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Lesson Plans

Re: Art Advocate continuation....

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
RWilk85411 (RWilk85411)
Tue, 6 Jan 1998 18:06:59 EST

Once again Bunki stirs the memories. I had three professors in undergraduate
school who taught. The rest just said do it. No explanation. No nothing. There
is one really good teacher who I use as an example to my students when I am
trying to drive home the point that it is all learnable. They think that
because I am the art teacher I just naturally can do whatever it is they are
insisting that they cannot do and never will do.......because they are not
artists. So I tell them about Jon Formo. The first time I took ceramics I had
a teacher whose name escapes me, for obvious reasons. When he "taught" us how
to use the potter's wheel, he sat down, made a pot and said "there, that's how
it is done". Not one word had passed his lips. Except to chat with his
graduate students. I ended that semester having made umpteen dozen kitty
saucers or toilet brush holders and convinced that I would never make anything
any deeper. It just wasn't meant to be. Some people could and some people
couldn't. I was meant to build clay pieces by hand. You know the song and

The next semester I got Jon Formo. It was the first day of class. I was
sitting dejectedly on a wheel having made two or three new kitty saucers. As I
muttered that I obviously was not meant to throw pots on the wheel, Jon was
passing behind me. Suddenly he was in my face with a loud, "That's ridiculous,
any retard can throw pots on the wheel". I was absolutely devastated. I was
retarded. Well to make an already long story short, Jon immediately called all
of us over and demonstrated, complete with detailed instructions and
explanations, how to throw a pot on the wheel. That day I threw a punch bowl.
Well maybe more of a serving bowl. But I wouldn't be serving Meow Mix in the
darn thing. I floated out of that class. I could throw pots on the wheel!! And
thanks to the detailed instruction for the rest of that semester I teach one
heck of a ceramics class.

My teaching motto is they can't ever learn too much!!!