5. Surviving Graduation

I began my education st s very early age – in fact, right after I left college.

  • Winston Churchill

To Survive:
– Be continuous in what you do.
– Work what you love into your schedule comfortably.
– Discipline your time.
– Keep materials you are comfortable with.
– Set goals that you can meet.
– Stick to the goals you set.
– Make friends of your fellow artists.

I felt it was necessary to restate and reword the “list” Orland wrote in the chapter about what it takes to survive outside of high school.
This chapter really spoke to me in the terms of what really does happen after high school is over and we’re all forced out into the real world where no one knows who we are or what we did inside the walls of WUHS. Basically, Orland states that once we’re done with school, we lose the shell where we can have all the answers at the tips of our fingers, we lose the access to supplies, and we lose the insight of our peers. When schooling is over and done with, we need to develop our own individual stances on who we are, which may not be an easy task to accomplish, but it is a necessary process in becoming ourselves and not a mirror of someone else.
I find the quote on page 67, about the due dates, assignments, pressure to be perfect yet different, rather interesting. All through high school we are graded on our ability and focus, yet, what does it really get us in the end? It gives us our own personal flair to everything that we do, and with this, we learn how to master what we love to do. Mastery is practice, it is the time you devote.

~ S. Grisius




9 Replies to “5. Surviving Graduation”

  1. This chapter of the book was a real eye opener to me in terms that this is how my life will somewhat be next year. I am a senior so I won’t have the supplies or insights anymore. I will be the one incharge of myself and the one to set my own deadlines and keep them in check. In elemetry school especially, we try to mimic, copy really, the ideas and techniques of our teachers. At that point in our art careers we haven’t found ourselves as an artest yet. More or less we haven’t discovered what kind of art we will produce or what our potential is. In elementry through high school we are pretty much provided with the means and suplies to make whatever kind of art we can wrap our minds around. Once we leave high school we have to provide for ourselves and this may even limit us to what we are able to produce. But once outside of the high scool walls we are able to really find ourselves as artists. We don’t have the impression of our teachers or peers as much as we did in previous schooling. But when we are out we may struggle to devote time to art. I know I do, and I’m still in high school. All I really need to do is to work it comfortly into my schedual like what Ted had stated.

  2. The last statement is one of the more profound and true statemements I have read. The truth is, you will BEGIN to further find yourselves as artists once you leave the safe walls of the high school. The limited materials, the change in the TIME you have to make art, the other things that you find to occupy yourself with will all cut into the “time” you have for art.

    The thing that strikes me hard, every time it happens, is when the high school artist refuses to work beyond their comfort zone because “this is what I do.” I guarantee you all, you have yet to find “what you do.” at this point in your lives. Yes, this is what you do now, but there are so many things you have not done in life that will affect what you will become and the works you will make. The work you do now IS “what you do” but it is truly a shame when I see it as ALL you do. Open up the minds, look for new and inventive MARK MAKING and an investigation of the ideas you are grabbing hold of but do not have a firm grasp on yet. SO MUCH TO LEARN, so much to see.

  3. In this chapter I was kind of thrown out of my own comfort zone. As a general rule I try not to think of the future or the past, I’m really a here and now kind of person, to think about what could happen when I am without teachers, or supplies or the help that I need will be a serious wake up call. What Ted said to do as far as the list goes was somewhat helpful, except, where would I find these other artists when I still meet people in my senior year that I have never met before, event though they’ve been there all along. I am also not a goal setter or reacher, thats not to say that I don’t try, it is more to say that if it’s my personal goal, I always give my self slack and say that noone was hurt by my not finishing, so why rush? I suppose that that’s something I will have to work on.

  4. Oh boy, this is a comment that really needs to be commented on.

    While being a hear and now person is a very interesting way to look at life, and there are times where worrying about the future isn’t always something that can be dealt with, the use of looking ahead and reflecting back is very important for the development and evolution of you, your art, your education, and everything about you.

    The list that Mr. Orland set up (and Sara reiterated) is a very good starting point. Making friends with your fellow artists… who are they? You are already friends with some of your fellow artists. This doesn’t mean that you have to go out to Milwaukee or Chicago or New York to meet the rich and famous, world renowned artists, it means make conversation and create bonds with those around you. Look at their works, listen to their comments, share your ideas with them and let them share ideas with you.

