search  current discussion  categories  teaching 

jeff/working in school

updated tue 3 sep 02


mel jacobson on mon 2 sep 02

teachers must do art work in school.
make pots, get to by example.

your dilemma has been brought to my attention
i really don't know what to do...just keep supporting you.

the politicians that run art centers, schools and such
are often looking for scapegoats. they want to appear
that they are doing their jobs...protecting the community.
what they are doing however, in many cases, is covering
their own butts. `boy, no one at our center can do their
own work, huff, huff, huff.`..they do not know shit.
(p.s. i am on the board of directors of a large art center.
we know the fine line of working at the center, and scamming
the center`. we encourage work, time, example. just don't
make a full time business from the classroom.)

we just had a great example in one of our schools. a person that ordered
many around,
was always `on top of things`. he was the great `kick back artist
of the suburbs.` he just got caught.
eased out the door. of course none of the politicians wanted to
scream. it may spill on them. so, out the door, ease him out.
no scandal. he will probably get a great recommendation.

this is what makes older people bitter. really bitter.
we all knew. but, kill the messenger.

i made pots in my room for 35 years. loads of pots. it was
expected of me. work, produce, show the example of competent
craftsmanship. that was my goal. and, of course, in my mind
it worked, and worked well.

my students had clear cut images of artists working. what it took
to produce and make good art. my partner, verne anderson was
a great 2d artist. he made paintings, drawings, commercial work for
the school district, was a joy to see twenty students
around his desk...watching, asking questions....`why do you use a dip
pen that is so scratchy. why do you throw away so many great
drawings, and re/do them.?` over and over. they could see the
struggle. it was not just `one take`. the school district never
complained once about his work...of course they got the finest
commercial work no one ever offered to pay him.
just do it during the teaching day...`you love to do that stuff anyway`.
`oh, and verne, will you do a card for my dad's retirement party?`
with a smile.

very rarely in the political scene is it ever recognized that we as
art teachers, crafts people, load kilns, shlepp clay. and the repair
of the facility...god, hundreds of hours. just so we can do our
jobs better. it never is a 40 hour job...70 more like it.
so, we make a few pots. check out the xerox machine, anyone ever
use it for personal reasons? hell yes.
or, my favorite. the principal's secretary typed his entire ph.d. paper
on school time. and with his brain, he needed her to write it too.
she was the reason it was accepted. we all knew.
and when you get your ph.d. from mcpherson college by mail...well
it is not a big deal. embarrassing. i don't know why he did
not ask sharlene to just calligraph a fake document. it was just the same.
keep up the struggle jeff, you are a good person, doing good work,
with great dignity.

Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
web site:
or try: