6.00 am: I awoke, and failed to return to sleep:
But who could’ve resisted such a lovely early-summer day. ‘Up, boy!’:
6.15 am: Showered. 7.45 am: A communion. 8.30 pm: Today began my assessment of the undergraduate exhibition and postgraduate show. Henceforth, what was art is now, also, the assessable response to the aims and objectives of the modules. This would be the last time on which many of the students and I would talk about their work. Some, I’ll not meet again.
It was a morning of fruitful, serious, and, occasionally, emotional and uplifting conversations. For many (and the mature students especially) their three years at the School has been nothing short of life changing. I don’t know whether education exerts that same effect in other disciplines. The student is confronted with not only the colossal challenge presented by the acquisition of skills but also their own limitations, both artistic and personal. Thus has it ever been. These two leviathan do battle together. Out of this conflict between testing and inability comes the gold of confidence, self-knowledge, and success.
Making art is about as therapeutic as free climbing the face of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, without a rope. It’s fraught with risk, [insert expletive of choice] hard work, and comes without any guarantees attached.
However, if you do manage to make it to the top without falling off, then the sense of achievement and fulfilment bears no comparison. By 1.45 pm, Dr Forster and I had fulfilled our duties.
2.15 pm: Homeward. I shop in Tesco and Spar (sometimes). In each, there’s a present and former School student, respectively, at the counter. It’s lovely to be served by friendly and welcoming faces who don’t force Lottery tickets on me. After a Pot Noodle (Which one is the waterline, now?) – an occasional vice – I attended to the morning’s incoming mail. Thereafter, I began writing my feedback responses to the students who we’d seen this morning:
7.30 pm: It’s helpful to keep on top of feedback on a day-by-day basis. The function of the form is to provide students with a summary of the assessors’ critique of, a recommendations about, their performance. It’s not comprehensive; but it’s sufficient. The feedback also provides indicators of strengths and weaknesses across four fields of attainment.