I Don't Want To

• Sunday, May 23, 2010

I gave a talk to my art class today.  I told them that I don't ever want to hear them say "I don't want to" again.

I'd say shade this.  "I don't want to."  Fill in your white spaces. "I don't want to."  Every time it's the same; a student would stare at me with a blank face and say to me "I don't want to" as firmly as they could as if that added to them authority.  I can see them hoping that their defiance goes unnoticed while magically I assent.  That doesn't happen.

I told them that I don't want to ever hear them say "I don't want to" again unless they have good reason. "I want to listen to you if you have a good idea.  But if you don't want to because you think it is hard or because you are being lazy, then I don't want to hear it.   If you say I don't want to shade this, it should be because if you think it would look better with, say, a pattern.  If you say I don't want to color this yellow, it should be because if you think it would look better blue.  But no more I don't want to unless your reason is if you think it makes your picture better."

I believe my students were paying attention. But perhaps more people need to be paying attention, including me. How often have I not done something just because I didn't feel like it? It takes too much time!  I don't need to do it!  It is too much effort!

Rather I should be asking: does it make me better?  I am going to start thinking about that question next time before I say I don't want to.

1 comments:

  1. For me, I don't ever want to hear my students saying "I don't know" again.
    I told them, "Yes, you do know. If you really don't know, ask and find out and you will know."

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