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  1. #1
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    Does my tutor have a right to kick me off the course?

    Hi, I've just gone into college this morning and my Tutor flipped out about UCAS (University) applications to my friend and then turned on me and another student. The two of us calmly explained that we weren't sure what course we want to do or if we even wanted to go to Uni in the near future, so we didn't want to waste our money and everyone's time applying for something we weren't sure we wanted to do yet.

    He basically told us that if we didn't apply for Uni right now, we might as well leave the course. One of the senior students informed us that the tutor was out of order speaking to us like that, so we both went to complain to the head of the Department. He just told us to go home and said, "I'm sure he didn't mean you should leave the course, maybe he meant stay home for today."

    So is it right for a tutor to kick two seventeen year old girls out of the course because they don't feel ready for Uni? I'm not trying to say that anyone's totally wrong, but the way he said all this has really upset us. I feel like I've been bullied into doing something I don't really want to do yet.

    (I'm on an Art and Design Foundation Diploma if that helps)

    Sorry if this sounds like some silly bitchfit. I've been treated in this way all my life - at home, in school and now in college. I'm just beginning to wonder if I've brought all of this on myself and I need an outside opinion to tell me if all this is true...


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  3. #2
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    Sounds like your teacher, if its a women, is having a 'personal day'
    No, they cant kick you off the course for not making up your mind on the UCAS apps. Dont stress about it. Why your tutor is, I dunno. But at 17, I think you can take as long as you like...

    Mx

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    My tutor's male...Maybe he's having a midlife crisis? Thanks for letting me know tough. My dad' had to complain to the college himself and they said they'd investigate it. It's just ridiculous that we've been treated like a few statistics for his pay rise. Does he get a bonus or anything if everyone goes to Uni? I have a feeling it makes him look good in some respect...

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    sounds sort of out of order but i understand his immediate point. (I've done foundation myself) The course is a pathway course to HE..

    What your tutor forgets is that you can always do a degree after a year or few off. Don't worry, go when you feel ready.

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    Any other American confused by the terms being used here? In America, a 17 year-old would still be in highschool, worrying about going to college (a euphamism for both public universities and private colleges), not in a college preparing for university... What exactly is the system in the UK?

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    System in UK:

    Primary/junior school (5-11 year olds)
    Secondary school (11-16 year olds)
    *end of compulsory education*

    You can either get an apprenticeship/start working or go to college/sixth form college to do your a-levels (which will get you into university) or a vocational qualification for something like hairdressing/brickwork
    People usually leave college at 18, then they apply for uni or start working.


    And I don't think that's a legit reason to kick you off the course, it shouldn't be a problem what you want to do with your qualifications once you've got them.

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  9. #7
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    we go to School till we are 16, then college till we are 18... after which you can apply to university. most finish their degrees at 22.

    From what i can tell it's a slightly more fast track system than US. A school friend of mine went to US when he was 13 came back when he was 15 and then had to be put back a year upon return because the curriculum didn't match up.

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    Yeah, it depends on whether he went public or private. Most public schools in America are a waste of time. Rare exceptions would only be in wealthier areas, like upstate New York, eastern Connecticut, Newport RI, Nantucket, or certain areas north/west of Boston. I bet a few in California and around Seattle are pretty good, although California in general has a ton of problems with their schools. Also, the tax inflow keeps changing so much, the fortunes of any one school could quickly change.

    I'm getting off topic, but just be a good student, do your best, and that teacher should come around and help you. If not he's not doing his job.

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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    I'm getting off topic, but just be a good student, do your best, and that teacher should come around and help you. If not he's not doing his job.
    Thanks TASmith. I've tried to be a good student and I've asked for help in the past, but if you ask him ANYTHING he just says, "Uhh, I dunno...I'll have to check..." Or "Um...I'll help you in a minute..." and wanders off to help someone else who doesn't need it. His first catchphrase sounds like some part-time guy in a hardware store! He should know all this stuff, right?

    On another note, It's funny how this thread has helped Americans know how the UK system works.

    Thanks everyone for letting me know I'm not the one to blame, I was worried you'd all think I was just whining or something ^^;

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    So, you say you haven't applied for a specific course since you might want to take a year off, and he tells you to quit taking the foundation course? That sounds harsh, not to mention stupid... after all, it's up to you when and how you want to study, and if you want to get your qualifications now and take a year off before going further, that is non of his business really.

