Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Real Art History

I gave my last art history lecture today, on the Gothic period in France (about 1100 to 1400, if you’re interested). Some of my students have done well enough on the first exams, that they don’t have to take the final, so I said good-bye to them.
My honors history student, an older guy who is well traveled, stayed after class to chat. He asked me if I will teach the Renaissance to Modern art history survey next semester, to which I replied, no. And anyway, he should take that course from a “real art historian.”
And then he said something so nice: that it is refreshing to have art history explained by an artist who sees things in practical, and sometimes emotional, terms. And who isn't boring. It meant a lot to hear that from an intelligent, well-read person, because I often feel like a sham who shouldn’t be teaching this class at all.
Anyway, small triumphs are just about all adjuncts have, right?
Painting by Sargeant, lovely cropping


Turtle Ink said...

So true, but it is these little triumphs that keep us going. The reward of the teacher is the praise of the students. The pay is nothing to write home about... it's all about putting that little spark in their eyes when they hear something that fills them with wonder. Great painting, btw.

kloeamongtheturks said...

Thanks, sweetheart!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I was in your class too (in case you are wondering how I found this, you showed us pictures from your blog in class when you talked about hagia sofia). Now that I am taking the second portion from a quote unquote art historian, I am appreciating your teaching method much more. Maybe since I am an art major myself, it is easier to identify with an artist point of view. So even though the semester has barely started, I miss you! Thanks for a great semester!