I Think I'm Going Crazy! (Frustrated Student)

Home / Education / ARChives / Foundational Discussions

I Think I'm Going Crazy! (Frustrated Student)

From Crystal Brown

Published before 2005


Hello,

My name is Crystal Brown. I'm a Canadian art student at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Luckily I'm going to Michael John Angel Studios as well, otherwise I'd already be in a mental ward. Reading all the ARC articles made me feel like I wasn't crazy to think that Modernist "art" is actually good, and it prepared me for OCAD. I dreaded going there, so much that on the first day (my birthday) I felt physically sick like I was going to faint and I couldn't eat anything. The work on the walls are so bad... beyond bad, which of course is great to them. My first drawing class there was the worst art class I've ever had. The instructor (Colette) made us draw from a video that had a series of chain reactions in it! So we all used a whole pad of newsprint and every sheet was a variation of kindergarten scribbling. I mean sure, if I was high on something, I guess I would have liked it. And as if that wasn't bad enough, she told us they would be among our best drawings! One of the students said, "I don't like to waste paper," then Colette said, "...art is about waste." And I was thinking, "Oh my God." Then in my colour and 2D design course, the instructor tells us to buy 12 brushes and I ask her, "What kind? Bright, filbert, round..." and she looks at me all confused and says, "Your scaring me with your knowledge, I don't even know what those are, just get what you want."

I can go on and on about the dumb things I see and hear on a daily basis at OCAD. As I mentioned, I go to Michael John Angel Studios (MJAS) and it's awesome of course. I learned more there in a day than I could ever learn at OCAD in 4 years! I feel so happy there, I feel at home and I'm improving week. But here's the bad part, the only way I can go there is by using my student loan which is for OCAD. I just happened to have enough money. So if I quit OCAD it's bye, bye MJAS too. So I'm trapped unless I can find a way to pay for MJAS and earn a degree some other way. We're doing these amazing Bargue drawings, meanwhile at OCAD we're doing things from grade 9. It's only been a month and I'm already trying to get out. I spoke to the dean and he's like, "You need to be more open, more patient..." Blah, blah, blah, same crap, different person. I've heard it all before, you know? They try to patronize me and tell me I'm too young to know what kind of education I need... yet I'm old enough to pay for it. I asked him if I could use the work I do at MJAS for credit and he said to talk to the head of first year studies who is none other than my drawing teacher Colette! Why do I get the feeling that she's not going to help me? I DESPERATELY NEED HELP! The last day to drop courses is November 5th so if I can't get help by then, I'm definitely trapped. Please, if you have any advice as to what I should do or if you can help some other way, that would mean lots to me.

Thanks,
Crystal Brown