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Mentor Award, AIGA Fellow, DSVC, OEA

An ego-driven boost that I review before class when I have massive self-doubt and the negative voices in my head won't behave. From letters, emails, online media, ratemyprofessor.com, and course evaluations.
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. - Henry Brooks Adams
A teacher leaves a legacy, planting seeds in a garden he never sees.

Award nominations, letters, cards, and articles
You were, by far, the best teacher I’ve had in all my classes including science and geology. Because you got me to think. And it's not just me. Everybody loved you and your classes. 3-2023
Hey Jim, I have interviews with the University of Memphis, OSU, Mississippi State, UNT, and VTech for tenure-track positions. I couldn’t have done any of this without you, so I really appreciate all that you taught me about design thinking. 2-2023
Mentoring someone is not only about providing personal care and giving attention, it is about changing someone's life and helping him/her to excel. It is also about building trust and offering someone new ideas and thoughts so he/she can make better positive choices and become a more productive citizen. Dr. Jim Watson is not only my mentor, but he is also my spiritual father. He has helped me to grow mentally and emotionally. Although my parents have always encouraged me and supported me to achieve my goals. Dr. Watson was the person who truly guided me to explore new possibilities in life by opening my mind and soul. My thoughts became more positive and I was able to break the cultural shell around me. He pushed me to question things and seek answers. I was very undecided about my future. I have tried different professional fields but none of them made me happy enough to enjoy my life. Dr. Watson helped me to realize my talents. He is one of the best Graphic Design instructors I have ever had. Graphic Design has changed my life completely. It has helped me explore new possibilities and solutions for everyday problems. After completing my Graphic Design degree this spring, I plan to further my education and become an instructor. Helping new generations achieve their goals is an exciting prospect that I want to be part of. I want to be recognized as one of the best in my field. In Pakistan, my goals are to increase public interest in art and design and change the negative attitude towards artists and designers. To introduce great ideas, aesthetics, and philosophies of the best American design will increase public awareness of art and design in Pakistan, and Dr. Watson helped me to take my first steps in this process. Dr. Watson made me realize that life is very precious and how I can make its every moment productive and enjoyable. I tried to follow his footsteps, but he has encouraged me to follow what is right and positive for my development and growth. Now my family and friends give me good compliments about my attitude and confidence. I have no words to thank Dr. Jim Watson for the things that he has done for me. I am enjoying every moment of my life and the person who has made the biggest contribution to this enjoyment and happiness is my mentor, Dr. Jim Watson. Thank you, my mentor.
Dr. James "Jim" Watson, graphics design instructor, received the UCO Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honorary Society Outstanding Mentor Award. Watson said he felt proud and honored to be recognized as a mentor. "I feel almost embarrassed. There are so many good mentors on campus, it's a shame we all couldn't win." According to the student, Abdullah Syed, Watson is straight forward, open-minded, and never angry. "He reminds of that smiley face you see - he's always smiling." A smiling face is only part of Watson's colorful personality. His office is painted bright yellow and the laid-back professor talks on a Mickey Mouse phone. Watson's own mentor was his fraternity chapter advisor who died of cancer. "He taught me how to drop everything that you're doing to help a person."
Mentors are a vital resource in life. They are unique people in our lives who motivate us to reach our highest potential, inspire us to embrace life fervently, and' encourage us to pursue our dreams. November's Faculty Fellow Dr. James "Jim" Watson, graphics design instructor, is a strong student mentor. Dr. Watson motivates his students and creates good interest and diversity, according to Dr. Bob Palmer, Chair of the Department of Art and Design. "Jim loves life and appreciates being alive," said Palmer, "he whistles a lot and is always in a good mood." His enthusiasm, tenacity, and dynamic personality draw students to him. "He definitely has a following," said Palmer.
"Dr. Watson's commitment to the students comes through in everything he says and does," said Lynn Means, Director of Student Activities and CoAdvisor with Watson for the Inter-Fratemity Council. "He's extremely dedicated to the students and to enriching their lives," Means said, "He has a unique way of helping them realize their own potential and is very committed to that idea." As Palmer put it; "He gets his students to think and make sure that their best solution is just that - their very best solution." According to Palmer, Watson is not only an, excellent educator but is an-involved and dependable member of the university community. "I think he's been on every committee on campus, he's always in the know," he said. "He's an individual you can turn things over to and he'll take the ball and run with it. I know he has a lot on his plate, but he seems to get a lot done and when he does something it is done very well and is well thought out," said Palmer.
Unquestionably, the most powerful influence on my growth as a graphic designer and even as a person, has been Dr. Jim Watson. His relentless drive to wring the ultimate effort from every student pushed me beyond the wall which was fear of failing. In the crucible of his classes, the fear of trying my hardest and still not succeeding burned away. The three semesters which I spent in UCO Studio (now ClockTower) under Dr. Watson's tutelage were the most edifying of my college experience. I have taken every course which Dr. Watson has offered, and I can honestly say that he is the best teacher I have ever had.
Dr. Jim Watson is, by far, the most influential teacher I have ever had the opportunity to learn from. His enthusiasm for creative problem-solving is so absolutely contagious that it is known as "the curse" in some circles. His students find themselves re-designing their environment, from bad advertisements to classroom floorplans - nothing is sacred. Clear communication is a constant goal and Dr. Watson leads the way with thought-provoking questions and advocacy. But his support doesn't stop at the classroom door. He has helped many students, including myself, to analyze problems outside of school and approach solutions from a designer's point of view. His honesty is refreshing, his bluntness revealing. He has influenced not only my design skills, but my attitude and self-confidence as they apply to everyday life. The total scope of this man could not be contained in a novel, much less a letter; however, I hope I've shown you at least the tip of an iceberg that could enhance your life as well as your department.onderful talent and dedication, have achieved great things within their profession while at school, and have gone on to brilliant professional careers. ClockTower Studio rivals any professional graphic design company in the area, and has won the awards to prove this. Through this innovative teaching method, the UCO graphic design program has become the best in the state, and perhaps, in the region. His classroom is a virtual United Nations of graphic designers. He facilitates, teaches and mentors students who will not only change the face of graphic design in the US, but in many other nations as well. This is a unique skill (perhaps even gift) which we, as professors, might all wish to emulate. Prior to his involvement, the Graphic Design Association of Oklahoma City was a floundering organization about to fold. Under his leadership as President, this organization nourished, and is now a well-respected part of the Oklahoma City design community. Jim Watson is one of the most caring, concerned and gifted teachers; he has made such a difference in the lives of his students.
Dr. James Watson defines excellence at every level of teaching within higher education. His meritorious accomplishments and unceasing dedication to the profession are stunning in significantly impacting student learning processes. Noteworthy are Dr. Watson being bestowed our university's Distinguished Service Award, 1998-1999, from the Vice-President of Student Services; being the Fall 1999 recipient of the Outstanding Mentor Award; and for continually being an active and engaged professional in the field of Graphic Design (as exhibited by his participation with the biennial design conference of the American Institute of Graphic Arts). One could obtain levels of highest appreciation of Dr. James Watson by simply walking around campus, our community, and throughout Oklahoma. He is that type of individual who "teaches" us so much in a variety of ways and at levels to which only a few can aspire.
