Monday, April 4, 2011

The student from hell

What qualities would the worst possible student have? If I wanted to design a student to be totally incapable of learning, yet annoying as hell, what characteristics would I give them? Lets see, now....... they would;
  • take deep offense at any criticism. Although they may offer some to their neighbors. Everything you say will contradict what their last workshop instructor, a "great artist" said.
  • then defend their mistakes with rapidly invented lame excuses, they will tell you that you are wrong every time you try to point out something that they could improve in their painting.
  • they arrive late, quit early and talk incessantly about rich Hollywood stars.
  • They will have a TV tray, a paper palette and a broken, cheap aluminum easel, and work in a folding directors chair with arms, they will also bring a smelly, annoying little dog with diseases that need to be described in pestilent detail.
  • they would have Maries paints, all of which would be hues. Their ultramarine would be an acrylic. Everything else will have to be lent to them.
  • their painting surface would be a cardboard panel with a surface primed bright yellow because that's what their last instructor said was best, under the acrylic gesso would be an oil painting.
  • their bright fuchsia shirt would reflect a neon glow onto their canvas. They will only work in the shade.
  • their thinner would be some harmless organic gravy with the consistency of jello and smell of grapefruit, their medium would be some goo, like Vaseline. They will insist that a previous workshop teacher told them that 'real' artists only use this particular goo.
  • their brushes will be stiff as tongue depressors and worn to points, the ferrules of which are loose.
  • they will expect to make a masterpiece even though they have only painted four pictures before, from photographs of their pets and vacations. Failing that, they would want me to paint the whole thing for them, and when they get home they will put it in a show as their own work.
  • No possible location will suit them.They will be unwilling to walk or carry their equipment further than 30 feet.
  • They will paint like Ray Charles and hum as they do it.
  • They come expecting to be disappointed, complain to everyone in the class, except for the teacher, and leave disappointed. For the next seven years they will tell everyone they meet that the class was a ripoff and the teacher is a jerk.
  • But they will include the teachers name in their bio as someone with whom they have studied.
  • Their horrid little dog will have a 20 minute seizure bringing the entire class to a standstill.
  • They will tell you what to eat, not to smoke and be allergic to everything in sight. Their electrologists, reflexologists and nutritional therapists will send advice with them for you .
Remember, of course, I am not talking about you, or anyone you know or have ever met. I am talking about those "other" people who are bad.

41 comments:

Deb said...

Interesting week, huh?

Stapleton Kearns said...

No, I had a great group this week. I was just thinking back to some other times.
...........Stape

Brady said...

Okay now that was a proper rant! I'm still laughing!

Main Loop said...

so this is what I have to look forward to should I ever start teaching...

Durinda Cheek, Fine Artist said...

Ha! Loved it! I can imagine any one of these traits in a student from hell. How about the ones that stay glued to their phones and take calls during the sessions? Then they have to be "caught up" on the instruction they missed. Ah, the pleasures of teaching!

mariandioguardi.com said...

HA! You thought I was going be that student from hell, didn't you? I'm only the student from heck.

willek said...

Come on, Stape. Don't hold back. Tell us what you really think. Name names...

Were you thinking of that Snow Camp two winters ago when we kept you up all hours, knowing you had a blog posting, picking your best know how?

Simone said...

You forgot to mention the lady who had a grid of rubber bands stretched over her viewfinder so she could accurately transfer the scene to her canvas.....or what about the paint conservationists whose daubs of paint are smaller than ant poo. I demonstrate on their canvas for them just so I can use up all of their paint!

It's all fun, though...I love them all!

rahina q.h. said...

ok, i'm guilty of having forgotten some materials and have a terrible habit of humming some tune which is a reminant of a deprived childhood and i have called one particular teacher a jerk because he was..... but it is nice to know there are worse than me out there... feelign better already.... thanks Stape, brilliant post.

LandPainter said...