    I'd say you haven't done anything wrong and he's being irrational and out of line... =)

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    The more students your college can get into good universities the better. I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but he has no right to force you to go to university. I myself felt pressured to apply as if I had no other options. Although, if you put your emotional conflict aside - applying doesn't cost a lot, and maybe he was trying to get across the point that it is not a big sacrifice to at least apply, even if you don't intend to go. Who's to say you won't change your mind come September? I would at least give yourself the choice to go, especially if you're just "not sure".
    Last edited by B u r l; January 12th, 2010 at 10:22 AM.

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  16. #12
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    You aren't at Blackpool and Fylde college are you?

    Because if you are...i might be able to give you a few tips having taken on the management there myself when they frikked up my course.

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    That is a good point dumpling is making there, 9 months is a long time, and come september, you might feel more motivated for further studies =)

    Taking a year off might leave you less motivated for going back to school, although that might be the right choice for you as well. Only you know what you want to do for a living and whether a degree will help you get the job you want.

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    Yeah...I just don't want to go through all of this in Uni...It happened to me with my Art Teacher in School too. I ended up having to report her for bullying me. It's really knocked my confidence about making any decisions and now I'm not even sure that I want to finish a course where the tutor forces me into making a decision that will take up another three years of my life.

    I really don't feel ready for Uni at all. I was thinking about living my own life for a little while and dabbling in short courses like Life Drawing or perhaps joining an Art group. Then, when my portfolio is more solid and I'm sure what I want to specialize in, I could apply for that course and have a better chance of being accepted.

    Right now, my portfolio feels so amateurish I bet the interviewers would have a good laugh about it. Unis want good students who will produce good work. So I'm betting they'll favour mature students with more stable mindsets. Am I right?

    P.S. Kovah - I don't go to Blackpool and Fylde. It's Blackburn College...I tought they were meant to be good for art, it's why I chose them.

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    Is the course you are doing meant to be preparing you for university (like a portfolio course)? Cos if it is maybe he means that there is no point doing a course to get into uni if you don't want to go there.

    Did he say that he was going to kick you from the course or that you shouldn't be doing it?

  20. #16
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    He told me to stop wasting his time and I should leave because I don't want to go to Uni. However, I do want to go to Uni at some point and want to build up my portfolio. He just doesn't listen to what his students want, if they're not doing things exactly his way, he suggests they leave. I thought Tutors were meant to give support, not just say "If you don't go to Uni right now you might as well not do this course."

  21. #17
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    Hey Foxtrot - Just want to say chin up and remember it's more important to learn skills and 'tools' that will help you in your future goals with art, than simply achieve good grades and a 'impressive' sounding qualification or two! I also had the same pressure put on me when getting toward the end of my college course (many years ago now!) However, I am very thankful that although the course itself wasn't that great and the tutors had little experience actually teaching, they were skilled artists in their own rights and cared about us students.

    In answer to your main question ... It's a good thing for you to think about but your tutor has no right to choose what you do after the course he's running - if the course is meant to get students ready for Uni then he should focus on doing the best job he can and encourage you - not verbally bully you into it.

    I apologise in advance if the following is stating the obvious or unintentionally patronising! (Edit: I also apologise for going kinda off topic but I'll leave it in here in case it's helpful!)

    I'd like to share a few thoughts:

    This time of your life is all about learning skills that will help you later - so what course or situation will help you best? From this point of view think of it as gathering info that will better your art ... rather than 'ooh err what qualification should I get' etc. (In my experience the qualification itself meant diddley squat (despite getting the best grades I could) but the experience gained was priceless) I guess I should point out that some jobs may require qualifications but from what I've seen focus more on 'do you have experience with such and such a program' etc.

    So! gather info and 'upgrade' your skills as much as you can!

    Also the situations you are coping with in college are readying you for dealing with life in your chosen career - a college project, assignment or module can be very like a commission (including difficult clients i.e. your tutor!)... try to relish the challenge and take the initiative by having a good think about what you would like to do in life and work backwards from that thought to how to get there!

    So! plan ahead and be confident in what you want - also a word of advice: Learn about copyright, pricing and general business practice - may sound boring and scary right now but when I made the time to learn the basics it gave me a lot more confidence dealing with clients etc.