Dr. Watson is a dedicated and selfless volunteer for many students and student organizations. At a time when the Greek community was at a crossroads - searching for identity and direction - Dr. Watson became IFC (InterFraternity Council) sponsor. Since then, the IFC has developed goals and objectives and a mission statement, all for the very first time. IFC now emphasizes leadership, scholarship and community service. This is quite a long ways from the chaos and lack of purpose just two years ago. In large measure. Dr. Watson is responsible for this turnaround. He stands by the tough decisions we must make, even when this change is hard for students or alumni to accept. As a result - we have a new culture with high standards in Greek life - and awarded Dr. Watson a special award last year to recognize the special contribution he has made. Dr. Watson has sound and caring suggestions and is a student advocate - listening, guiding, mentoring and modeling for students - of all majors.
Dr. Watson is one of the more unique teachers I've observed. If a creative project, apathy, or the tension of the moment is getting a student down, he recommends a walk in the country. It is therapeutic. He also assigns projects that might not seem related to what we used to call commercial art in the early '50s. We were to exercise our creative minds by making up new words to describe things, actions or situations. These words were not to be nonsense words, but, plausible words with roots. We gave our arguments as to why they were valid and should be published in the dictionary. Another assignment was to do something we'd not done before. Examples were visit a new town or city, tour an old mansion that represented an architectural style, go to Remington Park, a museum that we'd not seen, anything that might make us think about something in a new way, Then write about or make a presentation to the class with the emphasis on our feelings rather than the physical properties of what we saw.
The foundations of a fraternal organization thrive on brotherhood. Each member has participated in ritual events throughout his associateship that has earned him the right to call himself a member of Sigma Tau Gamma. This semester a man walked into the lives of all Sig Tau members. A Fraternity looking for a true leader found a man of devotion, loyalty, and a charitable heart when Dr. James Watson accepted his nomination for sponsorship. It may be difficult for the average man to walk into an organization with almost 100 members and promote group cohesiveness; but, Dr. Watson has dedicated his efforts to this task. Whether it's a home improvement project, ritual event, community service, public relations, or just to boost morale, one can always find him lending a hand (no matter how menial the task.) The men of Sigma Tau Gamma have shown their respect for Dr. Watson by nominating him for the prestigious Distinguished Advisor Award. For his dedication, he has truly earned the right to be called a Brother of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity national.
I met Dr. Watson in 1987. The first thing I noticed was his ability to connect with individuals and have empathy for people. He uses humor in his teaching and sets high creative standards for his students and fellow educators, knowing the competitiveness of the graphic design field. He has the ability to demonstrate nuances of design in life and he challenges the designer, artist, or teacher to observe design in their environment.
Jim has been a great resource to the advertising community of Oklahoma City. He demanded a higher standard of excellence from his students, and, as a result, his graduates were among the best prepared for design jobs. Jim had a keen sense of students and their potential. When we had a job opening, Jim was one of the first people I called. Perhaps the most glowing endorsements come from his former students. They still speak highly of him and feel that his philosophy and persistence helped prepare them for the rigors of a career in design and advertising.
Dr. Watson's extraordinary intelligence, love for design, and enthusiasm for life and learning has remained as intense from the first day I met him until this very moment. His classes were, without exception, the most demanding, educational, and entertaining times of my college career. He constantly stressed three areas in his teachings: creative problem solving, attention to detail, and strict adherence to deadlines. As a professional designer I have found these qualities to be essential for success. Not just as a designer, but throughout life.
Dean Warren credits Watson with putting UCO on the map in graphic design. Watson could bridge the gap in cross cultural learning. In his classroom, you will find a virtual United Nations of Graphic Designers. He facilitates, teaches, and mentors students who will not only change the face of graphic design in the United States, but in many other nations as well. Watson has stepped forward to offer his time and counsel to our Greek community as an advisor for the IFC. She credits Watson with the turnaround of the IFC - it now emphasizes leadership, scholarship, and community service. Dr. Watson is an incredible teacher. I appreciate his attitude, open mind, and especially his criticism. Watson lets students think for themselves.
Dr. Watson motivates his students and creates good interest and diversity, according to the Chair of the Department of Art and Design. Jim loves life - he whistles a lot and is always in a good mood. His enthusiasm, tenacity, and dynamic personality draw students to him. He definitely has a following. Watson is not only an excellent educator but is an involved and dependable member of the university community. I think he's been on every committee on campus, he's always in the know. He's an individual you can turn things over to and he'll take the ball and run with it. When he does something it is done very well and is well thought out. - Chair of Art Department Dr. Watson's commitment to the students comes through in everything he says and does. He's extremely dedicated to the students and to enriching their lives. He has a unique' way of helping them realize their own potential and is very committed to that idea. He gets his students to think and make sure that their best solution is their very best solution. - Director of Student Activities Watson recently received the Phi Eta Sigma Honorary Society Outstanding Mentor Award.
I am writing to tell you about a faculty member that is a recent addition to your art department, and what a great help he proved to be for our son, Dr. Watson provided positive image and incentive, produced a very excellent atmosphere, and was definitely a major cause of our son finishing and leaving the college with an attitude that is optimistic, cheerful and delightful. This is so very much appreciated and I just needed, to let you know how much I sincerely appreciate this young man's Interest in a student and what a real difference it made in his outlook on life and career.
The pay is in no way a reflection of the value of the course, but rather the upper limit for which the College of Arts & Sciences will allow us to pay for this position. Honestly, the student enthusiasm for your instruction last fall exceeded any I have ever seen in our department.
Although its been more than 4 months since your last visit, students from the course are still telling me about it and their "excellent" teacher. The feedback of the course has been very positive and the teacher's evaluations were very good. (UPAEP)
Jim has created an amazing program for his students. His dedication to the Design Department and the overall enthusiasm about its success is an inspiration to everyone on campus. Your gift (Jim's parents) will help to expand the enthusiasm and create an environment which will greatly enhance the spirit and creativity of all those involved with the Department.
I'm sure you already know this - but your students adore you. I've never heard a negative thing said. It's your love of life and contagious enthusiasm that make you such an awesome teacher - one that your students look up to and admire, and most of all, can relate to. You've been quite an inspiration to me also. Thanks for everything.
Dr. Jim Watson did an outstanding job of representing UCO while presenting a workshop at the conference. He spent many hours preparing his presentation in an effort to be productive, informative, and challenging. He successfully accomplished all three goals. The language posed no problem for Jim as he is familiar with Spanish and enamored with the culture. He built an instant rapport with his "standing room only" audience. He was extremely popular and spent many extra hours answering questions and talking with the students throughout the week. He not only is a true gentleman, but one of the most professional educators I have had the privilege of knowing. He has earned my utmost respect. I found him to be exceptionally tactful, honest and diplomatic in every situation we encountered. He is constantly challenged in his teaching endeavors and it is obvious he is totally dedicated to his vocation.
