“This has been the course that has challenged me the most. I’ve nearly killed myself doing it AND I LOVED IT.”
“If Rob were an astronaut, he would have already set up colonies on Mars. Over the past few years that he has been at the U of R, I have watched him completely revitalize the print media department – bringing his students into the contemporary, environmentally conscious printmaking world. Our trip to Southern Graphics completely changed the way I feel about my practice, and the larger art world I inhabit. This was all made possible by the pepsi-guzzling bearded man in the basement. Rob I salute you.”
“Truszkowski helps make the pain go away.”
“This was really the most outstanding 200 level course I’ve had the pleasure of taking. Had I not been graduating this year most likely I would have chosen this as my major, not simply because I enjoyed it but Rob’s technical knowledge and environmental approach combined with his encouraging attitude toward relevant/contemporary content absolutely got me excited to come down to the freezing basement and work on/think on crafting meaning in an unbelievably broad range of print media. Technically, the skills that I have acquired in this intro class alone could last me for a long time but – even more importantly for the U of R’s Fine Arts Program – Rob’s kind insertions of theory and contemporary art practice in the context of print media have been the most inviting and challenging that I have encountered in the V.A. Dept. It was a real treat to come down and through kindness & good humour be excited about making work. Well done & thank you.”
-Samples of student comments, University of Regina, 2007-2011
It is often said that student evaluations are fraught with problems, that when left alone with a sheet of paper and asked to comment on their experience in a class, they seek to demonize and demoralize the instructor personally. There is even widely discussed belief that not only do students behave in this malevolent manner, but that they openly conspire among their peers to write similar things, jumping on the proverbial "band wagon". This has always confounded me. Not simply because my own student evaluations have failed to reflect this sinister myth – quite the contrary, I believe – but more so because I have a fundamental belief that students are not out-to-get anyone. Students are demanding, and at times, mistake their deep desire to be engaged with outwards manifestations of "customer" to my "service", but predicating my responses, and indeed my entire outlook on teaching, along these lines is counterproductive (and makes for a very long semester).
I believe that students want engagement, not service. So do I.
The following pages are the unedited comment portions of student teaching evaluations, spanning nearly 7.5 years. While I don’t need official evaluations to tell me how much my students grow and benefit from my classes – being truly present with them each class is more than enough evidence for me – it is gratifying to see just how much they are willing to say, on an anonymous sheet of paper.
The comments can be viewed in the embedded document below. If your mobile device does not support Flash content, the comments can be downloaded in .pdf format: