"the artist has one function--to affirm and glorify life."
- w. edward brown

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Today, as I sit in the gallery office, counting people coming into the gallery and sticking more labels on mailers going out to people all over, I am also watching the freshmens and their parents coming in and getting lost on their way to their first advising appointments. Five years ago today, I was here and things were so similar, ok, so today is a little wetter; I remember it was a beautiful Michigan summer day when Mom, Dad, Em and Beth helped me move in and get adjusted to new life at Calvin.

I remember feeling so nervous about everything and fearing I'd mess up or look like a fool... and I did and I was... but it is so surreal that five years have gone so fast!!

On to the next!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Planets

Anyone else feel sorry for Pluto for being demoted... I know I do.

Mean inner planets, reducing it to a less important celestial body, just because it's orbit is a little oval, and it's a little small. It's like the little kid on the playground being picked on.

Or maybe it's just me.

Aww hecks!

Talk about stress. Everyone here is getting all worked up for numerous reasons. Let me esplain, no let me sum up.

First of all a formula:

1) Student workers + decent wage + decent treatment x recognition for our hard work = a campus that runs smoothly + happy bosses

2) Student workers + higher wage / lost working hours because of budget cuts - less actual money because of said budget cuts + less recognition of our bosses by their bosses + a corporate culture infiltrating the administration and causing SERIOUS tension = unhappy students + not enough money to live off of = me not liking what Calvin has become and never giving any more of my money to the college when I finally earn some

some statements:
- Calvin increased minimum wage for students after 10 years of having it be the same! Hooray!
- Calvin didn't increase the budget for student wages, therefore, less hours are avaliable to be worked because same money with more expenses equals not feasible. Boo!

- Bob, who has been working at Calvin for four years, diligently climbing the ladder of wage increases, now only makes 5 cents more than someone who is just starting working at Calvin. Boo!
- Professors don't want to lose their student aids and assistants, so the gallery and the woodshop are taking cuts in operating hours. Boo!
- Bob has hours in the gallery, the ceramics studio, and the slide library! Hooray!
- Those hours may get cut. Boo!

- Every other department is suffering cutbacks too. Hooray! (I mean come on, at least it's not just the Art Department)
- I'm guessing that the phone-a-thon student worker are still making bank and not losing hours, because all anyone seems to care about is bringing money into this college. Boo!
- Everyone is upset because, the staff didn't get raises this year either, and now with the cutbacks on students, they will be taking on MORE work and not getting paid. Boo!

- Calvin is building a new 'Campus Commons'. Hooray!
- It's a glorified dining hall that is a waste of money and if the same architect designs it as did the PCC and the DeVos Communications Bldg, it will be ugly as well. Boo!

- Bob has been sticking labels on Gallery calandars all day and his thumb is sore. Boo!
- Tomorrow is Friday! Hooray!!

This bitching post has been brought to you by Bob, who has worked the whole summer, with 1 vacation day and 2 sick days off in three and a half months; he's tired, sore, stressed, and underpaid.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

No words; oh wait, yeah there are some in here...

(Warning: use of Canadian terms may be offensive to some readers)

I really don't like it when professors need to be led by the hand and assisted with things that they should know they need to get done... like moving into and out of offices.

(OK, so glad the stuff I had to deal with wasn't this bad.... wait, yeah it was worse! That's right!)

My new rule for life: Simplify; you don't need that much shit anyway. Throw it away if you don't think you will use it with in the next 6 months, especially regarding things like old bird nests and plastic grocery bags. If you forgot you had it, you probably didn't miss and and should get rid of it.

The exceptions to the rule are:
-books, they last for a long time and well, I just like them, but at least organize them into some semblance of order, if there is no order, or the books hav no relevance to what you are doing, the rule still applies;
-selected (few) early artworks that can act as a window into the past and show how far you've come, this does not mean you keep every work you ever made... they're not that good anyway;
-finally, equiptment and tools that actually cost money and will be used in the near future, this can include wheels, throwing bats, slab rollers, and speciality tools, this does not include things like plastic spoons, plastic bags (I know I mentioned them already, they need repeating), or random bits of hardware one thinks could at some point be a cool 'texture tool'; I'm sorry that doesn't cut it.

Remember, if you don't take the time to clean up your own shit, someone else, most likely a minimum wagin' college student will have to in the future.

P.S. This is not a directed rant, there is no 'singular' individual in mind while I write this, but more of a archetype. Indeed there are at least three of these individuals that I have had to deal with this past summer.

And now, lest you think I'm all blood-boiling-ready-to-beat-things, here's a happy picture:

No, they are not mine, but they make a purdy picture and they shore are inspirin'! And can you say orderly!

Ahhh... I feel better.