Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Obstacles aren't predictable

In my August post, I was concerned about intellectual posturing in art history. I'm happy to report that hasn't been the case. My problems have been of another sort.

In the overwhelming process of adjusting to graduate student life: loss of professional identity, loss of income, loss of direct contact with family, friends and familiar scenery, intellectual posturing has not been an issue. Adjusting to regional culture and feeling like I fit in this community socially has been a challenge unrelated to subjects of study. It's the classic case of trying to interact with people in the way that worked somewhere else, finding out that annoys people and then recoiling when you can't figure out how to do something different. All that navel-gazing has been sidetracked by the allegations of child rape in the athletics department at my university. Any personal concerns I had suddenly melted away in the flames of Paterno and Sandusky's reputations being burned to a crisp. I am trying to stop worrying about myself and shifting my discomfort to productive efforts to help the community that has willingly or unwillingly adopted me. I return to what motivates me to be an educator: the children.

I can feel uncomfortable and sorry for myself all day long, but I have nothing to complain about compared to those boys. I am grossly oversimplifying the issue when I say that it's unfair that this would ever happen to a child. I hope that the alleged victims of sexual abuse find some peace and a community that accepts them, regardless of how awkward they feel. My sympathy runs deep.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back in the saddle again

So after disappearing from my blog again since January and a failed attempt at a sketch a day after March (and spring/summer museum education programming mayhem) I am back on the blog. Why, you may ask? I am no longer working at the art museum. What, you say? Yes, in a slightly unsettling conversation with AAM's president Ford Bell, facilitated by my museum's director this spring at the annual meeting I believe I explained it somewhere along the lines of..."I am seeking my PhD because as I see job postings for entry level educators in museums that require a Master's degree in art history or art education, I am looking toward the future of the field. Museum education is still in the developmental process of professionalization and understanding what training constitutes a prepared educator. I want to learn how to conduct a large scale research project and publish the results. I think it's important to understand the changing role of research in museums and I see the PhD as a way to stay relevant in my field." I hope I'm right. Wish me luck folks!

In the meantime, I will try to blog here and there about the whole adventure. I am minoring in art history, a professional deficiency of mine. I am most anxious about the differences in research methods between these two related disciplines. OK, to be honest, I am anxious about handling the subtle (and not so subtle) social interactions and intellectual posturing I may encounter in art history. It's what kept me from an MA in art history. I am trying to overcome my fear and lack of knowledge, gauntlet style. I will either grow professionally or be beaten to a pulp. More on that later.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

My New Year's resolution was to draw something every day. No other specific requirements, just draw something. I completed a drawing tonight with no problem. I am just curious what the rest of the year will shape up to look like. I have never developed creative routine, so I find that my art reflects available time, materials and conceptual urgency. This is my way of justifying its tangential and inconsistent quality and utter lack of quantity. I am forcefully exiting an 18 month dry spell artistically. My current position as Curator of Education at the art museum has kept me from any physical artistic pursuits. I have just been too busy trying to orchestrate art experiences for everyone else and my art has really suffered. I thought this melon collie was a fitting beginning to my exit of the artistic slump. I hope to be sharing more poorly taken photos of my year in artistic reflection.