Friday, September 11, 2009

To 1st, 2nd, 3rd Year BFA Students:

So, after the first full week, a little bit of stress and excitement are lingering in my stomach.  
So, I'll walk you through the steps of what the first week will be like in your fourth year in Fine Arts.  If you're like me, you're not going to have a clue until you actually show up.  I had a basic  understanding of how things were going to work but I wasn't completely educated on the process until this week.

  • Fourth Year Meeting - We had a fourth year meeting for the Bachelor of Fine Arts students in the Fine Arts building.  We were all given "Fourth Year Handbooks".
  • The Head Advisor - a fine arts faculty member, told us how things were going to work this year.  We were informed that he'd be meeting with us a few times throughout the year as a group.
  • Advisors - We have to pick two advisors from the F.A faculty.  These advisors are people who will be advising, assisting and evaluating us in the development of our independent work.  We will meet with these professors regularly throughout the semester.  We can have different advisors each semester.
  • Studio Space - We got assigned our individual studio spaces that will become our home for the next eight months.  Some people have to share due to a lacking number of spaces.
Course Requirements/Expectations:
  • produce a body of work plus studies/explorations relating to this body of work
  • participation/presentation in weekly or bi-weekly group/individual conferences with your advisors
  • produce a formal text addressing creative activity
  • participation in joint advisor Studio Meeting
  • participation/presentation in two formal critiques
  • complete a presentation dossier with labeled documentation of artwork, artist statement, curriculum vitae or resume each semester
  • attendance at all Visiting Artists lectures in the Visiting Artist Program
  • attendance in fourth year workshops:  Artists in a Professional Context
  • participation in New Year Open House studios
  • participation in the BFA graduating show
Overwhelmed?  Well, I certainly am.  It's going to be a tough semester;  There's no one there to hold my hand anymore and I'm working primarily on my own.  I'm the one who creates my own "syllabus", assignments and deadlines.  This year is really going to test my independence, responsibility and ability to prioritize.  On top of the stress of meeting the BFA requirements and working in my studio, I'm lifeguarding when I can at the campus pool, blogging as much as I can, taking two seminar courses, my elective and a correspondence course.

I'm looking forward to it though.  Feel free to drop me a line if you would like to stop by and see my studio space sometime!

Peace, love, art.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back in the Sack

I can't believe I didn't find out about correspondence courses until last year.  If I'd known from the beginning about them, I would've been taking them since my first year at Mount Allison.

So, in case you are in my boat and complete oblivious to correspondence courses I'm going to tell you a little bit about them.

With a wide variety of different courses to choose from, correspondence courses are an alternate way of completing courses needed to earn your degree.  You earn three credits which is equivalent to a course you'd take on campus.  The courses are held three times a year: September, January and May, so you can register for any course for any of these time periods.  You complete the course on your own time, submitting to the professor assigned tasks and essays through mail or e-mail.  

When you register, you get a packet of materials for the course.  I took Canadian Studies in the summer, so I got a booklet full of 12 lectures for the course as well as a list of books I needed to purchase.  Without the stress of due dates, I was able to complete the coursework in my own speed and with ease.  I didn't feel pressure at all and I found the course enjoyable and rewarding.  I completed the five essay assignments and then when I got back to Sackville I wrote the final exam.  

I recommend taking correspondence courses; It's a great way to ease your load in future years.  If I'd known about this, I would've been taking them during my summers off and then I would've had an easier course load in my last year at Mount Allison.

I must say I've never been so motivated to be back at school!  I think it's because I did so well in my summer course.  It has given me drive to stay on top of all my courses this year and to do the best that I can do.  I can't believe this is my last year here.  Realizing this has sent me in a whirlpool of emotions.  I'm a little sad to leave but I'm also excited and proud of myself.  I've learned a lot about myself here and this place has shaped me into a better person.  Realizing that this is my last year also fills me with fear because I'm not sure what I want to do after I graduate.  

I'm not entirely sure what to expect from this year but I know that I'm definitely excited to start the journey to the finish line, here in the sack.  I can't wait to take you along with me!

Feel free to drop me a line anytime:
Take care!