Thursday, December 1, 2011

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Oh how I detest this phrase! I agree that everyone should be entitled to their opinion and that there comes a time when people must agree to disagree. But, there is also a time when you need to set your opinions aside and simply consider something for what its worth, face value.

This was my problem with the Lamar Dodd. I was a graphic design student before I changed sides. I loved, and continue to love, everything about graphic design and art, as far as the curriculum goes. It was really this whole "I like what I like and that's the end" thing that made me want to leave. Long story short, my graphic design teacher didn't love my pieces and I would always get just shy of an A. By the end though, I managed to pull together and A- in the class and so when the portfolio review came around (you know the thing that decides whether or not I can be a graphic design major) I thought, for sure, I'd be able to pass, even if it wasn't with flying colors. I was shocked to find out people who didn't even pass the class could pass the review when I was turned out. It just didn't make sense to me to subjectively judge people. You'd probably miss out on some really great ideas or work or pieces in the future.

I suppose its their loss, though, because now I'm an advertising student and I love how open people are to new ideas, at least I thought they were. Maybe its because I'm dealing with PR people for this class or maybe its just this one TA that needs to be more open-minded. Either way, you know there is a problem when over half the class is distraught, and when I say distraught I seriously mean in tears, over their grade on this last project. By simply looking over people's work I could tell that we all spent a lot of time working on our press packets or event plans. And we are all extremely proud of the finished product. So it doesn't make sense that our grades would not represent that effort.

And when we tried to bring up our complaints to her, the TA's response was to put on her "angry eyes" and get distraught herself. Apparently, we were supposed to completely understand her decision and the fact that we were arguing for our grades was completely unacceptable. Her answers to our questions were always vague and a lot of times she would say "I could have done better" or "I could have thought of more." Well, that's simply not fair. We aren't you. We don't think like you. We probably wouldn't like every press packet or event that you would put together. Your job is to grade us on our ability to take the instructions (incomplete and contradictory as they may have been) and the course content and produce a cohesive and clean project. And if everyone is arguing that you haven't done that, there is a problem.

This is a common theme in the art world, and one reason was I was more than happy to leave. This could slightly be compared to "real world" experience because the client won't always like your idea and it is your job to please them. But, the real world isn't graded. In the real world you would be creating for a client, not a TA. The client is already going to like the subject matter of the campaign or press packet or event because its their product/ service. Our TA did not.

Ok, now I just need to breathe and move on. Life happens. Its not the end of the world. Its still angers me to no end but, I will survive.

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