He's the big man on campus. Not because he stands 6'3" with a smile as warm and broad as a Texas county. Nor is it not because he says "Life is a hoot!" and after a few moments with him you begin to believe it. It's because his teaching does far more than impart subject matter: it renovates life itself. As a close associate has said of him, "He loves teaching...not just book stuff. He loves showing people that life need not be stuffy and boxed into rules! His off-the-wall, out-of-the box approach to life shows those around him that goals can be accomplished, creativity can be unleashed 'joyfully', with fun." He encouraged his parents to make a five figure donation to create an atmosphere in his department that Is unparalleled on campus. Due to his generosity, prospective and current students become challenged and enthused the moment they walk through his door. When it comes to personal needs his students always come first. Like when he offered to pay $1,400 to provide course packets free to students in the Meaning of Life course. He is the "student's professor" modeling the educated, the humane, the responsive human being.
Still today, I think about your class and assignments. It must have been one of the first times I was encouraged to question everything rather than simply regurgitate content. Now I have a chance to pass that on to my kiddos. Thank you.
Thanks for being so generous with your time. You have always been one of the kindest people I’ve known.
You are the reason I'm a good teacher.
You are a beautiful kind soul and I am so glad we are friends on this life journey.
You never taught us to 'think outside the box' - you taught us there was no box.
I had a class or 2 with you at UCO in the late 2000s. While I didn't get my design degree, you managed to get me to do what many educators had tried before you. To think. Thank you for that, sir.
I just can't get anything like the kinds of ideas and observations and insights and conversation that seem to occur naturally when you're around, and the more years pass the more I understand how remarkably unique you really are, in all the best ways.
I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your mentorship and guidance. You are a force and one of the most important people that developed my thinking and decision making. So thanks for being awesome!
Best advice you ever delivered (aside from Design) was "you have to let yourself be offended." Such a simple truth that seems to be missing from the world today.
I love how you just roll with any situation and find the fun and interesting elements.
Thanks for all your encouragement and help Jim. I hope you know just how much I truly appreciate your friendship and mentoring.
You were a big influence in my development, thought you should know I still appreciate everything you taught me. 15 years ago, I broke down my mental barriers, challenged my thought processes, and you invited me to approach the world in an open, more constructive manner. Thank you for sharing your perspective, I will always be grateful for your instruction.
It's teacher appreciation week! Dr. Jim Watson, thank you for shifting my thinking and inspiring me to critically analyze every. single. thing.
Jim Watson (former design chair) was the most impactful person in my life. He taught me to think for myself.
The teacher that motivated me the most was Dr. Watson. Watson is a master of teaching, you can learn anything in his class.
You had more of an impact on the way I think than I will ever admit outside of this email, and it deeply saddened me the day I found out you retired from UCO. It is a testament to your abilities as an educator that your lessons still resonate with me 16 years later while eating a quesadilla. For years, I wanted to tell you of the impact your lessons had on me. I hope that you fully enjoy your retirement, for it is truly deserved.
I had you as a professor at Oklahoma State back around 2010 for a graphic design course. I have to say, yours was one of the classes that has had influence on how I do things in my day-to-day. Thank you.
(Thinking about your classes was) inspirational and therapeutic all at the same time. It made me realize how much of my foundational design, problem solving, and advertising beliefs came from your classes. Plus, it makes me realize how lucky I was to have attended UCO during the time you were there. It's so important for students to get a solid foundation. It puts them leaps and bounds ahead. In fact, my first Creative Director later told me he hired me because of the way I talked about my work. He loved that I had a reason for everything and could articulate it so well right out of school. Thank you for impacting and shaping my career in such a positive and lasting way. I know there are hundreds of other students who would say the same thing.
I think of you often. Loved your classes at UCO. I believe I learned more about myself than anything else. Looking at your site, I see you are still playing with minds. You are a unique person and I am blessed to have known you.
I have really enjoyed having you guide us on this project. I wish you still taught a class or two at UCO! I guess I will have to follow your blog to get some more insights to the world as you see it.
Glad to know you're still teaching (at OSU). I can't imagine you completely retired and not teaching at all. You're such a great teacher. Thanks for that by the way! Cool that you are still in touch with so many of us for so many years. You have been a great influence on so many lives. Thanks for that too!
I have missed having you as a teacher! I do hope you're doing well. I've heard so many great things about you from your past OSU students, and I know your previous UCO students are very thankful they took History of Graphic Design with you - and current students sigh and sadly shake their heads as they wish they had taken your class!
Just wanted to say you were one of my favorite teachers at UCO. You always made things interesting by talking about goings on around the world, not just design (it's all related, though, right!?) I was sad to see you go, it wasn't the same without you.
I just wanted to say, once again, Thank You. I think of you daily and your influence on my life. You have been a blessing and I'm glad I can stay in touch.
You have earned great respect and have taught us to be strong and confident. You have touched many lives.
Thank you for your dedication, energy, and time. You are a winner. It rubs off. It was an experience I'll never forget.
I like the way you let us discuss and come to our own conclusions. I think that is really cool because you were not trying to force an opinion upon us.
Your striving to continue learning is very inspiring. Thanks for listening and caring.
Thanks for everything. I don't think I would have made it without you. You are a great inspiration to graphic design students. I'm going to miss our talks a lot.
Thanks, I would not have the skills I have to get the job I got. And I love my job.
Your teaching style is like none I have ever come upon. You really make learning fun and enjoyable. You make people want to learn.
Thanks for being such a great teacher. It takes a special person to really care like you do.
I wanted to let you know that this has been my most enjoyable semester. You are what you are, a wonderful professor, and we had such a fun class.
Thank you for teaching me to see things differently.
Thank you for being such an outstanding teacher. I have learned more from you and your class than any other teacher or class.
GD1 is still the hardest class I've ever taken, but it was also my favorite. You pushed me to be better than I even knew I could be. You have been, by far, the most influential teacher and it's been a privilege to learn from you.
Thank you for being supportive and believing in me. I think I'm going to make it.
Thank you so much for all of your life lessons and inspiration.
Thank you for kicking my butt. You help me a lot to be a better designer. Thank you for giving me great advice on my work and giving me inspiration.
It was a real pleasure being inspired by your wisdom. You will truly be missed.
You'll never know how much I appreciate your mentorship. I came to UCO right after my father died and I believe I latched on to you for needed male guidance. You encouraged me when I needed it and gave me a kick in the balls when I needed it. I really don't know where i'd be or what i'd be doing without my tenure at UCO. Thanks again, my friend.
