Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Lack of Art


Choueifati mores dictate that we look down on arts and glorify the sciences. My school just before Choueifat was renowned in the district for their artists and graphical designers, so for me, art classes were always detailed and more interesting than most subjects. We discussed simple artistic techniques and histories of some artists and works. I remember my last lesson of Visual Arts was on one point perspective drawing, a technique I still use today in my random sketches. My final Art exam was to draw my own leg and shoe in 50 minutes. I’m proud to say I got 47/50.

Then it happened. I was forced to move to Choueifat in the eighth grade. Among many things, I was shocked to learn that I would only have one lesson of art a week, on Tuesday (The fourth day of the school week at the time). After a long, grueling three days of mostly textbook math and science, I wondered how creative the art sessions would have to be to balance it out. I waited and waited and eventually it came.

Walking down the corridor to the art room with the rest of the class, I asked a new friend of mine what they last did in art class. He raised an eyebrow at me and laughed. Being the idiotic eighth grader I was, I laughed along and continued walking down. I was among the last ones to reach the room. What I saw there can most clearly be described as chaos.

You see, art is barely even considered a subject at Choueifat. It’s more of a free lesson where you can just sit around and chat with your friends or grab a piece of paper and start folding. The teacher would just aimlessly walk around the room, mumbling, mostly in Arabic. The only art I ever did learn in Choueifat was origami, from a classmate.
The world is not based on Science and Math. The arts are just as important, if not more. The “L” section for literature and arts is still strongly scientifically based, with major subjects such as history, statistics, business studies and calculus. Arts and Literature aren’t even compulsory subjects in the L section. The students deserve the right to choose and not to have these ideologies imposed on them.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. You described art class exactly as we in Ruwais experienced it. Untill recently, I had no idea that some schools and educational systems treated art as a serious subject.

Choueifat does attempt to give us a "solid base in mathematics and science" but Mr. Germanos should understand that there's more to (scholarly) life than memorising formulas.

I say give us that "solid base in mathematics and science" but allow us to enjoy it as well. We should (and any gr. 11S student would agree with me) place a greater emphasis on the arts and on practical experiments.

Otherwise his dream of making Choueifat the "best school in the world" will remain just that - a dream (a dream for him and a nightmare for the rest of us)

Keep up the good work

Ur fellow prisoner said...

I remember tht, art class? wht was tht? all i remember is throwing, well juss bout ANYTHING i could find at the guy opposite me or sleeping in the corner, the teacher never gave a rats @$$, she juss asked me to turn on or turn off from time to time.
Art is non-existant in the Choueifat skools, sure formulas n critical thinking are good the brain, but being able to be imaginitive opens it up more. In others words Art => good!
Mr.Germanos, is a man tht lives in his own lil world, he thinks if u work hard enough u can do anything, u can, but thts juss the metaphor, theres no such thing as a perfect skool n there never will be, not with things like "f**k this skool" written on the back of toilet doors

Anonymous said...

The sciences, in our school, have been put on the highest pedestal possible.Academics is their sole priority and other activities are frowned upon as an utter waste of time.They try to cram our heads with facts without realising that sooner or later we're either going to crack or tune out & find some way of stopping the information from reaching our brains.Choueifat even found a way to make art,
something i'm passionate about,tedious,deflating and downright uninspiring.

Anonymous said...

ur sites shite

Choueifati survivor said...

I left Choueifat Auh after my A-levels in 13th grade (back in 1996), was in the L section and wanted to do History, French and English literature (i wanted to do an English lit and French degree). Choueifat, in all its wisdom, didn't even have a decent French A-level program;those who were brave enough to sit the French A-level got a U. I had to have a private tutor at home. The English literature was a joke, it was basically a lecture and you just took down notes. There was absolutely no creativity or actual engagement of the brain whatsoever. Same goes for the History A-level course taught at Choueifat. One big fat joke. Once I got to uni, it took me years to actually think for myself; Choueifat moulding stopped me from thinking creatively.

I really resent the fact that sports, music, art or any form of liberal arts is not taken seriously. Life does not only consist of theorems and calculations. I'm a lawyer now, no thanks at all to Choueifat. It seems that the school is obsessed with accumulating university acceptances and decorating their administration with them like wallpaper. I wonder whether Choueifat would have decorated their walls with my acceptance letter had I gone to top music conservatory?? Would I have been 'wasting my time' (as they would probably have said)???

To those still in Choueifat, I've heard that the system is even worse now. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Who ever wrote this is kick ass... end of story... good bye and DOWN WITH SABIS!

Anonymous said...

I hope Mr. Germ-anus ends up in hell. I wonder if he's even human.

Crying Girl said...

He's fit to be lynched