The fact that the nail program at my school only has two students enrolled (myself and another awesome woman) should have been my first clue that I would eventually hit what I’ve affectionately termed “the wall of frustration”. It seems that as I get closer and closer to finishing my program, I get more and more frustrated with the “educational model” being used by my school. By “model” I mean that I’m being taught by a long-retired cosmetologist who is, by her own admission, quite stubborn and does not take well to being asked questions, and prefers strict adherence to her instruction over allowing for personal preference and comfort (i.e. gripping an acrylic brush a certain way).
Even those things could be easily overlooked if she actually had knowledge of current trends and products being used in the industry today. I had to explain to her that there were other kinds of “gel polish” outside of Shellac, that “hard” gel should be buffed off as opposed to soaked as she said, and that her notion that “hard” gel cannot be used for sculpting is not true — beautiful sets of enhancements are sculpted with gel everyday (though she says not to call them enhancements, to call them “artificial nails”). I’m scared that I will be woefully unprepared once I’m actually licensed, and unable to even do a proper manicure. Which, given the fact that my teacher has stated that the school is not working to get clients in the door for us nail students since our program is so much shorter than the cosmetology students, I may not master until well after finishing school.
I am just really, REALLY over this experience, and ready to be finished. I’ve just revamped my schedule to allow for getting in more school hours per week, with the hope of finishing a little earlier than originally anticipated — with my goal being the first week of Janaury.
The plus side to all of this is that it has prompted me to investigate other avenues for education, such as classes and trainings offered by manufacturers. I’ve already taken the CND Shellac Attack class, and I’m looking at taking a class with BioSculpture in January or February. I’ve also been more determined to go into education. It’s not fair that so many nail techs are being taught by hairstylists who have rarely (if ever) done nails. I would love to affect change by not only helping to keep the industry alive and fresh, but passing that on to and energizing a new crop of nail techs, ensuring they are prepared not only for passing their state board exam, but have a handle on practical, “everyday” situations as well.
Whew! I think that was a much needed vent! Thanks for listening…er… reading. Anyone have any encouragement for a frustrated nail student? Anyone in the DC Metro area open to a mentorship?