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4 very nice years at Camberwell Art School, a bit too relaxed actually, based on the Romantic myth of the artist - just hang around and wait till inspiration comes. When, so often, it didn't (not much input, not much output), it was across the road to the pub for a chat :-) But it was a nice way to mature - a bit.
Then 9 months art teacher training, when we had massive input by comparison, history, philosophy, psychology of education, and I found it very stimulating. But a key event was almost last day of the course when they showed some extracts from classic films I hadn't seen (one might have thought this seventh art would have been given a bit more prominence in a course for art teachers in the 20th c.) - it was a revelation.
That summer I went on a Brit Film Institute summer school and loved the discussions. I started their four year evening diploma course. During the day I was teaching art in a mixed grammar school. Nice job. Had a great, very intelliegnt lecturer for that first year who had a sort of Marxist-Leavisite (close reading) approach. For the fourth year I opted to make a short film instead of a thesis - pretty radical for an academic course then.
I overlapped that year with first year of a four year evening course in philosophy at Birkbeck College, London. I was in my argumentative (you noticed ? :-)) element. Did well and was accepted to go straight on to a Ph D (things were more relaxed then) in art and ideology.
But I got a chance to write two course units and make a TV programme on War and the Media for the Open University, so gave up the Ph D to do that (gave me a bigger audience and more motivation and direction).
The subject matter was due to the most important part of my education - reading Noam Chomsky; worth ten of most academic courses. My first published piece was a letter to the Listener showing that the reviewer of one of Chomsky's books, who'd called him a "subtle casuist", deserved the appelation himself because he'd misleadingly put together two sentences from the book as if they followed each other, when they were 100 pages apart! The reviewer was no less a figure than Warden of All Souls College (post-grad), Oxford, very high on the academic ladder. It helped cure me of my slight (working class) awe of such people.
Then I had the wonderful luck to go on to be a lecturer in media theory and history. Because it was a relatively new subject, I was left alone to write my own syllabus, constantly changing as I educated myself at the same time. Since the media includes just about everything, it was a very broad, continuing self-education. My education continues in researching for diaries and comments here - and like others, I find the level often as high as anything in academic courses.
Well, you asked :-)
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
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