This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration BradHallArt.com


How come we gotta do this stuff, Mr. Hall?

All teachers hear the phrase, "how come we gotta do this stuff?" and we know what it means. It means "What you are making us do is pointless and we would prefer not to do it". Rhetorical questions, like "why do fools fall in love?" are just an oblique way of making a statement. And as a teacher, when I heard someone asking "How come we gotta do this stuff?", I knew that they were stating an objection to the necessity of it, and had pretty much made up their mind.

"Because it's a requirement" or "because I'm in charge" is pretty much the answer that most teachers give, but I was always much more insidious than that. And my answer was always, "I'm glad you asked that, I can tell you..." much to the groans of the people who were really just trying to tell me that they saw no point in it. But I took it as a cue. And maybe, just maybe, the person asking the question really wanted to know. I am an eternal optimist. And many times over the years, it was proven to be true.

If you ask me, "Why do I need to know Adobe Illustrator, I already know Adobe Photoshop, aren't they the same?" you are about to get a big smile from me and I will launch into the description of my favorite software programs. I will go on and on about vectors. I will talk about how great it is to not have to worry about resolution, or pixillation. In fact, you will have a hard time getting me to shut up.

Students have a perfect right to ask, "why do we gotta..." And a good teacher should be able to answer that with a smile. After all, that is the reason we are in this class right now. I am happy to explain! That's my job! But I always ask permission to do so before I proceed. If you are still there after I say, "I'm glad you asked that, I can tell you, would you like to know?"

If you're gone, or say, "no", I won't. It's only fair.