    Goals… these are what make us accomplish what we set out to do. Without goals, how does anyone expect to even attempt to graduate, to pass the next test, to achieve a driver’s license, to build a canvas or make a still life? How could you ever expect to achieve anything? Sadly… your comments, and I dare say, activities in studio, seem to be very apathetic. The goals that you set out in life can be minor goals, major goals, goals that are achievable and even those that are not achievable. If you set a goal and can’t reach it, hit the second goal – or a modified goal. I can list countless goals that I have personally set and NOT hit, but even without those goals, the achievements I have made would not have been possible without the planning and goal setting.

    Who are you hurting by not setting, reaching for, and accomlishing your goals? You may not think anyone, but the truth is you are hurting yourself… and anyone that looks to you for inspiration. You may not think that anyone looks to you for that, but you are mistaken. Do I know who those people are, no, but I would venture a guess that there are many, some, a few… there are people out there who look to you for ideas and inspiration.

    Sadly, the comments you made give me pause. My 20+ years of life on you gives me a very different point of view that you have, but in order to succeed in – anything – you need to have plans, you need to reflect and look forward, you need to make connections, you need to well… look over the list at the top of this blog chapter and reflect on the ideas.

    I feel that the comments I have posed will cause some controversy amongst the fellow students, but, conversation is what this blog is for. I certainly hope that the statements made here cause a bit of conversation. Apathy, laziness, excuses… this is what a lot of mwoof’s comments sound like to me. I am going to continue to help you all understand the importance of community, planning, time… the rest of Mr. Orland’s list state. I am anxious to hear what you all think.
    ~ FKorb

  5. Whoever jugglerjf is, i agree with them because they describe how we look up to teachers, but the things that was missed. or the things i didnt catch was we look to anything and everything for ideas and insight. It doesnt need to be living in order to recieve insight from it… i mean you can look to a rock and get suggestions of texture and weight. it doesnt even have to be about art. anything has science, evreything has history… it doesnt matter. but to mwoof, not trying to reach your goals could be severly bad in long run because then if you try to set goals when your out of school and out on your own, then you wont have a strive to reach them then… so work towards your goals.

  6. I kind of disagree, teachers could say there preparing us for college, but when college rolls around I’m more then likely not going to think back and remember everything they’ve talked about. Unless there was a time when a teacher really made an impact on me then that would apply. Since you (not your teachers) make up your own goals, and looking a head is just as important as setting goals.

  7. I believe this chapter spoke to almost everyone when it comes to what will happen outside of high school. Personally, I began to think that what I wanted to do with my life isn’t exactly what I REALLY want to do. I wanted to go into the medical field, but now I think that maybe I would be miserable if I did. I would rather enjoy doing what I love as a job, but will it ever evolve into a career? It puzzles me so…
    Orland’s goals also made me think about what is going to happen after school. Meeting all of these on the list might be quite challenging for some when everyone finds what they want to do in life, the second bulletin specifically. Sure, everyone likes doing what they love, but when the families and they careers come into the mix, when is their ever time?

  8. Here is where I get to brag. I have a family and responsibilities. I LOVE my job. There are days when it does feel like a job (grading, disciplining, meetings, disciplining, reports, disciplining…) but there are more days when I don’t feel like it is so much a job but rather a great opportunity. I get to do what I love, with the people I care about (all of them… I care because I want to have each any every one of you to leave this place a well rounded, educated individual with the potential to add a great deal to the large community). I was fortunate to have parents who stood behind me in all of the decisions about my future/education and helped me through the challenges that came up in the journey.

    CGilles – What is it that medicine makes you nervous about? Why do you think you’d be miserable in it… something to think about. It’s going to be a lot of work, but so is what we so in the arts. That’s one thing that I get a bit bothered by… that some thing what we do it “easy” and not a real career. Things have changed over the years since college from 1990 – 1995, and the choices I weould have now are SO many more than what I had then. Look at what you love to do, look at what your life is going to be, look at the length of your life you have to live. Happy? Money? Guarantees in life? I can only think of two guarantees – death and taxes.


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