Heard you left UCO to work at OSU, is this true? If so, what a loss for UCO! Teachers don't often get the praise they deserve so I want to thank you for being such an innovative and inspirational instructor. Your lessons have always underscored my work in art and design.
You are the most inspiring instructor I have ever known. Much of what you say is difficult to hear, but it is these things that have allowed me to grow on both a personal and a professional level. You are the professor that I will always tell stories about. The Design Department has prepared me to do great things, and I look forward to my future.
I'm very fortunate that I had you for multiple classes. Graphic Design 1, Typography, History of Graphic Design, New York Trip, and of course ClockTower. I truly feel sorry for the design students who will not have the same opportunities with you that I enjoyed.
Thank you seems too simple an expression to convey my gratitude for the friendship, support guidance, and laughs you have shared with me. I am going to follow the lead you set with your retirement speech and say "Thank ya, may retired life be a hoot!"
The Department of Design is what it is because of you. From the original formation of the undergrad program to the creation of the MFA, so, Thanks!
Thank you for your kind, patient guidance over the years.
I was really impressed that you would come out of retirement to fill in for a fellow teacher (at OSU) and that you were pushing students to step outside of their comfort zones and to look past trendy "sprinkles." I also appreciated the time you spent helping me work on my portfolio outside of class and the way you didn't give up on the students who refused to grow.
Sad, sad day when Dr. Watson decides to retire, but knowing you, Dr. Watson, you will still make an impact in the world like you have always done. Thanks to you I see the world in a whole different way - my family thinks I've lost my mind - but I'm happy being me, thanks Dr. Watson.
I just wanted to write and say thank you for the reference for the graphic design job. She said that you gave an outstanding reference and when she told him (the man who knows you) he said there was no need to contact the other references. Thank you also for the wonderful experience and direction in the classes I had with you. You definitely taught me a lot.
Still can't believe you're going to retire - it will be such a loss to students everywhere. I imagine you'll find some way to keep teaching people, that is my suspicion.
I'm happy for you, although it does make me a bit sad. I think of you often, in both my personal and professional life. You remain the person who has had the most influence over the way I think and perceive the world.
I think you're the kookiest person I've ever met who actually made sense.
I respect and admire the way you can take a common idea and make people realize that they've accepted it for all the wrong reasons - or for no reason at all.
You don't necessarily encourage your students to think the way YOU do, you encouraged us to think the way WE do. And I just wanted to thank you for that.
You will always be a marvelous teacher, and you will be missed. I feel certain that (retirement) will never result in an idle mind on your part. All the better for us; I really enjoy reading your blogs, essays, etc.
I really appreciate everything you taught me and I'm glad I got to study with you. Had you retired just a few years earlier, I don't know where I'd be right now, I don't know if everything would've 'clicked' for me the same way.
History of Graphic Design was one of my very favorite classes. I am so grateful that we had you for a professor in ClockTower. You taught us so much that is invaluable. Thank you for all your wisdom.
Thank you for the experience. Thank you for the fun. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for the knowledge. Thank you for your example. Thank you for your criticism. Thank you for New York. Thank you for great memories and more to come.
Thanks for all the shit you gave us. You accomplished your goal of making us better designers.
My son thinks the world of you and has such respect and admiration for you. You had a very significant impact on him, and it is reflected in the work he does today. Thank you for helping him develop his giftedness in such a wonderful way. Thank you for your kindness.
Thank you for being so harsh on me. Thank you for taking your time to mentor me. Thank you for being the best teacher anyone can ask for. You are the one person I will never forget.
I can reflectively say that I absolutely wouldn't be where I am without you. Thanks for everything you've taught me, and good luck with your future endeavors.
I hope you continue to educate. You are too good at it and it is too important to have people like you influencing young minds for you to stop. I know you played a large and profoundly positive effect on my life. If you are looking for reasons to stay in Oklahoma - I can attest that one big benefit for other people is the importance of your work. Freeing minds that have developed surrounded by close mindedness and ignorance is important work, but I am sure it is horribly taxing on the spirit. But, ultimately, you have to do what's right for you. You have to make yourself happy.
I'm grateful I had the chance to be in your classes. I firmly believe that I would be a very different person had we not met. You have made a positive impact on my life, as well as others, and your presence in the classroom will be missed. Thanks for being a great teacher and role model.
I enjoyed your class and I'm thankful I had you as a teacher. Last semester when I heard you were retiring I worked even harder on my portfolio so I was able to have you for GD2. The work was worth it.
Well I just read the declaration of your retirement and I am both saddened and excited for your new phase. I do have to give you some love and appreciation. I say without reservation that you are the best educator I have ever had. No one else comes close. I will apologize, as when I was a student, I was too sated with sex, drugs and rock and roll to fully appreciate the instruction and thoughtfulness you offered at the time. The lessons were not lost and continue to be of increasing value to me. Thank you for your inspiration and instruction. I hold you in the highest regard.
I am sure that you are hearing loads of congrats and words of gratitude for your teaching, I would like to add a few more goodies - You don't teach, you inspire. You care about your students by making them realize that they are important. You enjoy every moment of your teaching life, and it shows. Thank you for teaching me and helping me to be what I am today.
Hey Jim, hear you have retired from UCO. You were one of the most influential teachers I have had (you and my high school typing teacher). Hope you continue to inspire at OSU.
I'm excited for you as you are most deserving. I can't stress the impact you've made on me on so many fronts. It's important that you are teaching. That's who you are.
I would have never come this far without you! You'll never know how much I've learned from you and your classes! I think about something you taught us in GD I every day and I use that knowledge every day. Thanks for really caring about my education.
Today, when I teach, I will say something or do something that is a Watsonism. I use more of the life lessons (and actual lessons) I learned in your class than any other class I paid for. You did a lot for me as a teacher and as a person. Thank you.
Thank you for your mind, sharing it with me has been the greatest gift I have received from any teacher thus far.
Just wanted you to know what a great professor you are as well as a genuinely nice person. Thanks for forcing me to examine who I really am. I've been carrying around other people's garbage for such a long time, I had no idea that it wasn't mine. Some of the things you said in class were very painful to accept. It's not easy sitting in class, listening to a professor hurl insults at you. After all, we didn't think we were doing anything wrong. I didn't know what to expect each time I came to your class - one time I was up - the next time, I'd cry all the way back to work. No one has ever had that effect on me - ever - because I never allowed that to happen. I hated it and I thought I hated you. But I couldn't and the reason was that I knew you were exactly right. You made me realize the only option I had open was to confront these fears that have kept me from doing the things I really want to do. I still have a long way to go - but I feel pretty good about myself. People come and go in our lives so quickly and never really know the effect they have on us. In case we never have to chance to meet again (good professors are in big demand everywhere), I wanted to give you something - a replica of the Milky Way Star System. I hope that when look at it you'll remember how many lives you've touched and will touch, and that you did make a difference to one. Thank you.
