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Risk taking/sandbaggers/hs rant


From: j&f grochowski (jgrochowski_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 06 2004 - 22:50:10 PST

Thank you for mentioning this, Donald. I often spend a few class moments
here and there discussing the Internal Critic and asking my high school
students who recognize this dynamic in play-to just for our one class hour,
every day-to visualize leaving the critic in the hall-or to turning the
volume down. In fact, one time I complemented a girl in class for her
ceramic work and she responded, "oh, no, it's not very good" and then almost
immediately, she looked at me and smiled and said "didja hear me? I just let
my critic talk out loud!" I will often respond to this type of negation
following a complement by saying "Oh, I hear you brought your critic to
class today" and she knew it, when the words came out of her mouth. I often
think of that type of situation as a breakthrough moment, because they seem
to calm down a bit about their perception of their own artistry.
And would it be further prying open the can of worms here, to ask why is
'fun' in Art always equated with 'frivolity'? I worked with someone who felt
Art was not supposed to be fun (she did that equation) and it made me nuts,
because in her extremely 'rigorous' environment, there was little joy (and
it was also stifling enough that when she was gone, the kids went nuts,
behavior wise). She was very into product and less concept and process......
I understand the concerns being expressed here, but we are also in a unique
position to encourage a joyful experimentation with assignments and media
and some of what's been written about seems pretty lockstep to me...granted,
I may be dragging my own baggage from living with that into my reading of
the posts. All I can say is been there, watched that-not a good deal for
anyone, IMHO.