Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today the student and I continued to review for his upcoming AP European History exam. We spent some time reviewing the Reformation/Counter-Reformation/and Wars of Religion, which had presented some problems for him in the preceding weeks. He did much better on today's questions, indicating that the review is helping him to remember and organize what he has learned in the previous months. We are planning to meet a few more times to continue this review."
"Tonight we continued our discussion of German and Italian unification and how they stemmed from Napoleonic conquest of Europe and the liberal/nationalistic revolutionary ideology that was spread during Napoleon's reign of the continent. Then we continued into discussions of the Hapsburg empire: it's evolution and eventual problems in governing such a diverse groups of people from all different nationalities. We also discussed the Paris commune, it's implications on revolutionary stances in Europe, and conservative reactions to such, as well as the evolution of modern French cuisine. Very fun!"
"In our final session before the AP exam, we reviewed the 20th century. I anticipated that they would not encounter many works in detail as I'm pretty sure they just reached modernism in class last week, though their text has three or four chapters that examine work from this time period. Art schools and styles split and follow different paths more than ever before, so I stressed how the movements roll into each other, and to what social condition each responded. We started with a quick recap of symbolism, and then into fauvism and primitivism. The first student recognized the terms while the other student looked at the paintings that followed, acknowledging that the style was distinct, and that he had noted the colors-use, but that he had not encountered a name for it. I told them to specifically think about how the works, especially in the early 1900's, may respond to the advances of industrialization, urbanization, and globalization. In our previous session, both student's agreed that they only encountered a few photographs, so I included a handful that marked how the technology was a democratizing tool, and also captured realities of poverty and war for mass circulation. We looked at futurist and expressionist paintings, which they understood. They both reacted very strongly to breaks from representational forms in sculpture, either finding these works evocative and powerful or completely absurd. I told them their reactions were exactly the thing these artists challenged--70+ years ago. Abstraction, surrealism, and pop art are pretty easy, so we flew through those, and we concluded with monuments and earth works from the '70's and '80's. They asked me questions for the last 10 minutes, which were mostly about chronology of major movements, then which works most represented different eras. Neither seemed too nervous about the exam, and I don't think they should be. Each session, I asked them to think critically about what aspects of society the art represented, and that seemed to help them read familiar artworks more thoroughly and with works they didn't know at all. They used context clues to read the content, color, and composition. I'm hopeful they found the sessions helpful, and that they consider continuing their art history studies."