Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to School...uhhhhh, no thanks.

Once a month, members of the EtsyMetal team are given a topic or question and then requested to blog about it simultaneously. This month's topic is:
Back To School
Where did you go to school? Are you still a student? What kind of student were/are you? If you had the opportunity to go back to school, would you? Where and what would you study?

Where did you go to school? I began my studies at Moore College of Art and Design. I thought I would be concentrating my studies in sculpture, but ended up falling in love with jewelry making. So I transferred to Tyler School of Art, Temple University for their renowned jewelry/metals department.

Are you still a student? Hell no! Although, I am constantly learning---sometimes a technique or refining a skill, many times something about running a business. But, no, I have not been a student in a formal school for a long time. And I can NOT imagine myself in a university setting at this point in my life.

What kind of student were you? I'd like to think that I was an ambitious student. I spent all my free time in the studio, trying to gain the most of my education.

If you had the opportunity to go back to school, would you? Where and what would you study? If I had the ability to time travel, I may whisper in the ear of the younger me. I would urge myself to continue my education beyond my BFA. Not to gain a MFA, but to gain more useful technical skills. I would have urged myself to take some additional business and accounting classes and to go to the Revere Academy or the New Approach School for Jewelers. I would LOVE to take a class (or two or three) at one of these schools today---but it doesn't easily fit into my life (as a mother of young children and an entrepreneur).

The Nitty-Gritty: The truth is I have mixed emotions about my alma mater. I value the education I received---it was top notch. I learned countless techniques, was introduced to basic art business practices (which many art schools woefully overlook) and had an all around great time. However, I perceive that my former instructors look upon me and what I do with ambivalence. My feelings of being slighted may simply be in my mind---my own insecurity manifesting itself. I do have real reasons for my mixed emotions and they have deep roots---I hate to hold a grudge but I can't shake this one. 'Nuff said.

Another sad fact about my alma mater is that the school I attended no longer exists. Tyler used to be it's own quaint little campus on the outskirts of Philadelphia, an estate donated by Stella Elkins Tyler. There had been talk about moving the school to the north Philadelphia main campus site of Temple University since I was there 17 years ago. They finally completed the move two years ago. I have not been to the new campus but have seen photos. It looks like a shiny new gem---but in my mind's eye, Tyler will always be that old lovely campus.

Please read the "Back to School" stories of other Etsymetal members. Follow the links to their blogs:
victoria takahashi - experimetal
caitlyn davey- discomedusa
Thomasin Durgin - metalriot
stacey - wildflowerdesigns
Ann Hartley
Konstanze - Nodeform
Beth Cyr
Jenny Baughman
Kathryn Cole


Valerie A. Heck said...

I went to community college and majored in business, then received a bachelor’s in Jewelry/Metalsmithing. I thought of getting my MFA but I really thought they wouldn't teach me new skills, I had observed the MFA’s at my undergrad. So I went to the New Approach School for Jewelers and it was the best educational experience of my life! I learned so much so fast. Though I have been snubbed by MFA professors that couldn't believe I would go to trade school instead of getting my MFA. I think it's great to pursue knowledge no matter which way you go. Go the way that's right for you!

Victoria Takahashi said...

Danielle you make such beautiful elegant works. "nuff said!"

Ann Hartley said...

How honest of you. When I was in grad school I wanted to do my MFA work on making production work and starting a business and you would have thought I was telling them I wanted to set myself on fire. Actually, they would have loved that because it was much more "Arty". I can totally understand your hard feelings. It's sad that a lot of academics can't see beyond "Art" to the business behind it.