Sunday, June 7, 2009

Higher Education

Oh, higher education. That old thing. Oh, it is exhausting, and frustrating, and rewarding to navigate the channels and get credit for learning, and find challenging courses, and oh I am so tired of it.

So. I went to 4 community colleges, which is nearly 4% of the state's community colleges. And I kind of liked it. Some courses validated GEs beautifully (Thank you, English 1A and 1B!!! I would have been dying my way through a Comp 1 and a Comp 2 class, wasting my time, when I really wanted to be enrolled in Astro and Econ!), some just count as "electives", units that boost my class standing (and thus financial aid level as my expected family contribution goes down each grade, and I get to enroll when the year above does (we do scaffolded enrollment with seniors first and frosh last, and I was only a frosh standing for 1 quarter), and also? if I want to take a course that is totally impacted, I get priority at the profs discretion. AND ALSO I WITHDREW FROM A CLASS ONE TIME AND IT IS NOT PUSHING BACK MY GRAD DATE.*

So, on the whole, a fantastic move. One of the cleverer things I managed as an adolescent. But (except Japanese! That is a foreign language with foreign expectations and it kicked my butt on the first go and I managed a B on the second!) by the time I was 16 I thought the courses were very, very easy. They have to be courses that anyone at all can realistically pass if they work hard, and I was working reasonably hard, as hard as I was in most of my highschool courses. Also I had very good attendance as it would be hard to explain to my parents why I could not go to class unless I was actually ill, just like highschool. Anyway, when I graduated Dad wanted me to work and go to community college, to save money. Mom said no, they are not designed for people like me and becausewhen she had attended community college while working to save money she found them completely maddening and she also cited the very low completion rate and so Dad was convinced and I was off to UCSC. I said no too, for what it was worth, because I could not imagine getting an associates and having those instructors and that campus life and those assignments for another year.

And now I have 2 years of UC undergrad behind me (well, on Wednesday I will have) and I am actually maybe going back to community college for summer. It makes me freak out a little, because really they are not intellectually stimulating environments. But OTOH my friend goes to one and she took pottery there and her work is very impressive.

So. We are permitted (I think as a result of impacted pre-art classes) to recieve credit for a lower division studio course by taking the equivalent course at a community college over summer. I am not 100% sure I am doing this, as it depends on whether the accepted courses are offered for the summer term which has less selection than the regular academic year, and when summer session starts (it must be quite soon, most universities let out weeks ago). But yeah, I might be going to community college again, at the age of 20. I really just had this spinal full body spasm shiver from typing that.

If we are permitted to take two courses (the email said one, which seems fair because we are only required to take 3 lower div studios to declare the major, and taking 2 of those at another campus seems like poor quality control) then I can declare as art for fall!!! I really shouldn't do that, since it will be great to spend a little more time with other pre art students and working at the intro, pre art level. I have seen the upper classmen's work at open studios and it honestly to my minimally trained eye looks like the work of professional artists or in some cases grad projects. Yeah, I really really shouldn't so that because then the only studios I'll have prereqs for are drawing, painting, and sculpting classes. (Art students are not permitted to enroll in pre-art introductory studios, so once you declare you kind of can't ever earn another prereq except over summer when the rules are relaxed). So, what this will do for me, if I do manage to find courses, is expand the potential for the upper div studio courses I can take.

I am feeling so excited about my art career. Which, no, it is nascent. Embryonic. But I can see it.
I am looking at grad schools. Well, online, I am not touring them. California College of the Arts, which is 3 miles from the Oakland house, is terribly, terribly highly rated. I think their jewelry and metalwork is supposed to be the best. UCSC has only a tiny bit of metalwork I think. It is more of the welding kind. As I read and reread texts for my finals, I have been burnishing and deforming a little bathtub I am making out of silver. It does not look very much like a bathtub.

*also, of course, they exempted me from absolutely loads of highschool courses, to the extent that the only courses I had to attend my senior year were algebra and community circle time. And I also took some requirements independent study which basically meant minimal work and an occassional check in with a teacher.

1 comment: said...

hi Caitlan....
have you had to opportunity to lampwork (make glass beads)
I don't get to pop in often ..but read you are interested in much fun.....]
have a great week....
you can read more about all kinds of art and jewelry on our blog.. please enjoy if youve never visited
mona & the girls
read about glass bead artist Melaine Moertel..taking a class with her this summer so excited...