If that is a true story it had to be a horrible experience! I wish some of us who really WANT to learn how to paint could experience your instruction.

Plein Air Gal said...

That was a hoot! I have been in at least one class with that student ... and her dog growled at all the other students AND lifted his leg on their tripods!

R Yvonne Colclasure said...

Oh, you forgot the one who only took the class to drum up participants for his next workshop and never painted where the class painted.

billspaintingmn said...

Ha! Stape! I'll bet you could still teach that student from hell something!!

Denise Rose said...

I am a frequent workshop student so I will make sure NOT to do any of these things! I don't anyway, but thanks for the reminder from the teacher's point of view!

Debra Norton said...

I think I met this fellow once (at least that time it was a guy). He argued with the teacher at every critique and kept saying "When do we get to use medium?" - when we were using charcoal on paper! He (and I) were at the workshop as part of the process of getting in to an atelier. He didn't make it.

Pam Holnback said...

This was great! I was a public school art teacher for 28 years before retiring. I had these students in class even then! It never ceased to amaze me that kids were already that way!

mimitabby said...

yeah, I sat next to that lady. She acted like I was putting on airs when I told her I tried to paint every single day, and right after she was given encouraging words by the teacher she burst into tears. The teacher did have to paint half her painting as she continued to do the same thing over and over again even though she was told it was not a good idea.
thanks for the laugh.

Knitting Out Loud said...

I am so glad I am not one of those "other" people. My dog has never had a fit in public.

clarkola said...

Something here reminds me of a scene in a Dostoevsky novel. In a train, a man sits down near a woman with a little lap dog. Train chugs along. The lights a cigar-the woman leans over takes the cigar and throws it out the window. Without missing a beat,the man takes the little dog and throws it out the window.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Brady;
I rant easily.
..........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Main;
There are lots of good things to look forward to.
...........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Durinda;
I always ask those students "would you like me to wash that cell phone for you?"
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Marian;
Yes I was pleasantly surprised, but I am more threatening that you imagined before you showed up. As you know, I am thirty two feet tall and weigh over 2600 pounds.
............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Willek;
I am holding back a little.
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Simone; I help the paint conservationist by squeezing their paint out for them. It costs them about ten bucks.
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

rahina;
I might be a jerk too.
.............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Landpainter. The last workshop was great, I created this student from previous students.
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Plein air;
That dog would have been spending the rest of the day non per ora.
..................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Yvonne;
I don't think I have had that one.
..................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

bill;
I don't think I could.
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Denise;
It is a particularly important point of view.
.........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Debra;
I just hate the arguer I am leaning to just smile wickedly and move on when they argue.
............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Pam;
then they are born not created.
................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

mini;
I think I had that girl too.
..................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Knitting;
No one who reads this is those "other' People.
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Clarkola;
I love that story!
..........................Stape

ccreed50 said...

And, while you're standing there in a deathmatch with the hardest painting problem EVER, she's at the next easel, swingin' the happy brush and singing some old Broadway show tune or pop ditty, off-key...grrr.

Thanks for the laugh.
--CCReed

T Arthur Smith said...

One time I taught a course on ceramic tiles. The first day was fine. One woman seemed a little crazy. She was making a little head, looked a bit demonic. I told her it wasn't a tile, but she seemed not to care, so I left it at that. Turns out she took the damn thing home without firing it. She brought it to the next class, bone dry, in pieces, and she'd brought some elmers glue to try to put it back together - no matter how much I told her it wouldn't work. She just grummeled a bit, like Mr. Bean. I felt like I was on Mad TV.

Stephanie Berry said...

Funny rant...I've been in workshops with some of those folks I'm sure. Don't forget the ones that use the stinky paint thinner that asphyxiates everyone.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

>sigh<

Keith said...

I found this post extremely huemorous and have invented a new word..huebris

hue·bris/ˈ(h)yo͞obris/Noun
1. Excessive pride or self-confidence in art or the last instructor.
2. (in Greek tragedy) Excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.