Bob Ross painting course titled “Happy Accidents” offered to overworked students, amid controversy


Olivia Braito, Graphics Manager

Graphics by Olivia Braito.

Alexander Boyer, Staff Writer

In a bid to increase University support, faculty and alums introduced an art and art history course called “Happy Accidents” which focuses on the life and works of famous painter Bob Ross. At first, the course seemed remarkably well-received as it is designed to provide stress relief and discipline for students who are overworked and struggled with their courses the previous semester. However, the class has sparked controversy amid claims that it is not an art history class at all, but rather a semester-long boot camp.

Rumors began to spread after several students complained about the working conditions of the class. Students were reportedly required to scrub stains of Titanium White off the classroom floor with nothing but a toothbrush and elbow grease for up to two hours, which was labeled on the syllabus as a “Character-Building Exercise,” among other harrowing experiences. To better understand both sides, The Bucknellian secured the official statements of both the professor and the faculty who designed the course.

“Bob Ross is an icon, though many forget his ‘Drill Sergeant’ phase in the ’70s, which influenced much of his life’s work,” Professor Thomas “Thalo” Green said while watching reruns of Ross’ infamous show, “The Joy of Painting.” “It truly is inspirational painting. That’s why we are utilizing this inspiration to encourage students to get productive and liberating work done. My mantra has always been, ‘There are no mistakes. Only happy and ignorant little accidents.’”

Faculty and staff still stand behind Green and released an official statement in his defense this past Friday.

“When the administrators of the University approached us about this course, they expressed the need to instill the steel will and hard-working mantra which is necessary to truly appreciate a Bob Ross piece,” the faculty said. “One simply cannot understand the true meaning of verisimilitude until one can empathize with Ross’ twenty-year service in the world’s finest military.”

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