It takes energy to actually hate someone and that is unfortunate.
It took me more than 20 years to pay off my college student loan and I seethed with each payment. Payment was completed about 7 years ago and I no longer put forth effort to feel actual hatred but this story is worth telling:
Imagine the thrill I had when I was told the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) was
on the forefront of using computer graphics as an artform. Now imagine how the professor that was behind this didn’t even do his own art nor his own research while glomming off students pretending HE was doing everything.
I introduced myself to this person and told him of my ambitions to work in the film industry using makeup effects and computer graphics. He was overly friendly and suggested he become my advisor for choosing classes to put myself on the proper path. This turned out to be another mistake.
Because I did not take his course and in order to gain access to the computer graphics and electronic imagery room I had to become his assistant. This meant making copies of the computer program instruction manuals (for whatever reason I will never know and this got me in trouble with the administration because it backed up the schools copy machine as well as copyright infringement problems), making copies of paperwork for his art history classes, and cleaning the room because he wouldn’t allow the school’s maintenance to enter. It was during this time I went head first into learning the new graphic design program Pagemaker as well as Paint Studio…on my own…and then I had to instruct HIM on what I was learning and creating.
At this time I also began contacting companies like Disney and Industrial Light and Magic for more advice and job opportunities. He insisted I post these letters on my “Progress Wall”. This is where students posted copies of EVERYTHING they did within that room. I was to discover he used this to spy on what to take to the largest gathering of computer graphics professionals convention called SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques).
He was a very volatile little person and incredibly nit picky. He hated the letters I was sending to companies claiming I was “kissing their ass” while another time I had to take time off during finals week in order to prepare and he became livid. Mind you none of my work was of high importance of any degree.
Oh and I received a lot of positive mail from Disney and ILM.
The following semester I was still his assistant and enrolled in the Computer Graphics class. It was here the I became interested in the communications media course that other students were taking. As he was my advisor, he advised against it because he “didn’t want me involved with those uncreative types of people in the comm media department because they weren’t artists”.
During class he had me make and hand out copies as well as my other duties while not getting paid. This didn’t sit well with me because I wanted to be working on projects like everyone else in the room and I missed out on specific project themes and his brief lectures. Come to think of it he didn’t do ANY teaching but only giving rules of the room and Project assignments. This is where it gets very wrong: these projects where used to get grant money for himself and to take to SIGGRAPH claiming it as his own. No credit was EVER given to any student. I found this out from a few upperclassmen that already went through this dilemma.
Other students did projects the way they wanted but he insisted I do projects they way HE wanted. For instance: one project was to create an animated transition between the old IUP logo and the new one. I wanted to do an 8 bit Mike Myers type slasher attack on a billboard revealing the new logo underneath but he insisted of having a “Pong” pixel traveling on the screen erasing the old logo revealing the new. He copied it and whatever he did with it I’ll never know because he never finished the book he was claiming to write and received grant money for.
The other projects were a digital self portrait (I had to instruct the class on how to use the video capturing equipment) while another was an animation that had to involve a teapot as the main subject matter. This was due to SIGGRAPH’s theme of the year was the teapot because it was the first 3D object created inside a computer. I created an Alice In Wonderland like chessboard on the Mac II GS with a teapot and chess pieces moving around based on his idea. He loved it and I never saw it again. I hated it and didn’t even make a copy.
He mentioned he would be attending SIGGRAPH and that he could get students in as ushers and volunteers but we would have to arrange our own traveling plans to Chicago. Again…he was taking our work with him to show at a lecture.
When he returned the only thing he mentioned was an MIT student programmed a drummer animation that synched with the slowing and speeding of music. I remember thinking, “if this is all he got out of this…the school wasted it’s money because this is Teddy Ruxpin technology that was done 10 years ago.”
That semester I devoted so much of my extra time to learning in that room while I was excited to take the “advanced” course the following semester. Time spent wisely because the following semester the college eliminated the entire course and got rid of all the equipment.
Since I was known among the Dean’s staff and he knew of me I scheduled a meeting with him to find out what happened. I told him of the importance of computers and emerging programs that are essential to the art field but he claimed no one was using the room due to it’s poor access. There was definitely a sense of reluctance of a full explanation and I found out through the grape vine it was due to the poor use of grant money. Essentially he used the grant money to travel to SIGGRAPH and never turned in any progress of the book he was working on.
I had to scramble to readjust the concentration of my major. It was this time I became involved with the Theater and Communications Media departments much to the chagrin of my “advisor”. He criticized my every choice harshly and insisted I take his graphic design course. Whenever I would bring up what happened with the CG & EI course he would say, “it’s up to the students to ask the Dean to bring it back.” This showed me what such a liar he was. Students were even blocked from receiving the work they did in class because it was under “lockdown.” He did something very wrong and we all knew it. His tenure is what kept him employed at the school.
His Graphic Design course was elementary school styled projects with color theory and figure drawing I learned in high school. Here he became a complete asshole: Somehow he discovered a new found ability to brag about himself and demean people. The class was berated with his boasting of attending Parsons Art School in New York while we were attending a college in the middle of nowhere. In one instance he told a student to draw a particular subject. When the student was near completion the professor argued he didn’t suggest it. This was a heated discussion in front of the entire class.
There was an older man who was a local contractor that did some work on his house that he convinced to take his class. This guy had no prior art instruction and even came to class in his construction work clothes. During one project this professor ridiculed him because he didn’t understand a project and brought incomplete work. When the student asked, “then what can I do with this?” The professor tore it up in front of everybody and threw it in the trash. We all felt bad for this guy. He never returned after that.
The class organized to meet at lunch in order to gather our thoughts and complain about the professor. They all spoke to the Dean individually as well as in groups. The Dean and assistant Dean wanted to speak to me privately and verify the accusations. Which I did.
It was during this semester I quit being his assistant and found a new advisor that proved so much better. Pat McCreary the theater set builder was introducing computer usage into theater and he propelled my education to where I wanted. My luck changed DRASTICALLY.
As I announced my resignation of being his assistant and finding a new education advisor. He asked if it was personal. I said “it is. I had to restructure my entire course outline, have no access to art I created, and did not do projects I want in my portfolio.” He had no answer, not even an apology. As I met more artists outside of school I discovered the Art Institute of Pittsburgh had been implementing computer graphics for years and way ahead of what this moron was professing.
There are many silver linings that came out of this situation: I kicked my makeup instruction into high gear, got work as a Zombie on THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD remake which lead to an internship, loved my photography class in the comm media department, and learned to write screenplays but what burns me the most is the amount of money I lost while losing nearly a year of education that would have benefited the future I was paying for.
I tried searching for whatever happened to this guy. Apparently he retired and the only nice thing was written in the 1970’s. That was it. Best he is forgotten because writing this certainly has been good therapy because I never mentioned this beyond the time it happened and I really had a hard time accessing any memories of this.