I wanted you to know that you have remain one of, if not the, most influential and favorite professors I have had. You pushed me when I thought I was through and you knew I had more. You taught me to open my mind and see things differently. I really gained a lot out of your courses and thoroughly enjoyed my design years at UCO. I would hope that all your students see you through those same eyes, otherwise they are cheating themselves. I feel that having known you has definitely enriched my existence. Thanks for your confidence, your observations, and your experiences.
Thank you for being my kick in the butt person. Because of that I feel that it made me a better teacher to my students. It made me a better student myself. It made me a better thinker.
I never really forgot anything you taught me, but, after 10 years, some things stand out more than others. Your neurobics assignments especially. I adopted them into my own life as a guideline, and now it's commonplace for how I live my life. I do what I would normally be afraid to do and try things I normally wouldn't try, just for the mere fact of experiencing it. Over the years this has encompassed food, wardrobe, traveling, and career choices. If I haven't said it before, thank you. You're a great teacher and a good man. Seeing the world as I do now, it's a lot more fun to experience.
I was a history of graphic design student a few years ago at OSU. I have been with the Chickasaw nation as a graphic designer and have found myself revolutionizing the place. I design posters, websites, employee directory, renamed the department, designed our new logo, and am in the process of redesigning the office layout as well as teaching our staff design principles. I have been asking questions and redefining the problems. I am the wasted space and clutter exterminator. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that your teaching had inspired me, and continues to inspire me, four years later. I truly feel we can change the world through good design.
At our senior show, you told me that my work would sell out in a week in SoHo. So, I submitted my work to galleries there, not thinking anything would come of it. Well, I was accepted for gallery representation by the Agora Gallery and will participate in a show there in the next few months. I just wanted to let you know that you made a difference by encouraging your students to push themselves and not set limitations. Thanks.
It's been many years since I graduated from UCO (1992). But I think of you from time to time and always think you're the best teacher I have ever encountered. Thanks for everything, I hope you know how much your students appreciate you.
You've made such an impact. I wrote on an application for a teaching position how I could be innovative - I said that I would challenge my students to think about what they are told and whether it makes sense and if it doesn't, to find a way to change it. I would do this not only to sharpen students analytical skills but people who think for themselves are less likely to become involved in gangs, crime, cults, etc. I so enjoyed our conversations and discussions in class. Thanks to you, I no longer feel so weird, so disconnected from the rest of the world.
I don't know if you realize what you mean to so many people. You remind me of the spark that lights the flame. You see something in a person and hope they see it which in turn starts that fire or passion to pursue their dreams. When I started college, I had a huge chip on my shoulders. It dwindled down and now I just have a level head full of goals to be reached. For this I have to say thank you so much.
Thanks for the wonderful New York trip. Thanks for all the encouragement you have given me for the past two years. Thanks for helping me gain my confidence to achieve what I have today. I'll never be able to make it without you. Thanks a zillion.
You are a lighthouse in the night. You are a great facilitator of conversation.
You have had such an impact on my life. Thank you for caring about not only what I was learning but about me. You have caused me to grow as a designer and as a person. I know I will always carry a piece of you with me - your perfectionism, your demand of the best from me, and your encouragement, thank you for helping me discover so many wonderful things right where I was at.
I think about you often. I gave a presentation to a group of 6th graders who visited our agency recently. They were studying creative problem solving, so I had to share with them the 8 things that creative problem solving is all about. Pulled it directly from my Graphic Design I notes. You should know that soooo many things I learned from you impact my work daily. Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher and mentor!
In college you used to scare the hell out of me. However, as I have, let's call it matured, I have come to realize that the few things I actually retained from college that pertain to my job today came from you. You should know that the same words you used on us I have turned around and used on my design team to give them a reality check.
You showed great wisdom in what you said and did. I learned not only knowledge, but principles from you. I used to lack confidence, always worried about failing to meet your criteria. You were very strict. When I became a teacher, I applied some of your teaching methods to my students. When they left school they often expressed their appreciation to me. The school principal told me that the truly good teachers would receive their students' gratefulness after they graduated from school. My students did that. I should contribute all of the recognitions I received from them to you, because you are the excellent example for me to look up to, I taught them what you had taught to me. Beyond distance and borders, the essence of your teaching has been carefully "transplanted to Asia. You told the class that one of great obstacles of boosting creativity was fear. I confess I spent 6 years on building up self-confidence and overcoming my fear to send you this letter. I am unable to express my feelings thoroughly with glamorous English, however I do wish you can sense my deepest gratefulness from these simple phrases.
How is the campaign to create dedicated, enthusiastic, won't-settle-for-less. graphic designers going? I have never stated how influential your courses were for me. It was, after all, your enthusiasm that led me to choose graphic design as my profession. "Does it communicate the message? 'The rules are - there are no rules!" "Have a reason for every element you use." These criteria are ingrained and applied daily. Thanks.
Hi! I think about you all the time. You are the most amazing professor I ever had, and I am constantly reminded of something you taught, said, or joked about. I hope I can take one of your classes again, sort of a refresher course. I tell everyone I know that they have to take a course of yours, no matter what field they are in.
It's hard to believe that way back in 1992 that my eyes would be opened to the wonderful world of design. Seeing things not as physical objects, blank spaces, or just words on a sheet of paper; but solutions to some of the most interesting problems. Welcome to the design curse. Thank you Dr. Watson for opening my eyes. I have enjoyed your classes and especially your eye opening knowledge of problem solving. You taught me to not compromise a great solution and what Eureka Aha! really means. I have been part owner in a design company, freelanced, sought and acquired my dream job and left for a better dream. Through all that I found myself thinking back to my college years and your classes pulling knowledge to help me solve the current problem at hand. So thank you again. There are few people in my life that have influenced my life as much as you have. You made us/me think for ourselves. That is a very hard thing to do in an ever-changing society that wants everything handed to it. You taught that hard work does pay off and that it was OK to fail and fail a lot. I still tell a story to new and old co-workers about the most innovative person I know who taught me how to fail. They all leave with the same dumb look on their faces. I know one day they will have a Eureka Aha! and get what it means to fail. I wish you the best Dr. Watson ...and fail often.
I was working on a pro bono job for an outdoor group. When I started my thumbnails I asked myself the question I always ask first: What are the expectations for this product's end result? "My goal is to communicate a specific body of information to a specific group of people to achieve a specific result." Wow, twenty years and the answer is still the same. I've always kept that quote tacked up somewhere in every office I've been in, I even noticed the other day that one of the designers that works for me had it tacked up on the back of her door. Thanks for the being there at the right time and the right place. I've had success - your challenges and teaching were a major factor. You deserve to hear it and I needed to tell you. Thanks.
