Archive for July, 2015

Yes I have the official confirmation that I have passed my degree with a 2:1 result.

Whilst I am somewhat pleased with the 2:1, I am seriously disappointed with the lack of teaching and support offered by the Hull School of Art and Design (HSAD) where I studied.

With a 2:1 why would I be unhappy?

In September 2014 I started my 3rd and final year of my degree. For this privilege I shelled out a quite obscene £6000 to be ‘educated’ to degree level.

Things did however start rather positively. We had a new course leader who was simply appalled at how we had been treated in the first 2 years by the previous course leader. It had been a game to him with totally misleading information and demands of submissions being in a certain format, only to deny this when we all turned up with mountains of images. Coupled with his inability to remember what he had already lectured us about, thus repeat lectures were often stopped after 20 mins or so, it was pleasing to have this new blood.

This new found optimism was soon dashed as we found our course leader was still covering his old job too. His promises of trips and shoot opportunities simply evaporated along with his attendance at HSAD. He was simply sucked back to the other job/students which clearly demanded a higher level of input from him.

He did manage one tutorial with me, though I had to see him at his other workplace across town, to which I received an email outlining my work to date. I don’t blame the course leader for this atrocious teaching but do blame the HSAD Dean and her financially inept counterparts from the main building.

Now for £6k you’d be expecting some quality lecturing to take place to help students attain the best possible grades. Amazingly the HSAD feels that lectures are somewhat a grey area in year 3 so they deliver nothing. Nothing? I hear you say so I will repeat that we received not one lecture in the whole academic year. Oh no, no, no, you are expected to teach your craft to yourself via a mixture of academic reading and work related tutoring. This is simply a rip off and abuse of the students attending the course. The Dean is useless and simply denies there is anything wrong at the school either at educational level or the way in which students are treated. Many, including myself, have complained and they either blatantly deny that there is anything wrong or try and blame the student for the failings.

The HSAD is an all too typical publicly funded educational joke. If it was a private business it would have closed many years ago owing to students being able to choose from alternative businesses that provide what they should. It’s a bit like paying a travel agent, for a holiday, only to find you actually have to get there yourself, find accommodation, feed & water yourself, get yourself back, write a review and then receive a mark, from the travel agent, on how well you did. An utter farce.

One small glimmer of educational quality did exist within the CATS department though it was a small, a very small glimmer of educational hope. The assistance given to our dissertation consisted of 6 x half hour sessions all held before christmas. The head of CATS tried telling us that this level of interaction is more than any other institution he knows about. He, as the Dean, obviously thinks we are idiots who know nobody else at university. Some challenged this and the simple answer was too many students for a depleted staff reduced by financial constraints. I have a close friend who had an hour every week and could book additional tutorials if she required additional assistance. This shows the gulf and disparity between educational centres and why, in my opinion, places like HSAD should be closed.

We had several students leave over the 3 years, including those in the 3rd year, who were simply at a loss over the appalling education and support given. To throw things away with only months to go shows how demoralising this building can be.

So the key question is would I recommend the Hull School of Art and Design to any prospective student?

The simple answer is no. If you can travel or reside anywhere else in the UK, for the same degree, then go and do it there. I would have completed my 3rd year elsewhere had it not been for my family commitments. With the nearest Uni being at Leeds a daily commute of 120 miles and the time travelling negated this option for me.

Finally, would I do it all again?

I would but not at HSAD. I genuinely believe the degree holds some weight with certain customers and, at least in the 1st year, helped improve my skills. I would now save a sound financial pot to finance my 3 years elsewhere, where students are treated with respect and tutored, yes actual tutoring, accordingly.

With no help I got a 2:1 so with actual tutoring, lectures & learning assistance I’m in no doubt a 1st was easily achievable.

Quite frankly my comments could be far more detailed and condemning of a building which, in my and others, opinions shouldn’t exist. As for the lecturers there I just can’t find the words to express my disappointment though the Dean and her financial restrictions certainly contribute to my feelings about lecturers.

I’ll close these comments with an image, taken by me last year, outside the entrance of HSAD. The area always has students and lecturers stood smoking which looks so unappealing to anyone passing by. At the time litter was always strewn everywhere, for which lecturers were also responsible, and yet no bins for litter etc.

I placed the image on this blog and as people, from HSAD, actually read our blogs as part of a module, I like to think I was responsible for someone actually placing bins at the entrance. Sadly some muppets have no idea on how to use a bin so litter does, although reduced, remain. Add this to the dirty broken blinds in the office windows and it could almost be a scene from some post apocalyptic film as you approach the building.


Another mad few weeks.

Posted: July 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

It’s all been go here again over the last few weeks but I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t been fun. I knew this year was going to be busier simply from initial bookings yet things have simply expanded beyond expectations.

I had originally expected things, business wise, to progressively grow over the next 3 years. At the current rate I will be saturated with weekend work by next year. I only have 4 weekends free between now and Xmas !!!

We now have contacts for national school and national open league trampolining along with regional gymnastics competitions. This takes up a massive amount of full weekends throughout the year. Add that to the ongoing weddings, portraits and other incidental work that keeps coming in and we have a busy year and subsequent years ahead.

Also had a few proms in the last few weeks which were an absolute hoot. 99% of the kids are angels and a credit to their parents but sadly there’s also the 1% who think they can do what they like. That’s not only behavioural either as some peoples dress sense is somewhat open for debate and the speed that some think drinking alcohol is cool. Each to their own though and these are things we have to expect when dealing with some 60+ kids. One thing is certain though in that I don’t envisage me becoming a teacher anytime soon.

I also finished a current bump 2 baby shoot this week which has been fun. Baby expected in the next few days so the prep for the newborn shoot is already underway. Another fabulous set of images, taken over the last several months, showing how the mum to be blossomed though.

Another first, for me, was covering a dance competition a couple of weeks ago. Whilst the lighting, or lack of it, made things difficult the event went rather well. Watching the poor coordinator try to keep things on time along with kids in the right place at the right time was funny at times. A bit like the proms were some kids just don’t or won’t listen and just do what they want which helps nobody involved. My main issue was the LED lighting used which was either purple or yellow. Add this to makeup and some of the facial images looked as though the poor kids has some rare tropical disease.

All in all another excellent month which I think is suitably summed up in the image below. Many parents are now asking for simple portrait images to compliment the competition images taken for use in our montage options. Winners often have a portrait with their medals or trophies but more are asking for a posed ‘move’ or casual pose. The young lady below was only 4 years old, I believe won nothing, yet still had this wonderful smile all day. A real cheeky little monkey.