Have you ever been in a critique? I went to Cranbrook Academy of Art for graduate school back in the early 80s. I was in the printmaking department and once a week we would have critiques with the entire group (18 students). They were brutal and if I had been illustrating what it was really like in this drawing she would not just have her hand and foot gone but her head as well. How bad was it? I was denied admission for a second and final year because my work wasn’t good enough in my professor’s eyes. We had moved 2,000 miles across the country for me to go to school there and a year later I was out and we had to go back to California. I started over and eventually got my graduate degree, an MFA, from San Jose State University. But make no mistake, I was chewed up and spit out and it wasn’t fun.
But, in truth, it was nature at it’s best. That means it was not a punishment for me and those who stayed for the second year didn’t get a reward. We all got consequences. I reaped the consequences of artistic and personal immaturities and arrogances on my part. I reaped the consequences of unhelpful habits on my part. I reaped the consequences of personality conflicts with a professor. I reaped the consequences of a system that I thought then, and I think now, had some serious flaws in it. But the totality of that experience had very little to do with rewards granted and punishments imposed in an arbitrary way. It had everything to do with cause and effect, action and reaction, truth and consequence.
What about you? Do you think you deserve to be punished or rewarded for something you have done? Or can you take the more neutral, less morally condemning view, that you are merely suffering the consequences?
Drawing by Marty Coleman, who had to find a picture of a lion eating something to get it right.
Quote by Robert G. Ingersoll, 1833-1899, American orator and political leader. He is a forgotten gem of the golden age of American speech making. He is well worth investigating.
Trivia of the Day
If a saint is depicted with three balls, who is he?
Answer will be at the next posting.