Your instruction has guided my work and I think of you often. I have been able to make a living as a designer, art director, and creative director. I have worked for large ad agencies, large e-commerce companies and now have my own studio. I remember this was a big subject of discussion in our classes, how many of us would make it as designers. We had a big inferiority complex and our design teachers prior to you were not teaching us skills. I have even been featured in a HOW design book and recognized by the Wall Street Journal for e-commerce website design, which was simply the basic design principles you promoted applied to my e-commerce endeavors. I credit you with getting me interested in design and teaching me about typography and I am very grateful.
Things are great. I love what I do and I still use all the things you taught me. I still consider myself to be a great designer and you contributed a whole hell of a bunch. I want you to know how much I appreciate you. When I was in your class I never knew how much it would come into play later in life. I check your site quite often to see what's new in your life and make sure you're alright. You are such a huge part of my life and bottom line is that I just want to say-Thank you. You will never fully understand the respect that you get from students. Or maybe you do and that's why you do what you do. Love you Jim, you're a great man, and I just thought I would take this opportunity to let you know.
Your classes have inspired me to strive to become a thinker and be more productive in life. Although there were other factors, I would probably remain a slave to ancient fiction and a chimerical deity if I had never read any of your articles online. I was once deeply religious and am now a born again skeptic. I plan to pursue a PhD and eventually teach. I hope to have the impact on students that you have had on me. I just wanted you to know that you began what will eventually become a massive "ripple effect" that will hopefully impact this country, the world, and the people living in it.
Dr. Watson, you are one of my greatest heroes on this earth. You taught me how to take my thinking and problem solving skills to the next level. You are on my heroes list on myspace. I have continued in my expansion of new knowledge, new experiences, new abilities, and application of these. Thank you so much for caring. I hope this doesn't sound strange, but, since I graduated I have thought and still think about you almost everyday with great respect and love.
My time with you as a student was brief, but the principles you taught are forever developing. It is strange that nearly 3 years after my last class with you, the ideals you instilled in me are more alive than ever. I never took the chance to say thank you for your time, your patience and your passion for life. I don't know that many students leave with the same experience I had, but it is something I will never forget. Thank you, Dr. Watson. You are an inspiration.
The purpose of this email is to express my most sincere gratitude and appreciation to you, as one of the most respected teachers in my whole life. I have worked in the design industry for ; I realized that what you taught in class is the most precious way of dealing with the 'real world' and I want your students to know that whatever they are getting from you (not to mention all those goofy actions and weird gestures during class), they are the luckiest students to have a professor like you to guide them along.
I wanted to thank you for something - as I'm discovering my own teaching style I've found myself influenced by you a lot. I made it a goal from the start to make the course I teach as much about inspiring the students to think as it was instructional. To make them passionate thinkers. And to be more creative and independent in their everyday lives. To make them look at the world in a different way. The look on some of their faces and in their eyes. I think you know. When they realize something and it shifts their entire view of something and it's like you can see their minds changing shape. Some peoples eyes lit up, others looked like they were questioning their entire belief system. It was amazing to see. I know I'm a richer person because I was influenced like that in your classes. And it felt really good to feel as if I was passing some of that on even a little. Thank you.
I've been wanting to tell you what a great guy you are. People have always told me that there is one teacher that will really impact your life and/or change it forever. Give yourself a pat on the back and know you have been the one that has really impacted my life and made me look at all things in such a new way, and one that is positive. Even though you are the ONLY instructor that has given me a "C" twice in my years at UCO. I guess I can hear you saying, "I didn't give you a "C", you did that to yourself". Right? Please know that you are an inspiration, not only to me, but also for the rest of the class. I feel sorry for those who dropped, they may have stayed and had a hard work load and no free time, but what is free time when you learn a lesson in life that will last you a life time. Thank you.
I'm really enjoying my job. I've found it interesting how designers aren't very open minded when it comes to critiques. However, it is a lot of fun, My resume worked great. They passed it around the office and everyone loved it. My boss told me I was practically hired just from that. The human resources lady kept it on her desk for a long time. Thanks again for your efforts as an instructor, it was well appreciated.
You taught the History of Visual Communications at OU - I very much admire your teaching and would be honored if I could once again be a student of yours at UCO. Thankfully yours.
I have a great job working as a Graphic Designer. I appreciate so very much that I got to learn from you. You were the finest professor I had (and I had many). Your influence will have a great effect on me for the rest of my life. Thank you.
I think it's important for you to know how much of an impact you have been on my dearest and loving friend. She only speaks of you with the highest admiration and respect that any one human can express. I personally want to thank you for being a special mentor to her during her tenure as an undergraduate student. She has matured in these few semesters under your guidance and seems to be focused, responsible, self-motivated, and ethical. I believe she has a clear vision of her professional goals and objectives because the time you have invested in her. You're a genius that has gotten the passion and respect of a devoted student.
Thank you for being such a great teacher and for making such a difference in my life. Your attitude is exactly what I needed. Lately I've felt the need to "find myself" and realize who I "really am." Your pushing us to dig deep and get to the source inspired me and gave me direction. I have learned so much about myself and about life in general. I've never really thought for myself much, or at least I don't speak up about what I think. You have made me realize how important it is and how much fun it can be. It's not fair to myself or others if I give out a false image of myself. I have every intention of continuing to be assertive, courageous, curious, questioning, positive, silly, happy, fun, and everything else you motivated me to be. I promise that I won't stop pushing myself and I won't settle for "good enough." You also obviously taught me a lot about graphic design. I am considering changing my major, because I like solving problems and I feel comfortable designing. So your encouragement for me to change my major better not be one of your jokes! Anyways, I just wanted to thank you for being the best teacher I've ever had (even if you occasionally drove me to drink.) I am looking forward to History of Graphic Design next semester. You can count on us to give you a hard time, if that's possible. Thank you again for being a great teacher...er, I mean MOTIVATOR.
I'm glad you still strive to be a better teacher, leader, and person. You have inspired me to put forth my best effort, and become a better thinker and I wish everybody had the opportunity to have you as a teacher. You are a wonderful person and teacher.
I've learned a lot from you over the past few years and not only have you taught me things about Graphic Design but I think, more importantly, you taught me a great deal about myself. You forced me to look within and push myself even when I didn't want to. What you have taught I will be able to use in every part of my life. Thanks for being so helpful.
Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf. You have made a tremendous impact on my life as an artist and as a member of the "thinking" community. I grew up in a very isolated environment in western Oklahoma with few life-skill tests. You were the first instructor I had that forced me to think outside the box. There were days that I despised you - dreaded the next day because you challenged everything that I was taught (better yet - not taught). Now I see why you do such things. It's that disequilibrium that forces a person to learn - not by shoving in information. Thank you for knocking me off balance. I have learned to stand again.
