Tuesday, December 11, 2007
It was interdis crit day at the university. This was new in a way, the visual arts MFA students have been having these for years but only select interdis students, those with a foot in visual arts, have undergone them prior to now. Janine Windolph and Chrystene Ells, both of whom I am a co-supervisor, presented today. I continue to have mixed feelings about these presentations although they are certain less confrontational than many I've seen in the past. I suppose it is healthy for the students and the faculty to touch base once per semester to discuss what is going on. Also, they all have the option of sitting in on each others sessions, something that did not used to be allowed, and they can therefore learn from each other how to present and defend themselves. Each presentation is followed by a behind-closed-doors discussion between professors during which praise is coupled with concerns. I'm glad to say that over the past couple of years on these, I have aggressively contested a lot of negativity that can permeate discussions and taint everyone's views of candidates. These students may soon become our colleagues, if we expect professionalism from them, we must treat them with that respect. However, I still have apprehension about these critique sessions, perhaps I cannot get past some bad experiences from years past.