My last year of HS, I needed one more elective, and I decided upon Art. Easy grade, right?
…the year before I took this class, the art teacher retired. My
school was unable to find an art teacher to replace him, so they just
planted a current teacher in the school system into the role as interim
They chose: The grade school computer teacher. We had a history
together, and she pretty much treated me as if I was completely insane.
I volunteered in the computer lab in the grade school when I was junior
high, and she flipped a gasket when she asked what I wanted my password
to be, saying that I needed to seek counseling, because, “that password
is the one the Unabomber used.”
WTF?! And WTF are you doing researching this crap? I don’t even think she was right.
She had no qualifications to be an art teacher. I checked this out
myself, as my school had a written list of every teacher in the school,
their department, and what degrees they had. She had a certificate to
be a TEACHER’S AIDE. She came into the class and admitted she knew jack
Her only justification for being able to teach art: Her daughter was an art major. Yeah, great.
Her secondary qualification for this position: She was certifiably
nuts. She would talk about the mass amounts of mood altering medicine
she was on, and the fact that she would pull on her earrings just to
feel the pain, and once ripped on one so hard…well, let’s just say
she has to wear clip-ons on that ear. Van Gogh
Now, I made the mistake of doing my best work (in her eyes) in the
first month of class. It was a portrait of my gf at the time. I got a
90 on it, and never got a grade higher than that on any piece of my
work after that, despite doing, in my mind, and in other people’s
views, good work.
She required us to keep a sketch book during the whole class, and
every quarter we were required to sketch at least 10 things for a
grade. Now I’m already very artistic, I write a ton. I write about
what’s going on in my life, and how I’m feeling. It helps me deal with
things. Usually, after I get stuff out like this, it doesn’t bother me
So, when you give me a sketch book, and just tell me to draw, I’m
already looking at this as another outlet like my writing. Mistake #2.
My mom comes home from my parent teacher conference with this look
on her face. She tells me “It looks like you’re doing ok in your
classes, but then I went to your art teacher, and she showed me your
So, this woman tells my mom that I need psychiatric help, that I’m going to kill myself, and probably others. WTF?!
I wish I still had that sketchbook, I’d scan what I did first
quarter, but in no way did any of that come off as “harm myself or
others” material. Yeah, some of that was depressing, I was dealing with
some stuff, but I was dealing.
Thus, my mom made the decision, “OMG THE TEACHER IS RIGHT!” and makes me talk to my pastor.
After that, I stopped doing any realism in my art, simply cause I
didn’t want to end up in Demented Hills because my teacher said so,
unless it called for it, and did nothing but abstract.
What’s hilarious about this, is she pretty much milked everything
she could out of two of the students in this class, who were boyfriend
and girlfriend, who were…completely out there. Obviously, they were
netting the highest grades in the class, and honestly, they were
natural artists. However, they were completely gonzo. The guy
constantly talked about burning himself in front of the teacher who
just laughed it off, and was once quoted as saying that he believed he
was incarnated from a carrot. The girl looked like she was on the verge
of killing herself constantly, and every other word she spewed was a
But obviously, since they were winning art competitions, my teacher
got wet over them, and bent over backwards to make sure they were
happy, neglecting everyone else in the class, except to tell them that
their work was crap, that it should be more like “this,” and would then
point out one of the works from Carrot Top and Courtney Love.
Fourth quarter comes around, and I’m happy as crap to be almost out
of art. We had a sculpture due, some crap we were doing with a cinder
block (I don’t remember the project, but my idea was to tie it to my
teacher’s leg and throw her in the Ohio River), and then, I was told, a
full body portrait.
The last month of school, I had a hernia repair surgery, and my
doctor put lift restrictions on me, enough so that I couldn’t lift my
cinder block to finish whatever we were doing with it, my classmates
were busy with their own projects, so they were of no help. I was
unable to finish that project for health reasons.
