Native Arts of Mesoamerica and South America: This class seems quite promising! I know virtually nothing about this part of the world, and different ethnic groups and civilizations are so confusing! But I figured out the civilizations of Asia and the ancient world in previous art classes, so I'm sure I'll master the Moche and Nasca and the Olmec and the Toltec. Right? I'm taking the course for Honors credit, so I have to write an extra paper for the course. It looks like it'll be really fun! The topic that I'm thinking of right now is textiles of Guatamala, and European/Western influences on weaving and construction techniques. (Why doesn't someone just staple NERD!!! to my forehead right now?)
History of Architecture: The teacher of this class is really sweet but I feel like she spends waaaaaaay too much time telling stories about the culture and not enough time on the actual buildings. So far we've talked about the Minoans and their palaces on Crete, but she's shown maybe a handful of photos from the buildings. While the history and stories about the people are interesting and worthy of study, I think that an architecture class should be looking at building materials and techniques! The projected schedule for the class is very vague, and the professor's made some odd choices. We're completely skipping the Egyptians - which seems odd to me - and following the basic scope of Western art movements like Greek architecture, Gothic, Baroque, Modern, etc - but randomly, she's planned to look at South
American art, too. If she's going to do that, why not toss in some Asian architecture from Japan, China and India? Why skip the pyramids of Egypt?
It just seems very slipshod to me.
Intermediate Drawing: The first thing I've learned from this class is that I have absolutely no 'life' drafting skills - I can't draw what I see, whether it's still life or human figures. Isn't that sad? The second thing I've learned is that, thankfully, very few other people in my class can, so I'm not horribly behind in the curve. A graphite still life of birdhouses (I didn't pick the subject; it was provided by our instructor!) that I did was called out in critique, so I guess that's a good first step. This class isn't fun but I'll definitely learn from it.
Finite Math: This class just sucks, but I have to take it. The teacher has a thick accent so he can be difficult to understand, even though he repeats himself a lot. It's like a phrase gets stuck in his throat and he has to say it until it has been wrestled out. He's also a strange duck who insists on students answering questions. For example, if he says "Good afternoon, students" he expects us all to respond, in unison "Good afternoon, sir." He'll ask a question like "How do you solve problem X?" and we'll stare blankly at him. After thirty seconds of no response, it's pretty clear that no one has a clue. So he'll repeat the question. We'll stare some more. Three minutes later, after 3-4 repetitions of the question, some brave soul will offer an answer and be shot down. We end up spending 10+ minutes on a single problem because the teacher absolutely refuses to instruct us, instead waiting for us to magically produce answers on our own.
Also, he has awful handwriting. Teachers who use blackboards should be forced to take handwriting courses until they're legible, because messy scrawls are of no help to the students and a waste of the instructor's time.
Acrylic Painting: I need to get new brushes. That's what I've learned from this class so far. I didn't really take good care of my brushes from the Design & Color class last fall, and as a result they're pretty thrashed. But I'm too cheap to drive out to University Art to buy new stuff right now. Oh well.