I know I said I would post more often, and I always pop in briefly to try to catch up on everything. All I can say is that I am very sorry, and I have been very busy.
Case-and-point: Midpoint Review.
For any of you unfamiliar with the term, Midpoint Review is when a committee of faculty evaluate your work—in my case, photography—and decide whether or not you will continue in the program. When I was at SCAD this was a time of hysteria and panic; the event was so traumatic that students were frequently seen sobbing inconsolably in the hallways.
There, at least, the Review process was simple, if deviously snarky. Pick up the form at the office. Pin photographs on the wall in the classroom assigned. Place copies of artist statement on the table. When the faculty comes in, talk about your intent with your work and you influences. Answer questions. Wait outside while they decide, then either celebrate or wail in despair.
The only issue with SCAD reviews were the petty political machinations that determined whether a student passed or not. Instead of basing the decision on the viability of the student’s work, most of the committees focused on the how well the student fit in their little cliques. (Don’t believe me? Ask around, you’ll soon find out. Talk to Zig Jackson how cruel most of the other professors are, tell him I sent you.)
I am quite thrilled that I found the Academy of Art University. Not only am I learning loads more than I ever did at SCAD (ask a SCAD photo graduate to explain depth of field; most of them can’t even work their cameras), but the staff so far have been warm and very knowledgable.
Unfortunately, the Midpoint Review process is more…involved.
First, there is the Written Proposal, professionally bound, 2 copies. It has several elements:
Thesis Project Proposal,
Thesis Project Description
Capture, Process, and Print Specifications
Statement of Professional Goals
Once all that is completed, there is the printed portfolio of 12-16 images, one of which has to be printed and mounted as you intend them all to be for the final presentation. These must be presented in a professional archival box.
There is a 15-20 minute PowerPoint presentation to be done. It has to cover the information in the Written Proposal, but more succinctly, and the student has to do the actual presenting…yes, continuously speaking about the work, its intent, its placement in current and historical photography, as well as challenges to overcome and its evolution in the coming months.
RAW files (if shooting digitally) and finished JPGs uploaded online AND burned to a disc (with the PDF of the Written Proposal).
It is quite a bit of work. My Thesis involves transfers on to tile, so in addition to printing the other images on a high-quality photo paper, I also need to transfer a 12x12 image onto tile. So…yeah.
So far I have completed the PDF of the Written Proposal, gathered the RAW files and finished JPGs, and purchased my tile. I have a rough-draft of the PowerPoint. Tomorrow I start the printing process.
I have to get my prints, bound Proposals, transfered tile, and CD to California by January 2nd. Ughhhhhh.
After getting everything together and in the proper places, I have to present the PowerPoint, then answer a series of questions. What questions? I have no idea. The committee needs to see that I know my terminology, history, contemporary photography, involvement, audience with their responses, how it will evolve, and challenges I anticipate with completing it. If I do not, then I do not pass, and have to re-present. I have taken every class I am eligible to without Midpoint approval; if I do not pass, I cannot enroll. I live on graduate loans, and therefore cannot pay rent.
So I am truly sorry for being so sporadic on here. I intend to do better, but for now I am focusing on passing MPR and getting my latest rescue better. (New story about here coming soon!)