Thursday, May 15, 2014

Caged Wild Animals


The homework for Sketchbook Skool last week was to draw animals, in action if possible. Inevitably, I found some caged wild animals right in front of me--university students taking their final exams.

I chose a prepared notebook page with a red watercolor wash and first sketched with a green colored pencil. At home, I added permanent pen and blue colored pencil. Red seems to represent their suffering well...

Of course, there is a story. While I sat at the back of the room discreetly sketching and watching the students with my hawk eyes, the other professor sat at the front. The first student to finish (obviously not the best) made some kind of rude comment, so my colleague nailed him with: "You're not good in French, in English or in Arabic. I don't see what you're doing at the university." The mouthy student whipped out: "My father is very rich." !!!! Oh, P-u-l-e-a-s-e! He shrugged and left....

The other incident was when a student with wandering eyes asked to go to the restroom, was accompanied, and tried to ask questions of other students anyway. He came back mad because he got yelled at and didn't have the time to get any answers!

My sketchbook contains traces of a couple of social problems that are not restricted to Tunisia, but that are worrisome all the same. One is the entitlement of students coming from well-to-do families. They dress with brand names only and flash their expensive i-Phones around. Look to the shoes and purses--they are status symbols. You are what you have. The university professors--who are paid peanuts--have difficulty maintaining respect, adding to the frustration of their job.
In addition, a cheating culture has developed among students over the past decade to the point where cheating is more or less viewed as "normal." This jeopardizes those students who do want to learn and makes proctoring exams difficult. 
The last exam was uneventful (thankfully). I used white, turquoise and navy colored pencils on gray Canson paper that I had cut to fit into my planner (3 1/2"x6"). All in all, it was a good day, but, I can't say as much for caged wild animals...

10 comments:

Nat Palaskas said...

You are a great drawer and story teller. You know I work in a university as well, but not the a classroom hence I enjoy the students!

Hugs
Nat

Bouts Choisis said...

A great "snapshot" of students in exams! Fascinating! You draw so well. The "My father is very rich" boy's father may not be too pleased with him if he doesn't do well in those exams! As a matter of interest what language do the students use when writing their exam answers? Lynne.

MulticoloredPieces said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Nat and Lynne. This particular exam was in English--I'm teaching in the English department (literature and civilization) which is the largest program at this particular small university/institute.

Connie Rose said...

Wonderful drawings, Nadia! It's truly sad what this world has come to, right down to university. Entitlement by the few rich people who blame everyone else for wanting basic services that the former think are "entitlements"...and corruption at every level. There's no end to the madness. Hugs to you.

Norma Schlager said...

Wonderful drawings and social commentary!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Interesting post - and wonderful drawings. I think more and more society is becoming one of the haves and the have-nots, which you have illustrated so well.

Julie Fukuda said...

I love your drawings of those caged animals. These days I wonder how many teachers are up-to-date on all the ways to cheat on tests.

conny's quilts said...

Great stories and lovely drawings!

Lady Lilith said...

Very nice sketches.

The Artful Diva said...

I love, love your take on the sketch assignment :-)