    What did I do? - I went to college from age 17-19 and decided rather than the suggested 3 years of uni - to go straight into working freelance as a self employed artist/designer until I could get a job at a company - I hadn't got a clue at the time but pretty soon I realised I enjoyed working freelance! 10 years on I'm still going freelance and have learnt a huge amount in the process. Some hard times but rewarding - I love my job!

    Hope this has been helpful and makes sense - all the best!
    Last edited by The7Artist7; January 12th, 2010 at 01:12 PM.

  22. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot Wolfwhistle View Post
    He told me to stop wasting his time and I should leave because I don't want to go to Uni. However, I do want to go to Uni at some point and want to build up my portfolio. He just doesn't listen to what his students want, if they're not doing things exactly his way, he suggests they leave. I thought Tutors were meant to give support, not just say "If you don't go to Uni right now you might as well not do this course."
    Suggesting you leave is a lot different to chucking you off the course. He's probably reminding you about the reason why you're doing the course. If he actually does try to kick you off the course that's a different matter and you need to make a formal complaint immediately, not that I imagine for a moment that would happen. He has no say on what you do after the course is finished but you can't stop him talking about it if that's what he wants to do.

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    he sounds a bit like my art teacher. Everything had to be done his way at the start of the year and he was always complaining about people, but he has gotten a bit better now and has given us a bit more freedom.
    I don't know how long you've had him as a tutor but maybe he will get better eventually (after ucas cut off date perhaps) or you should try and get another class as he sounds useless

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    Foxtrot: Kk. just sounded like a tutor i had at blackpool where there is a foundation degree in art and design.

    Anyway if you want my advice I would go to uni, take a few days out and look at some courses. If you are serious about doing art then it just takes alot of hard work - unless you are very dedicated and can force yourself to sit down and draw all day most days and have someone to support you while you are making your portfolio then you may well end up getting a job and keep putting uni off (i'm not saying you will but i've had friends that were planning to do as you are and take a year out) they are all in average jobs now not really enjoying it and not really getting anywhere.

    Going to uni now will get you a degree and 3 years with a fair bit of time to make a portfolio before the government puts fees up even more. Your tutor may well be an ass but he may also be aware that if you dont apply now you might never apply for one reason or another - and i think tutors and schools are put under pressure by the governments to keep as many kids in education as possible so by applying to ucas its adding to their numbers.

    Give it a really good think because this next year or so could potentially change your life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Impossible View Post
    Suggesting you leave is a lot different to chucking you off the course. He's probably reminding you about the reason why you're doing the course. If he actually does try to kick you off the course that's a different matter and you need to make a formal complaint immediately, not that I imagine for a moment that would happen. He has no say on what you do after the course is finished but you can't stop him talking about it if that's what he wants to do.
    That is true, and I appreciate that you've given me a neutral opinion. But it wasn't just what he said, it was the way he said it. He made me feel as if I was unwelcome on his course at all and I felt as if I either had to go to Uni and do the course or I couldn't do any at all. I was in tears when I walked out of the room because he had made me feel so worthless. Maybe I'm too sensitive? My friend felt exactly the same way...

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    Thanks TASmith. I've tried to be a good student and I've asked for help in the past, but if you ask him ANYTHING he just says, "Uhh, I dunno...I'll have to check..." Or "Um...I'll help you in a minute..." and wanders off to help someone else who doesn't need it. His first catchphrase sounds like some part-time guy in a hardware store! He should know all this stuff, right?
    Out there in the post educational world it can still be very hard to know everything all the time. That stuff you hear on here about how you never really stop learning art also applies across the board. If I had been working for somebody for years writing up patents and trademarks and he comes to me and says he crashed his shrimpin' boat into a dock and now what's going to happen, I'd have to say I got a general idea what's going to happen but if he wants specifics I am going to have to go crack a book. I'm not sure if they will suspend your shrimpin' boat captain's license for that or something.

    How big is your class size? If the class size is really big or this guy is mentally lazy then maybe he is just trying to get by from day to day on certain pat advice or soundbites he has handy. Maybe he secretly fears to try to give real advice to somebody who falls outside the usual pigeonholes. Sometimes people will try to mask their own shortcomings with bluster or verbal agression. I'm not saying it is OK.

