Sunday, December 17, 2017

Know Your Profs: D. Bradley Muir strives for authenticity, not product development

March 16, 2016 by Adam Marsh, student editor

 

Know Your Profs is an ongoing series of profiles on the instructors at Camosun College. Every issue we ask a different instructor at Camosun the same 10 questions in an attempt to get to know them a little better.

Do you have an instructor that you want to see interviewed in the paper? Maybe you want to know more about one of your teachers, but you’re too busy, or shy, to ask? We’re here to help: just email editor@nexusnewspaper.com and we’ll add your instructor to our list of teachers to talk to.

This issue, we talked to Camosun Visual Arts prof D. Bradley Muir about the importance of final critiques in the creative process, parking tickets, and, uh… abducting the neighbour’s cat.

Camosun’s D. Bradley Muir (photo provided).

Camosun’s D. Bradley Muir (photo provided).

1: What do you teach and how long have you been a teacher at Camosun?

I’ve taught Visual Arts at Camosun for 11 years. I teach many different studio- and lecture-based courses—film and video art, film history, art theory, drawing, painting, sculpture, animation, and photography. I come from an interdisciplinary studio art background and really love how the Visual Arts department here educates from that location and that we provide such a diversity of approaches and perspectives for our students.

2: What do you personally get out of teaching?

That’s a difficult question. For me, teaching is one part of many in a community-based social/intellectual experience. It might sound cliché to say it, but I am as much a learner as I am a teacher. So I suppose what I get out of teaching is that I have the fortune of continuing to learn and exchange ideas.

3: What’s one thing you wish your students knew about you?

I would hope that anything that I wish them to know I would tell them or demonstrate in some fashion so they could see it. I suppose, though, that in the spirit of disclosure, I could admit that I actually like cats and that I am a lover of all animals, not just dogs. In fact, my neighbour has a lovely cat that I have been attempting to abduct, but it won’t give me the time of day.

4: What’s one thing you wish they didn’t know about you?

That I’m not as funny as I think I am.

5: What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

I don’t have bests or favourites. Even the attempt to consider this question floods my memory with a montage of events, students, and moments that are the reasons why I love teaching here. With that said, I am always amazed at the results our students are capable of creating at the end of each semester. I think that is why I love final critiques and our year-end exhibitions and film screenings. It’s always wonderful to reflect on what our students create.

6: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

Oh, parking tickets! It’s the worst when one parks in the same place every day for months, forgets their parking permit, and is not reminded with a note but rather a ticket.

7: What do you personally see in the future of postsecondary education?

What do I see? Or what do I hope for? I hope that education will return to its roots and social function. That institutions will promote the pursuit of learning. Learning to better ourselves and our world through knowledge. Not a knowledge that leads to a job or product development but rather a knowledge that is based in questioning, wherein the prior may occur but is not the central focus or obligation.

8: What do you do to relax on the weekends?

I coach and support the sports interests of my two boys. They are 10 and five and by extension keep me feeling young. A dream weekend is when my partner, sons, and I all get up to Mt. Washington—rare but invaluable. I also love preparing and enjoying food and wine with friends and family. Throw in some studio time and Dallas Road with our dog and it’s a great weekend!

9: What is your favourite meal?

I don’t have favourites. I consider myself an ‘opportunivore’—I love food, I love eating. If it’s made well and with consideration I’m sure I will love it. Waiting for that to happen at school without the aid of the food trucks.

10: What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Uninspired outcomes. I’m all about authenticity and commitment.

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