Thank you for the lovely party, I had a fantastic time! I was really impressed by your inventive way of serving beverages. I raved to my mom when I got back! Your home is fabulous and it has inspired me to do interesting and unconventional renovations to the "dump" I currently inhabit, and to my houses in the future. After leaving your house I was overcome with a sadness that I may never be rid of. I just can't imagine life without your influence and wisdom. I just like you so much and I wish I could learn from you much more in the future. Perhaps you would consider teaching a History of Graphic design II class? :) It's been so much fun being your student. Love and admiration
I'm reading this book by Leo Buscaglia, about how he wanted to start a class that addressed things important to humanity but not covered in the standard university curriculum. He seems humble and inquisitive and fairly dang intelligent at the same time. I got the feeling that he was one of those rare people that breathe a bit of real sanity into his students lives, one that offers a viewpoint that is truly helpful to them. His style reminds me of you, and because this is what you were to me and at least several others at the Magnet. Mostly from things you said and did, but also just by being inquisitive in the way you are, adult and childlike at the same time, there's just this wisdom about it, and it was intensely helpful then and now. I still can back off from a problem and look at it in a more sane, childlike, and patient way, and that's due in no small degree to your influence, and I'm extremely grateful to you.
This class has been a great one. It has been stimulating, painful, and true. It was tangible. This tangibility was sometimes overwhelming, other times comforting. When I knew that I could not stay in bed, that there would be someone waiting for me, expecting me and my work, I made myself move. Never before in the 3 years in school have I felt that. And the goals were always set very high. I always felt pushed to go beyond myself, as if my brain were a rubberband stretched very tightly. Sometimes I hated you for not allowing me to stay comfortable. Isn't the purpose of any class to learn? To grow? Sure, I can get angry, mad, hurt, frustrated, but I did learn. I learned how to work with people; good, motivated people, and lazy, disinterested ones. I learned how better to delegate when in charge. I learned how better to shut up and follow. I have learned that I can learn from my peers, which I never thought I would do (as stupid as that sounds). You want to know how committed I am to being a great designer? I enjoy designing; there is one thing about designing that I can't get from many other things I've tried before. It is what I feel when I realize that if I weren't on the planet doing what I'm doing, it would not be done. No one else would do it exactly the same way I would do it. I get great satisfaction in that. How satisfied does a GM worker feel knowing that if he weren't there, someone else would be doing the exact same job exactly the same way? Now, I could sit here and type how many thumbnails, how much research and how much initiative I put forth for each project, but I really think that that is not the issue. I can cram for a test the night before and ace it. I can type a research paper with made-up references two hours before class and get an A. That is not what this class is all about. That is not what you are about, Dr. Watson. I learned more about me, the people around me, relationships. I learned about pride, humility, and futility. But that cannot be proven. It cannot be tested, or explained. It is only me. I learned an As worth.
I'd like to share that you were the best teacher I have ever had and I have a deep respect for you. Thank you for inspiring others and being genuine and authentic.
When I was first introduced to design my junior year at UCO, I thought of it from only an artistic perspective. My professor taught me otherwise. I was blown away when he gave us crazy assignments. Everything from solving mind games to presenting the entire alphabet out of pretzels. He always made sure we understood one thing: we weren't just graphic designers - we were problem solvers. He stressed that the main tool we would need to succeed in our career wasn't our computer or the latest software. It was our mind. That valuable lesson has always stuck with me.
I wanted to tell you that you were a great teacher, challenging as hell at times, but still a great teacher. Thank you for that, it was actually quite helpful.
You may have forgotten me but I will never forget you. I thank you for helping me use criticism constructively and to not be afraid of stretching my vision. You were a remarkable instructor at UCO and I was fortunate to have been in some of your classes. Thank you again. (Especially for the only A in the first graphic design class I had with you, after you told me to not worry about the grades because I wouldn't make an A ).
Dr. Watson, I've learned more per subject from you than I have from any other teacher. You don't stop at teaching the subject; you proceed to teach the attitude necessary to achieve successful graphic design. It can't be coincidence that this attitude is applicable to everyday life. A great teacher is one who leaves students with not only a bunch of notes and a few memorized maxims, but a little of himself.
I really appreciate the help and advice you've given me. I don't think I would be where I am if it wasn't for you. I'm trying to teach myself the "Watson" discipline since you're not here to keep me conscious of everything. Let me know if you need any help with GCS. Once you get it going, you'll be the best thing for the organization. People won't know how to react to a real and fair organization.
It was nice to visit with you again, I didn't realize it, but I actually miss being a student. I hope your students realize what a great professor and person you are. They are truly getting a head start on what awaits them when they enter the 'real world'. Thank you for being such a positive influence on my career. I'll never forget the day you help me back after a CSU Graphics class and told me I could make it as a graphic designer. That has been my inspiration these past few months of job hunting. If it were not for you I don't think I would be where I am today. I learned so much and obtained such a drive to be what I wanted to be. Dr. Watson, you are without a doubt, the best teacher I ever had I will never forget all you've done for me.
Five years after I graduated, one thing that is clear is the influence your classes and guidance had on my thinking and the way I look at life. I've benefited ever since from your generosity and ability to treat your students as human beings and your willingness to learn from us as well.
I wanted to give you many thank you's before I left but I was so emotional at graduation I knew I couldn't get the words out. I have to tell you what a wonderful person you are and what an influence you had on me. It was your 'seminar' on graphic design that got me hooked and look what's come of it. I have to give you a huge part of credit for the excellent interview I had yesterday, you've taught me so much. You didn't just teach me design skills you taught me to think and solve; and you taught me a lot about myself as a person as well as a designer. UCO Studio has prepared me for the real world more than I ever thought it would. You've done a great thing with that studio, once again thank you. I want to let you know what a difference you've made in my life. Thank you. I don't feel like I said it enough while I was there. I guess we all take for granted the people know when they're doing a good thing, it's just nice to hear it. I know that the others feel the same way - we've had several discussions about you and what a great thing you've done for us. I love and respect you as a teacher and a friend. Take care of yourself.

About the History of Graphic Design course
2017 I heard a rumor that you will not be renewing your contract with Oklahoma State. If that is indeed true, your enthusiasm and experience will truly be missed. I can't think of a more engaging class I've taken than graphic design history. I learned the most useful principle that I think one can learn from a modern education: to be a creative problem solver. As the most influential and inspiring professor I've had the pleasure of working with so far, I must ask you for your advice.
2016 Absolutely amazing, I got 15 credit hours of knowledge out of a 3 hour course.
I loved this class!!! The tests were VERY stressful and there was so much content to memorize, but overall one of my favorite lecture classes. The information was interesting and fun to learn about.
My favorite course this semester. Learned a lot of interesting information.
THIS COURSE WAS AWESOME. I learned SO SO much from Watson, and actually feel like I can retain the info because he made the class so interesting and fun to be a part of.
I loved him. He was great to listen to and really kept your attention. He knew what he was teaching about. He was great.
Prof Watson knows his stuff but constantly tells us that he doesn't want us doing unnecessary work or just "plug and chug" the stuff but then gives tests that require HEAVY memorization. It makes every other week insanely stressful for people like me who don't memorize long lists well. I'd much rather right (sic) an essay showing my knowledge.
