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F Question: What have you learned?

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by Manda Aufochs Gillespie

The end is near. As students obsess about their final projects, term papers, exhibitions, and tuition bill, they wonder…what have we learned, really? What are the top five things you learned in art school this year?

The following list is my top five things learned this year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, #5 being the least important and #1 being the most important:

5) I learned that the school has access to the internet.
4) I discovered the tunnel that connects the Columbus building to the 112 S. Michigan Avenue building.
3) I learned not to lock my bike in front of the school.
2) I learned to watch for falling ice in the winter.
1) I learned that Chicago has no hot dog stands or any of those hot sugar-fried peanut vendors that every large city should have.

–Hans Sundquist
Post-bacc painting and drawing.

The Top Five things I learned this year at SAIC:

1) Don’t take two years off. Catching up is a bitch.
2) Getting money from anyone to help pay tuition is like trying to get blood from a water spout. I almost drowned in red tape and Financial Aid office screw-ups.
3) Don’t let yourself be intimidated. You will miss out on a lot. Force yourself to get out of the classroom and go to the gallery shows your teachers mention. Attend some school meetings when they tell you about them. Read the Broadcast news once in a while. Talk to everyone and say hello every time you see them again. They are the beginnings of your network. Don’t let it fall apart.
4) Take a day off if you need it. Go for a walk by the lake, then go home and take a nap. Work on something easy and relaxing, your own project maybe, in the evening. One day of relaxing can be invaluable. It’s not worth pulling week-long all-nighters and not eating and smoking two packs a day to get things done. Step away from it all for a day if you can force yourself, and you’ll find yourself with a clearer mind and a little more energy. Oh yeah, and drink water! Lots of it. You are probably dehydrated from smoking so many cigarettes.
5) READ READ READ. Anything you can get your hands on. Read all the handouts and packets. Read all the articles your instructors mention. Go to the library. Ask your friends and instructors to recommend books on the subjects you are studying/interested in. The more you read the better you will become at reading, comprehension, and storing information.

–Jennny Addison

Five things I’ve learned:

1) Only art school students would tag a mirror “Cartier-Bresson is a punk.”
2) Being in a Republican-free environment kicks ass. I learned artists really might care about politics.
3) Don’t think. Do not think about why you are here, otherwise you will freak out and not get anyhing done.
4) Painting is dead. Painting is alive. Aesthetics is over. Formalism is back. Nonsense is the new sense.
5) People read a lot more theory than I did.

–Anonymous

Top 5 things I, have learned in this Art School this year:

1) Zip
2) Zilch
3) Zero
4) Nada
And the fifth and most important things I’ve learned this year is:
5) NOTHING!!!
Just like EVERY OTHER year I’ve had to rot away in this miserable hole that’s supposed to be called a COLLEGE, I’ ve learned NOTHING!!! NOTHING even CLOSE to RELEVANT for my FUTURE, which is WHAT I PAY FOR, but you guys wouldn’t give a shit about that anyway, no, not now — four years now, why break the stretch! Okay, okay, MAYBE in my whole four years here I have learned MAYBE two things that I think could be relevant:
1) Lefty Loosey, Righty Tightie,
2) Not all that glitters is gold, and by that I’m talking about the “course” descriptions the “School” has to offer. Saying I’ve learned something in this dump is like saying I’ve learned something from watching the hair inside my nostrils grow!! Oh, here’s ANOTHER thing I’ve learned: How to watch my family’s hard-earned money get flushed down the toilet helplessly year after year, where it ends up going to classes that teach students, not how to compete in the real world and the job market by making things that could catch the atttention of buyers or any specific target audience that would make you money and thus elevate you enough to get a place of your own and live an independent life like any other REGULAR college is SUPPOSED to do, but NAY! Instead teaching you how to live in your parents’ basement until you’re 50 making useless “pieces of — *ugh*, “art” on thousands of dollars worth of canvases that your mother had to pay for, cuz you’re STILL FLAT BROKE! Thanks, you crooks! And if you think it’s just me saying this, then it’s only because I’m the only one who’s got the balls enough to SAY it to the school, instead of just bitching about it between my friends at some bar. All the kids do that here, and even you guys over at “F”ailure NEWS know that THAT’S the buzz that’s always been circling around the underground here. There’s a reason for that, plus you guys are all “artsy”– you’re INTO “underground,” so I know you know what I’m saying, don’t play pretend!
So that’s why, speaking of balls, and you people knowing all of this that I’ve just said, I think it’s pretty ballsy that you guys have the balls to ask us this question. Here’s what I’ve learned in this “school”:
1) It’s important to BREASTFEED you babies, or else, you’ll get 90 percent of the students who go here (the other 5 percent were breastfed– but from a bottle of CLOROX apparently!), and
2) If you have an artistic ability, DON’T go to Art School — DO go to Business School, and use it on MARKETING!

–Antonio (aka: Dr. McCuddles)

P.S. I wanna say something about that statement I gave to you earlier. I want to make it clear that only two departments are exempted from all that I have said: The Viscom and the Animation departments. Those guys have a better grip on the wheel of life.

May 2005

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