“Look At Me Now:” Reflecting on Humiliation

Unlike other Dartmouth alumni, Wendy Kendrick vowed to never return to campus after graduating in 1976.

Notably, Kendrick's disadvantage from the start as a student arriving from a high school without resources and faculty support clouded her Dartmouth experience. Her most memorable, yet dreadful, experience involved humiliation. During her junior year, a visiting professor from Japan walked over to Kendrick during class and continuously ridiculed her artwork. She berated Kendrick in front of the entire class. This professor questioned Kendrick’s presence in the program, and her comments continued to cloud Kendrick’s mind. She could still hear the comments piercing her heart. During our interview, Kendrick made clear that this was the most humiliating experience she had ever encountered because it occurred in front of the entire class and forced her to doubt her ability. This mortifying experience drove Kendrick to abandon art for a few years following graduation. Her vow to never return stemmed from that humiliation.

"[I] agonized over [leaving art because of that humilating experience]. I'm not gonna lie. I can't lie about that. It was painful. It was painful for me because this was just who I was. Art had always been something that brought me a lot of joy and it made me temporarily doubt my ability... There was still enough burning inside of me. That period of time that I stepped away from the art, I was in anguish because it's like you're trying to step away from yourself."

Wendy Kendrick '76

Wendy Kendrick's ('76) Experience at NOBO Arts & Gifts

On November 17th and 18th, 2018, Kendrick showcased and sold some of her art products at NOBO Arts & Gifts in Columbus, Ohio.

Eventually, Kendrick decided to take up art again because it’s a part of who she is. Since her father passed away shortly after she graduated, he was not able to witness her flourish as an artist. Yet, her mother, who initially did not approve of Kendrick's pursuit, had a change of heart and eventually became her cheerleader.

When asked what she would tell the professor who humiliated her and ultimately caused her to abandon art for a period, Kendrick said:

"Look at me now and shame on you."

Wendy Kendrick '76