Wednesday, April 13, 2011

class duck

I wish I had my jaunty graduation photo from my first degree to scan and put here as an illustration, but it's at Colonel Duck's place on the sideboard with all the other precious family photos. I'm wearing purple, with long bright red (henna) hair and a smug look on my face, mainly because I'd finally finished something everyone wanted me to do. [UPDATE! See here for the photo.]

At that point it was expected that I'd be a teacher, and I was set to go to do my DipEd the next year. Then I went to do a stint of work experience at what is now Bumblebee's high school (heh) and the experience was so awful that I changed my mind and cast around for some more study to do. I ended up going to ADFA as a civilian postgraduate and doing an MA, which introduced me to letterpress, which got me where I am today. Thank you, awful year 8 LHS students.

Why am I bringing this up? Firstly because last night I had to attend B's parent/teacher night. From the stories that Bumblebee tells and from the frazzled, overworked looks on some of the teachers' faces, I am profoundly grateful that I didn't become a high school teacher. There's something about the high school culture and the age of the students that screams UNWILLING. The kids don't, on the whole, want to be there, and the teachers are asked to do much more than just teach with their working time.

I do enjoy teaching, but I made a vow that I'd only teach people who wanted to be taught of their own free will. Art school students and adult workshops fit into this category. So do small children, who love being around fun things to do.

I found out in the last week or so that I'm one of five ACT artists to get a residency in a primary school for 12 weeks to undertake a collaborative project with the children and teachers. YAY! I'm having my first meeting with the school today, and we're going to start the negotiation process about the actual project. I haven't got a project in mind (although I have lots of ideas), because I want to hear what they are thinking about first, and then we'll wiggle along with ideas and plans and see where we get.

It's very exciting! That's going to eat up a chunk of my year later on, so now I'm pushing myself to finish a whole heap of stuff that's been bubbling along in an attempt to clear my desk and brain.

One thing on the boil is a PhD proposal, something I'm ambivalent about but I thought I'd give it a shot... lawdy, looking at all the paperwork and scholarship thingies and rules makes my head spin. I'm also putting together a proposal for another class in the Book Studio, a typography class, so that I can have a separate Book class and Letterpress class. I have to jump through lots of university hoops to get it going, but I have high hopes that it will happen, since the Book class is always full to the brim with people on waiting lists.

Other things that are more fun are prints for various shows & projects, and some flip books for the next Megalo members' show. Add to that the National Folk Festival at Easter (I just typed Eater... maybe that's what more secular holiday punters can call it) and I have a full dance card for a while.

Did I say last year that 2011 might be a quiet year? Yeah, right...

Oh well, there's always time to sleep when I'm dead, as it's been said.


The Elephant's Child said...

Congratulations on the residency. And wow, what a busy, busy year. Hopefully lots of fun to go with the challenges.

ronnie said...

good luck with everything! (sleep is over-rated is my credo....)


Cat Drawings said...

I'm very glad you didn't become a high school teacher. What you are doing now is so much more fun.

Sara Bowen said...

Blimey, talk about a lot on your plate but it does sound exciting! PhD I'm guessing at ANU? I'm still considering mine... Have fun with it all, Sara x