Monday, November 23, 2009

Are you kidding me?

When I was deliberating over what to spend a MAJOR part of my life doing my freshman year of college, I decided it might be wise to go talk to a guidance counselor. After all, they spend 8-9 hours a day helping people choose their destinies, so why couldn't they help me? I had somehow gotten into BYU "Undeclared" and had gone through the list of and checked off profession after profession that I did not want to end up in...but I couldn't find the one. So I made an appointment with some overweight lady in a cluttered white office who said this to me when I told her I might want to be an art teacher:

"Well, what about math? Don't you like math?"


I don't understand how someone can hear art and translate that to, huh, she should major in math. Thinking about it now, I want to punch that lady or maybe just get her fired because she may be steering people into majors that she thinks will make money or be more fulfilling.

I think there is this stigma that goes with majoring in art, that it's not important, that it's the easy way out, that it's not a real profession. After being in the Art Ed program for over two years, I can safely tell you that you are wrong. Screw differences of're just wrong. In my whole time in college, I never truly felt like I was in the right place until I got into the art program. Yes, we make art, but we talk about it, philosophize, plan meaningful lessons that go beyond what YOUR art teacher taught you and prepare to change lives through art.

Ken Robinson says that creativity is just as important as literacy in schools, and we should treat it that way. This is the best speech I have heard on education in a long time, so please take the time to watch it. He's entertaining and profound.

If my parents had not seen my potential and enrolled me in non-public school art classes, I don't think I would be going in the direction I am going now. I finally feel like I have something to say, and a way to say it. I have found a place at BYU where I can flourish, and it feels amazing.
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Jensen: Dana and Ruth said...

I totally know what you mean by the stigma! My dad still gives me grief for majoring in English. It wasn't until my major capstone class that I felt justified. My professor gave this great lecture called "Art as a way of knowing." Totally made me feel better about things. If you ever run across the lecture (he's had it published) by Jay Fox, read it!

Can I be your blog buddy?

Allie said...

I talked to a counselor there, too, and it was a complete waste of my time. I took one of those placement tests (which said I should become an musician or a stewardess...) and the only thing the guy did was read the test and say, "Maybe you should be a musician like the test says," even though I already told him I didn't want to do that. Then I mentioned maybe going into English, and he said, "Well, if that's what you want to do." I asked what careers I can do with it, and he said, "Just look it up on the career counseling website," and showed me the door. LAME.

Really, I wonder if those counselors ever help anyone... And judging by how little he did, I figured I could do that. Just show up and ask people if they like a certain subject and tell them to research it themselves.

Kellies said...

Dana: Sweet, I'll look it up! And yes, I love that we're blog buddies!

Allie: I totally agree with you. That's why I just get advice from close friends and family. They know you better, and can actually give you good tips. Lame counselors!!!

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