The last day of classes! Sure, I have grading and paperwork to do, and I have to find my desks under the piles of paper. But school's out!

Many programs now have a showtime on the last day of classes in which students demonstrate what they have done all semester. We have our semester projects presented and graded.

This is grueling for us and for them. They have 30 minutes to make it clear to us, what they spent all semester doing. Paper reports can be very useful for this purpose, but not all groups see the necessity of this. They prefer snazzy booths with video presentations and slide shows. As one colleague remarked - one group's slide show was miles better than the nervous guys trying to get something resembling a coherent description of what they did presented. We have to concentrate on all of these groups and ask nasty questions in order to be able to judge how hard their project was, how far they got, and how well they presented it. I take copious notes, because my brain gets addled after about the second group.

After I got the grades sorted out for our group I went around to look at the results from some of the other programs.

The games design people were doing character studies this semester. They had wonderful scrapbooks and sketchbooks they had made on Jeanne d'Arc and Queequeg. I enjoyed looking through them. The teacher showed me the part where she made them draw women's breasts - real ones, not the fantasy ones that the few women that show up in computer games come with that are worse than Barbie's. Very good!

Over at the clothing design department I missed the main fashion show, but the first semester students were out in full force with the clothes they designed and sewed themselves out of sackcloth (which is cheap). They were bizarre, lots of layers and boxes and straps and, um, things hanging off them. Looked like fun to make and a bitch to wear.

The communications designers hat some delightful thesis work, not all of which I understood. There was a large board with little blocks cut out with shells glued on like knobs. I pulled one, and they did indeed come off with some terrifying eyes and things in pictures behind. I especially liked the furnishing designs that had nicely color coordinated info-graphics used to make plates, cushions, lamp shades, curtains, and such. Honestly, I would have pulled out my wallet if the pillows had been for sale!

There was also a fun laptop bag that you weave yourself by choosing three different colored bits of stuff - very clever. And some theses on communication in a big city and children's book illustrations and posters on restoring pictures and - my feet hurt so bad, that I headed off for the train.

Lovely to see what a creative, insightful bunch of students we train here!

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