Friday, August 21, 2009

"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to p

"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces."

Mathew 7:6 New American Standard Bible 1995

Before I even began my first day in graduate school I received an email from Professor Nan Rainey offering a Teachers Workshop, Friday mornings from 10:00 - 12:00.

SIGN ME UP !!! The teaching workshop was free!!!
This was an excellent opportunity to learn from a multitude of professors with years of teaching experience for six or more weeks each quarter. Since I had already been an Adjunct Instructor for two years this was an excellent way to add value to my educational experience without the burden of added tuition.

The tuition for each ten week was around $3000 per class.

HONESTLY, this tuition became too rich for my nerves.
It was fine;
  • for students who are an only child of two working parents,

  • the kids who have trust funds from wealthy grandparents,

  • the few exceptionally talented over achievers who were on a full scholarship grant,

  • the students who are married to professors who received one free class per quarter,

  • the students who found employment within the college who are awarded one free class per quarter and

  • the ones I like to think of a the truly brave souls.

The truly brave souls are the students who take on student loans to pay for art college. Some of these students admitted to being between $80,000 and $100,000 in debt for student loans with as much as two more years till graduating with a degree.

YIKES, now that's what I am talking about really having nerves of steel.

For a non traditional student who is used to being fiscally responsible for my own debt during the past 35 years it is important for me to pay for my own education. In addition to the Fellowship Grant Award, I paid the first bill with the money earned working as an Adjunct Instructor. Every time the bill was due the price of tuition made me deeply examine my dollar cost average value. Barry, my economist son, says he got his love of economics from me. He laments my not having gone to college to study economics instead of art.

A firm believer that all things work together for good, one morning on my way to an 8:00 class, the back of my automobile was hit. I had stopped to allow a police car to make a u-turn in front of my car to assist a young boy held up at gun point 7:30 in the morning on his way to school in downtown Savannah.

The young girl behind me, talking on a cell phone, neglected to apply her brakes subsequently driving into the back of my Toyota Corolla. The impact was strong enough to send hot coffee and various broken bits of debris like missiles within my car interior.

The poor kid was laughing from the stress and the embarrassment of hitting me when I sprang from my car armed with my; notebook, camera, drivers licence and insurance card in hand. " I'm not laughing." I said. Barry, Kara and any of my former students who tried to pull something over on me are picturing my very, serious, stern facing right now.

Fortunately, I was able to gradually with the help of stretches and yoga worked out my stuff neck and muscle aches. After inspecting the damage, my trustworthy mechanic Noel Tucciarone, deemed my car physically sound suffering only a slight flesh wound to the bumper. With his blessing I elected to spend the $1,400 cash award from the insurance company on my tuition payment for the next quarter confident that I will indeed sustain a future impact from another driver oblivious to being on the road.

As a means of getting more for my investment throughout my year in grad school I attended every Teaching Workshop offered during the three quarter period. Professor Rainey even printed me a perfect attendance record certificate since I was the only student ever to attend every workshop this year. The puzzling question is why I was the only student in the entire graduate program to take advantage of this marvelous free workshop?

Although a person with an MFA degree could be hired to teach at a college level, teaching skills are not emphasised within our program except one Share the Knowledge project. Where are these students going to gain knowledge to describe their teaching philosophy, write their own syllabus, draft lesson plans, handle discipline problems within the classroom, encourage healthy competition within a classroom setting, set professional boundaries between themselves as professor and their students???

The Teacher Workshop held each quarter 10:00 - 12:00 on Fridays is indeed a pearl of great price for those wise enough to seek treasure.

I created these BIG BABY GIRL SHOES because my method in learning is to take " baby steps". When I realized I would only be able to pay for one year of graduate college what I needed was big baby shoes to take bigger baby steps ;~)
Love the movie What About Bob

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