What was supposed to be a "My Favorite Professor" post

So recently, my fellow blogger Andrew posted on the Facebook student blogger group that we should do a profile on our favorite professors. I replied immediately with something that sounded apt, but in retrospect, was an unfortunate metaphor. I replied “ON IT LIKE A DOG ON PEANUT BUTTER”. I have strange moods sometimes.

But then when I started thinking about it, I was stuck. Who actually was my favorite professor? The easy grader, or the chilled out guy, or the person whose office I go and chill out in. Those seemed trivial qualities, for an affable professor might not be the best professor. Nor would be the very strict martinet type who would make your life hell. No. I was looking for someone that I could legitimately call my favorite professor. The person whose classes I would jump to take, the person whose office I would go to and talk about what I learned and learn more from; you know, the usual favorite professor for an Indian kid deal.

I was stumped. Now I think of myself as a pretty on the top of stuff kind of a guy, who knows what his opinions are on most things. But here, I was stumped. And so I decided to make a list of professors I really like, and why. It is easier that way, plus it seems more diplomatic of me. I really don’t want to aggravate the plethora of professors vying for my love and attention.

They are all from the art department, because I spend most of time in their classes. So here are my three favourite professors, in no specific order.

Professor Steven Fisher: He is the head of the department, and the ceramics and sculpture professor. He is pretty cool, as he lets me do a lot of inane stuff I like doing, like making my own glazes and clays. And he keeps me sane, as in when my projects go overboard, he will stop me, like that one time I made a t-shirt out of clay, because I could. (It has been lying in the ceramics studio for a solid half year, unfired.)

Professor Garth Classen: My advisor. He is originally from South Africa. He taught my figure drawing class, and I go to his office to discuss art. He is also one of those people who is willing to suffer my harebrained theories about art, and my excessively strange art work.

Goran Fazil: Goran is the odd one out. He only teaches a single class here, Drawing and Composition. He is not really a full professor, and he also teaches in BSU and I think NNU. I took a class with him more than a year ago, and I still see him almost every week, before his class. Most of the time, I get coffee with him, and talk art. He is, again, one of those people who is willing to let me embark on crazy schemes for my art.

I didn’t really think this post out beforehand, which is usually the case. So all my posts are pretty much cleaned out, stream of consciousness pieces. So, in a way, writing is a way of figuring out who I am. Here is a classic example of me learning something about myself. I like to be left alone with gentle guidance. If I embark on crazy plans and do ridiculous stuff, I am happy. Most of the time, the results are horrid to say the least, but I learn from my mistakes, and try not to do them again. I think that is the best way to learn. And all the art department allows me to do that.

I think I have gained notoriety as the strange bugger doing stuff like making piles of pots in the middle of Langroise hall, or working in the darkroom at late hours. But I am happy with that. I would rather be weird and doing interesting stuff then be vanilla and do stodgy, boring, run-of-the-mill stuff. The independent streak I try to cultivate would not have been possible without the approval (approval is approval, even if you add guarded, distant, hesitant and other verbs to it), of the art department.

I see that this post about my favorite professor has turned into a post about my favorite department. Can't really do much. I hate rewrites, and editing is a pain enough. (don't worry, all the expletive ridden versions of my blog posts are saved on my hard disk. They are colorful to say the least. If you ask, I will email them to you. They generally run three to four pages longer. They are, I have been told, “the most best”.)


-Rahul Sharma

Rahul is a junior art major from Jammu, India.