Extremely rewarding to set my own goals
School of Art student Selena Dyck shares her summer experiences
Fall term is starting and students are back on campus. While it may be time for back to school, UM Today is reflecting on summer by sharing the exceptional things U of M students were up to over the break.
Studying Fine Arts in the School of Art, Selena Dyck is entering the fifth and final year of her Bachelor’s degree. She spent her summer working on an independent study in the ceramics department at the School of Art.
What were you up to this summer?
I worked at the U of M the whole time! From May to August, I worked on an independent study in ceramics. My friend, Iris Smith and I came up with an idea for a 6-credit-hour course and devised a syllabus and course requirements. We proposed the idea to one of our professors, who agreed to supervise us and help us with the paperwork to get the course approved for credit. Once the course was approved, we worked on completing our course projects and followed up with our professor throughout the term for advice and critique.
How did you discover this opportunity?
Many students in the School of Art, especially in ceramics, work on independent studies over the summer. I learned about this through two students I spoke with who had completed an independent study last summer. In my experience if you want to study something specific over the summer there is opportunity, but you need to be proactive and see if you’re able to get credit for the work you want to do.
What did you like most about the experience?
I really enjoyed the self-directed aspect of doing an independent study. I’m at my best when I’m able to do the work I want to do in the direction I wish to do it. It was also really great to work within a timeline that best suited me.
What impact did this experience have on you?
It was extremely rewarding to set my own goals in a course and create my own syllabus and course projects from scratch. My friend and I set a goal for ourselves- by the end of the course, we would each have made 60 finished and glazed pieces of ceramic tableware.. To put that into perspective over the course of three months I made probably close to 100 dishes total and tested dozens of different glazes. Spending so much time in the studio working on these projects meant that my ceramic skills improved much more quickly than they otherwise would have!
Was there anything else exciting that you did this summer?
Yes! I took on two new part-time jobs and was able to get away to Montréal for a few days. The trip was just for fun, but I was able to see lots of amazing artwork that will surely influence by own work over the next few years.
With summer quickly coming to an end, what do you look forward to most going into the new school year this fall?
I’m really looking forward to focusing and working hard to complete the final Honours year of my degree. It’s going to be a lot of work, and it’s going to be so worth it!