I had done my sculpture, once again, abstract, and was ready to get
it put in the kiln. The teacher refused to, calling it crap, saying I
should do something like Carrot Top did, and left it at that. I told
her that it was my idea, and if she didn’t like it, that was her
problem. Regardless, I was finished with the sculpture, and was not
touching it again until it was baked in the kiln.
So, then she assigns the portrait, and emphasizes that it’s a
full-body portrait. So, I start to work on it, and a few days later
(literarlly, one week before graduation), have problems drawing the
hands. I always have problems drawing hands. So I go to her asking for
She takes one look at it, and says, and I quote, “What the fuck are you? Retarded? I said a face-only portrait!”
At that moment, I had reached my boiling point over her antics.
Also, top this off with the fact that I was on pain medicine for my
surgery, and I had no discretion at all. I flew off the handle, and
ripped her a new one over how completely contradictory she was, how I
had heard her, three days ago, say full body portrait.
Unable to refute this, obviously, she starts in on my cinder block.
I reiterate what I told you about it. Then she starts in on I probably
don’t have anything in my sketch book done. I had everything done in
that pretty quickly, but then she says, “It doesn’t matter, it’s
probably the same stupid shit anyway.”
I flew off again, and told her that I’m not Carrot Boy, nor did I ever want to be, because I didn’t want her nose up my butt.
Now he flew off on me about that statement, and I looked at him and
said, “What? You’re getting good grades in here. Just turn around and
go burn something.” I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to see him again in a
Back to teacher, who begans whining about my “crap” sculpture. I reiterate the same things I said above.
Then she goes back to how stupid I must be to not understand the
phrase face-only. We argue about that. Then back to the cinder block,
and we argue some more. Then back to the sculpture. Then back to the
sketch book. Then back to the cinder block.
Finally, I had enough. I said, “Look, obviously you’re too slow to
get what I’m saying, so I’m going to put it in Kindergarten terms for
“I think I’ve had enough of your mouth, I’ll let the principal deal with you.
She calls down to the office, and continues to stand there talking
down to me while waiting for him to arrive, threatening to fail me for
the entire semester, and refusing to let me take the final. When he
does, she’s a whole other person.
“I want him removed from my sight, and I don’t want him back in
this class at all. He is being insubordinate, rude, and talking down to
me, while I tried to correct some of his work.” HA!
Principal, turns and looks at me, and says, “Follow me Corey.”
I walk out of the room, and he is dead silent walking up the
hallway. Like one of those silences that just kills. All I can think is
this can’t be good.
We get to his office, and he still has this stern look on his face as he tells me to sit down.
When I was seated he says the following: I got you out of this
class not just because she asked me to, but because that woman is
batshit insane, and you don’t need that BS.
By now I’m trying to refrain from laughing. I failed.
So he tells me he’ll coerce her into letting me take the final so
that I can get a passing grade, and for the time being I can just have
another study hall. So I’m feeling all right about this.
Until I get home and have to tell my mom why there’s going to be an
F for Art this quarter. She flips out: “You couldn’t hold it in for ONE
It’s art class. It’s not like I did this in Calculus.
That night was an awards ceremony at school, and I had to go
because I had been awarded a scholarship. When I got there, word had
gotten around the whole school that I had gotten thrown out of art and
that I had chewed her out and called her a basket case.
So, when she got up to announce the winner of the art award, when
she said “I’m happy to announce that the winner of this year’s art
award is…” one of my friends screamed, “Corey Lanier!” to much
laughter. She then said “I doubt that,” and awarded it to Carrot Boy.
Shocker. Of. The. Century.
Oh, and then next week, I go in to take the art exam. She had me
take it seperately from the rest of the class, I guess she did want to
“catch me cheating, or disrupt the rest of the class.”
I didn’t study for the exam. I got a 95.
I even went back and asked her, in front of everyone before I left that day, what I got.
She muttered, “…a 95…”
I kept asking her to repeat herself like I didn’t hear her, until
she basically had to scream that I got a 95. I then screamed, “YOU’RE
FRICKIN RIGHT I DID! PEACE OUT, NUTJOB!” and left.