    Is there any chance there is a secret black mark that goes on the records of those who don't go directly to uni? Maybe up there they also have trouble dealing with people who aren't in one of the usual pigeonholes. Talk to some experienced adults like your parents to see if anything like that could be a concern.

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    Hey i have read your situation and i am on foundation course at the moment too.
    Your tutor has no right to have spoken to you in that manner. The foundation course is too build your skills and yes to create a good portfolio in which the work you are doing now can be applied to the portfolio when ever you feel ready to go to university.

    Dont feel uncomfortable about what has happend the tutor should appologise to you , you and everyone on the foundation are there to develop your skills and not everyone is going to be ready to go straight to university.
    Goodluck

  28. #24
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    Okay, so my dad came back from work and let me know what happened when he complained. My tutor apparently apologised profusely once he realised I didn't return after what he said and explained that he thought I had great potential. So when I said I wasn't sure if I wanted to go to Uni he panicked and assumed I was throwing that talent away.

    He also explained that if I apply now I don't have to go this year, I can hold the place back until I want to go. However, he never offered this advice at all before, which is why I panicked and didn't fill the form out. I'm going to talk to him properly on Thursday about this, but there's no doubt we're gonna have a group talk since he's realised how he has barely helped us with this.

    So yeah, thankyou all for your help and experiences. I hope this thread clears things up for anyone who is in this situation too ^_^

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    Did you consider that your teacher, by saying this, is testing you. That maybe, he’s showing you a 100th of the shit that’s going to be flung at you at uni? Kind of “If you can’t handle it now, you certainly won’t be able to plow through it there” kind of thing?. Perhaps he’s doing you a favour to see what you’re made of?...
    I’m trying to be as impartial as I can here, not having been in this class and not knowing that teacher dude. In any case, I’ve had art teachers that were supportive and gave plenty of ass-pating, but the BEST ones I had were the hardass, meanest mothers you could think of. They toughened you up and I’ve never learned so fast (even though yes, it was painful, tearful, stressful and scary.).
    A small tidbit of info though, I’ve been told by a teacher once to leave the course and not come back. As I was already studying full time in two different schools, I did what he said. And regret it to this day. He was an asshole to say that as I had already completed the course but failed grades due to projects being handed back late. It was his first time teaching when I retook the course.
    Take everything with a grain of salt and be true to what you really want to do, whatever you’re being told, good or bad.

    -Aline (who's gotta get that course credited!)

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    Last year I was yelled at and told to get my work done, as was everyone else. I handled that quite well because I knew it was important and a good life lesson. But this year, the guy seems more obsessed about us going to Uni than actually doing our work. That's why I got upset, I wanted to do the work, but he got annoyed at me purely because I was unsure about Uni.

    Anywho, it's all cleared up now and he did accept that he was out of line, so I suppose everyone's happy. ^_^

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    Sometimes I think a foundation course isn't long enough for a young person to know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    Sometimes I think a foundation course isn't long enough for a young person to know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life.
    Agreed. It should be at least two years long...The first year for experimenting with different art styles and areas and the next for choosing the Uni and course you want to do, or choices for the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot Wolfwhistle View Post
    That is true, and I appreciate that you've given me a neutral opinion. But it wasn't just what he said, it was the way he said it. He made me feel as if I was unwelcome on his course at all and I felt as if I either had to go to Uni and do the course or I couldn't do any at all. I was in tears when I walked out of the room because he had made me feel so worthless. Maybe I'm too sensitive? My friend felt exactly the same way...
    This incident has been resolved happily for you, but in the future you should probably learn how to put emotions aside for a bit while you think things through. Being an artist means dealing with a lot of unthinking or catty people who may hurt you. Being professional means keeping your cool and focusing on what's important, even when you're dealing with a douchebag or a moron. You're going to need this life skill pretty soon, so it might be time to start working on it.
    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

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    True enough in these times of uncertainty about what Black Spot said. Lots of people change careers several times over the years and in some cases it may be because they didn't think it through thoroughly enough in the first place.

    (Sometimes you have no choice due to obsolescence of an industry, though, so there's not just one explanation even for that.)

    I am glad that it sounds like your teacher actually means the very best for you, but is merely diplomacy challenged. (LOL ... a teachable moment ... too bad it sounds like you might be too young for a beer summit )

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