Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On Still Lifes...


Cantrell finishes his discussion on Bandura, Ross & Ross and their experiment with toddlers, violence and television. He talks about ethics and institutional review boards and why there are certain things investigators can't experiment on due to ethical concerns. I ask precisely when the ethical guidelines were created and bring up the Stanford Prison Experiment. He gets very excited, throwing down his chalk and saying, "That is a VERY good point!" He describes the experiment details to the rest of the class and enthusiastically answers questions. Some of the answers he doesn't know, and I fill in what I can, regarding trauma the subjects endured, psychiatric treatment they sought afterward, some of the specific instances of abuse. It takes up almost the entirety of class. The Stanford Prison Experiment was fascinating to me when I studied it, and it was fun to see Cantrell get so worked up about it.

Cantrell quote:

"I was in the system a thousand years ago..."


Shepherd hands out a self-critique sheet at the beginning of class for us to look over our still-life from the week before. It has questions on it that I am to answer in detail, regarding the work. I turn in my contour homework and she checks off the drawing time in my sketchbook. We draw various things in class: a squash, a knotted rope. The guy sitting next to me and I joke about the bumpy diseased-looking squash. We both erase frequently as we attempt the rope. Both are contour drawings. No detail with shading; contour concentrates on the quality of line. Shepherd sets up a still-life for us to begin. Before class ends, I start my self-critique and the guy sitting next to me laughs as he reads what I'm writing.

Is this art? Is it good art? Why? This is an exercise. It isn't good art. Just like vocal exercises aren't good music. Listen to any Mariah Carey song and you'll know what I mean.
What was the purpose of this piece? To teach me skills in drawing proportion.
Is this a good composition? Why or why not? This is not a good composition. It runs off the paper and lacks proportion. The reason for this is that I experience a weird sort of blindness when I attempt to ascertain relative proportion. It might help if I open my eyes. I'll try that next time.
What would be a good title for this piece? "Lamp and Assorted Crap"
What did you learn from this piece? That I can survive a still-life.

As we are cleaning up our supplies, Shepherd asks us how things were tonight. "What did you like better, the squash or the rope?" she asks the class. "Well," I say mostly to myself, as I fold up my paper. "The rope sucked, so I think the squash was better." The guy laughs and Shepherd does too. "You don't have a mechanical mind," she says, patting me on the shoulder. "It's okay, neither do I."


English tomorrow. Geary might be giving us back our papers. *gulp* Turned in my first Health quiz yesterday, a self-evaluation. Based on what I wrote, pretty honestly too I have to say, it seemed evident that my social health is the area most in need of change. Why is this area lacking? it asks. "Because," I write, "I have trust issues." Interesting to see it on paper. A paper that I turn in to a teacher. I wonder if we'll talk more about plague tomorrow.

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