Friday, April 21, 2006

Autumn Days

I notice lots of bloggers in the northern hemisphere are posting pictures of the signs of spring in their gardens- daffodils, blossoming cherries- but here in the southern hemisphere it is the inexorable decline into winter- the days are shortening, the weather is changeable, cold and wet and the garden is starting to put on its winter coat. Maybe that is why I am also thinking of pomegranates as it was Persephone's tasting of the fruit that sealed her fate as having to live part of her life in the underworld. And thank you Debra for the information in your comment.

Today i did some dyeing in between showers of rain, did more quilting on the Underworld rug and generally started to get into panic mode. It is not long until I go. Then I was looking around the internet and saw somebody was teaching the same class as I taught last year and the description was almost word for word the same. It is one of the irritating facts of life as a teacher that the minute you teach there is always going to be someone picking up what you teach and then teach it themselves. Most times I don't worry about it too much but occasionally it really bugs me, especially when they don't even change the wording of your description- you spend a lot of time developing things and money and the cost of travelling to Europe is high and then to have the work taken out from under your feet is a little annoying. People say you have to keep on coming up with new things and moving on but sometimes the thought enters my mind ;" why I should be the bunny who is always looking to move forward and build on my work?"

Have to make a couple more lasagna's to put in the freezer- to keep the kids moderately happy whilst I am gone, make sure that i have organised all bills to be paid, paid all the kids camp fees ( there is three going on camp this year ) and write some new notes for a class I teach where the notes I have been using are alarmingly old.
And here is a question- do you expect to get notes when you attend a class? I have had some discussions with teachers in the past and some say they don't hand out notes any more, but encourage students to take notes of things done and said in class. And do people like to get bibliographies of inspiring books? I must admit I rarely buy quilt books anymore, but do buy textile books, especially ones dealing with textile history. I buy very few technique books as I like to work things out for myself and if I can't tend to ask on internet groups.
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Brenda said...

Oh Dijanne - how dispiriting to discover that someone is so blatantly piggybacking on your hard work. Shame on them! As to notes for classes, I too have noticed that many teachers are taking the approach that students should write things in their own words so that they can understand it. However, I still choose to provide reasonably comprehensive notes for the classes that I teach and like to have something from the classes that I attend. I look forward to comments from others. BTW I think your latest pomegranate works are just exquisite.

Olga Norris said...

Unfortunately there is no copyright on ideas. It can be galling, and I grind my teeth in sympathy. All I can say in consolation is that so much really depends on the quality of the teacher.

On the subject of course notes, I have preferred to take my own notes - but then I did not attend workshops to follow any process exactly. Nor did I want to end up with a complete piece, but with an experience. I take my own notes.

The best way to provide notes for a class perhaps is to publish a book - even if it's desktop publishing/a cd, and then you could include an appropriate booklist. That means that the notes are definitely seen as copyrighted too.

arashi said...

It is such a sad comment on things that teaching other people's classes is so common (especially here in the US) that if someone objects, it merely raisres a few eyebrows but they 9ntinue to take the copycat classes. I know of one major teacher (who I will not name for obvious reasons) has made a career of teaching things straight out of tue early books of Val Campbell-Harding and others.This was pointed out (not by me) publically but eerfyone ignored it.

the pomegranite is not only the symbol of Persephone, it appeared in the temples of many of the ancient goddesses such as Artemis/Diana, Cybela, etc. In fact, was one of the most popular ornamental elementgs in tapestries, wall hanglings, cloth of all kinds and even architgeturally.

I love the underworld rfug.


Felicity Grace said...

I know I would rather take a class from someone teaching their own original ideas. I would assume they have more where they came from too. Surely the copycat is only playing catch-up? Their classes wouldn't interest me in the slightest.

I think I would prefer to have notes as I am fairly forgetful! Struggling to write everything down is a bit distracting for me.

I always like book lists. I may not buy them but they are interesting to check out. They are often books I wouldn't come across myself.

I love the photos of your washing line - how interesting it would be to be your next-door-neighbour :)!

Debra said...


I like more of an outline for a class.. some very basic notes with lots of space to write details myself. As long as the instructor teaches in a way that allows me to take notes.

and while I love insprirational book lists, I usually misplace them when acquired in a class. It might be better to provide a link to a website where the list resides, maybe a blog post or webpage.

The Rainbows End said...

I'm a definite note fan. I pick the classes I go to quite carefully and only go to those where I can pick up new information or inspiration. Its a joyful experience and to be honest I don't want to be bogged down with writing notes. Usually I take a sketch book with me so I can tie in ideas with what I'm doing at the time, and I do make some additional notes in this, but its very much an extra. The hand-outs mean I have a whole file of class notes - all typed and comprehensive to look at whenever I like..and this is very helpful.

Intuitive Textile Journeys said...

I'm a vote for the take your own notes. I like to show my students my class notebooks / sketch books which are always written in brainstorming style with the words and images done many colours highlighting different thought patterns. I'm a visual learner - I love words but pictures are faster - I think if you feel you need to do notes then do them as pictures with fewer words. Having said this a sketch/notebook (without lines) is always on my class list.


Deb Hardman said...

Dijanne, I hear every word you're saying. I had my own original pattern that I'd been teaching, a quilted reversible purse, that a former student has started making & selling, & labling as her own "Originals". GRRRRRRRRRR! I was shocked, hurt, & angry. I'm trying to get over it. I even thought about quiting teaching over it, but have decided I still like teaching, so will continue on, but have changed 2 things. 1st I talk a little bit about copyright, & what it means, & how they should ASK the teacher before they start embarking on a career based on anything they learned from that teacher. 2nd, I'm no longer handing out notes. I used to make nicely printed handouts. Not now. If they want notes they need to write it down themselves. This was at the suggestion of Pat Simms, another Anchorage fiber artist who has been teaching longer than I've been quilting. She had run into the same thing as you did, a former student taking her class & teaching it using her words. What in the world are they thinking?