majority of their life in there. In
this way I would blame you for the lameness of your MFA experience, because you
did not get others excited. Graduate school is not about the teachers, it is
truly about the students. Plus, in art, we are lucky enough to have the ultimate
equalizer, the porfolio. Those who slacked off and have weak work will NOT get
the positions the talented hard workers are destined for.

I guess all I'm asking is please once again, watch what you say (and THINK!) about
people. Sometimes you can strike a nerve and really hurt people. I was hurt by
this, being a mere 20, but with a VERY good work ethic (60+ hours a week in
ceramics, plus 12 other credits, 4.0 gpa, 4-6hrs sleep/night). I am just so sick
of this crap I have to endure by ignorant ranters.

Very Seriously,

Jeff Campana

dan mickey wrote:

> mel,
> i agree totally with what you are saying. I am a very recent graduate of the
> "pyrimad scheme" and found that most students wanted to merely write out
> their ideas and hardly ever worked long hours. I felt like everyone (all
> media) i was going to school with saw me as a money machine. I worked about
> 50 - 60 hours a week in my studio producing pots for a small gama(100cu
> ft.). I felt that most people thought i was selling all this crap, but in
> reality i was just learning how many different ways i could fire the thing.
> As a recent grad, looking out into the real world and also looking back on
> the past three years, i see that alot of people are recieving their mfa. i
> have started to wonder about the quality of this. If everyone passes their
> thesis then i begin to think the standards are not high enough! I do
> understand that a mfa program is what you make it, according to each
> individual, but hell thats the way life is right? Come on America, wake up,
> the work ethic in our country sucks! just ask any 18 yr old.
> shane mickey
> > one of the most dreadful realities for me, when
> > i went back to school at 55, was the observation of almost universal
> > lack of dedication to intense study.
> >
> > can you believe this:
> >
> > i was accused of being a `CURVE RAISER`.
> > i did so much work that it made them look bad.
> > shit, a curve raiser in grad see, they sorta knew
> > i was not going to accept the mfa....this was all for me.
> > it was beyond their scope of understanding.
> > i was very interested in the `new language of art`...the
> > critique was why i was there. i can do art in a barn, all alone.
> > i needed them...but, got very little. my teachers were brilliant.
> > (but, not very tough.)
> >
> > most of the students wanted to talk about their art.
> > talk, talk, talk. write a few paragraphs.
> >
> > their metaphors.
> > their images.
> > their personal grief.
> > their menstrual cycles
> > gender issues.
> > the death of redwoods.
> >
> > all predicated on not doing art. not painting.
> > not making pots. but, talking, for hours.
> >
> > students complained about the `work load`.
> >
> > `why do we have to read about milton avery, he was so dumb?`
> > damn, if you do not understand milton avery, don't pick up
> > a brush for the rest of your life.
> >
> > going to grad school should be the greatest gift that a person
> > can ever get. it should be total immersion. total.
> > if one is not dedicated to that...get the hell out of the way.
> > i would have failed half of them...kicked their asses into the
> > real world...but, they all graduated. and you wonder why the
> > mfa shows are often so bad.
> >
> > art is about personal dedication. it is work. talented folks are a
> > dime a dozen. workers are rare as diamonds. a worker with talent
> > is, and becomes genius.
> > mel
> >
> >
> > (website)
> >
> >
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