Professor Watson is amazing! I love his class, he so fun and I enjoy his stories and his lectures.
The instructor had a very inviting and positive attitude.
Very knowledgeable and approachable. Also, hilarious - which is always a plus.
WATSON IS THE BEST! I say this in all caps because I believe it with my whole heart. Prof. Watson really knows his stuff and he is hilarious and makes every class truly enjoyable for his students. His lectures may be long, but they are never boring! Always an information-packed and intriguing class to go to.
The instructor explained material very clearly and concisely.
Watson is well-organized and on top of things, and it shows in his lectures. Everything from his syllabus to his slideshows shows that he spent time and effort to make his class great, not just mediocre.
Test weren't necessarily hard - just a lot to memorize and every other week seemed brutal but overall the test really helped us to learn the information.
The tests are freakin hard, only because there is so much information covered, but they are do-able if you really spend a good amount of time studying. Watson is very helpful though, and definitely makes sure every student knows what will be on the tests so there are no questions or hesitations.
I loved this class! I wish Prof. Watson taught more classes so I could have him again!
2015 I really wish it was during the day because by 9pm I'm exhausted and don't want to be in class, but this was probably the best lecture course I've ever taken.
I thought this was the perfect course. I wish all classes were taught the way Professor Watson teaches. It was interesting, thought-provoking, and still informational. I learned a lot. I only wish it was not a night course because that was probably the hardest part about lectures.
I absolutely loved Professor Watson. I was honestly dreading taking a night class, but he made it a class that I looked forward to going to.
Love, love, love the class! I loved it so much I would take it again. I've never had a more inspiring, professor. James Watson is a phenomenal instructor! Made the information exciting and fun to learn about. I learned a lot from this class!! So glad I took this class!
This course was great. I was nervous, as I love art history but had never taken this professor before. But professor Watson is brilliant. The class was more interesting than I could have imagined and I learned SO much. I find myself remembering nearly everything he taught us and being able to apply it outside of class with ease (as a lot of it applies to the real world in design today).
I LOVE this class and couldn't imagine it being taught by anyone other than Watson; such an amazing professor and amazing material that I have learned. His lessons and advice carry through to my design decision making so much more than I thought it would, and I am eternally grateful for what he has taught us. I feel I have bettered myself for taking this class.
Great at guiding us through three hours worth of information. Genuinely knows what he is talking about and goes at a very decent pace to get us through while still giving us time to jot down notes or ask questions when we need to. I can't speak highly enough about his passion and the care he puts into his presentation of the material.
Professor Watson really is amazing. He not only clearly knows what he's talking about on every level, but he is unquestionably passionate about it. His lectures are always interesting, and he manages to make the three hours worthwhile with as much information as he can give us. The way he teaches all this information is very efficient. I don't think I have ever had a professor so talented at giving three hour powerpoint lectures... He is very knowledgeable while still maintaining his passion and humor throughout. He makes you care because he cares so much. It is never a bore. I would recommend him as a professor to anyone I could.
Tests are timed and for a great reason which he explains: In the real world, when you are asked to recall information, you will not get an unlimited amount of time to bring it up in your mind. I have never had a professor put it to me that way, so I appreciate that he times us and is training us for this way of thinking and the reality of life. The timing is fair, and the tests are appropriate to what we have learned in the class. Hard but fair grader. If you put in the work and the hours of studying required, you will be rewarded for it. If you don't, then you won't. He does not pick favorites and he is thoughtful with his grading. No textbook required, but a lot of access to information through his website and emails. He did give us a list of suggested books and magazines that would be good for hopeful designers to have.
2014 This is the best class I have taken at OSU, hands down.
One of the best courses I've ever taken.
Probably the best professor I've ever had.
Best teacher I've ever had.
Entertaining. For a long class, I was engaged the entire time.
Watson is fantastic. Loved coming to class!
Most down-to-Earth/helpful/real Prof. A 3 hour class that held my attention.
You're an amazing professor. I loved your lectures.
Very engaging course, one of my favorites, Watson's funny and intelligent.
Awesome, smart, funny. He made a night class a lot of fun and informative.
Incredible attention to detail, I am confident that I could convey the history of graphic design after taking this course. Dr. Watson has an amazing skill - to give an engaging 3 hour lecture. You can tell he really cares. Love it.
I learned so much in this class, and will apply the information in my designs.
Great class. Very informative and interesting. Wonderful teacher, easy to learn from even if not a graphic designer.
Very understanding, with compassion. Really enjoyed learning something new.
Really makes learning fun and easily understandable.
2013: Although an elective, this course was one of the few in college that deeply changed my thinking. I am more conscious and aware. Your teaching was intriguing, honest, and interesting. Truly glad I had the chance to absorb some of your knowledge. Great class! I will recommend to all of my fellow architecture majors. We need your help in the exposure to graphic design principles, philosophies, and history.
I'm a fifth year architect, and even though this class was not in my department or required, I had so much fun and learned so much from Dr. Watson. This class will help me in my future career. Thank you for a fantastic semester.
I appreciate the structure of the course and I was taught straightforward, explaining exactly what we need to know for our major and not going round about and exaggerating subject matters like in regular art history courses and test procedures.
WOW! It didn't feel like a college course. It was more like a "Sit Around and Listen to Jim's Stories" session! You were right, I have sensed a slight change in my perception because of this course. I'm more sure of how/when to say/do certain things. You didn't just cover graphics, you covered 'the design of intelligent communication'. (It's not like I was a total bumbling idiot before the class, but I'm more comfortable now. Thanks!) I'm so glad you teach in such a personal style. Too many other professors are so caught up in doing things by the book that they never relax and become a human being. If they're too rigid (inhuman), and lack a sense of humor, I can't associate any personal value to the material they're covering. I won't have a reason to like the class - I'll sell the book back, take a 'C', and probably forget everything about it. When you asked for the CD, did you see that stunned look in my face? For some stoopid reason, I expected you to just look at it and give it back. Seeing your reaction to my project is far better than any letter grade!
Your History of Graphic Design class was amazing and still my all-time favorite!
Thank you. To this day, your class on Graphic Design continues to resonate as one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding classes taken in any educational institution!
Loved your History of Graphic Design class at OSU. I read The Cheese Monkeys, great book, thanks for recommending it.
I enjoyed your class. Your teaching style surpasses the rest of the professors at this college. I waited until now to tell you so that you would believe that I was being sincere. If you have any plans on teaching another class at OU, then please contact me.
I enjoyed your class. I found the class full of beneficial information. I love your teaching style and was usually always entertained during class. Thank you.
I've been meaning for some time to personally let you know how amazing I found your class. I've been able to utilize so many things I learned in that short period of time. I feel like so much more of a confident and educated designer because of my new-found knowledge! You definitely have such a gift, you're quite the entertainer and educator. I'm set to graduate next year, just before my 28th birthday...so I think it's safe to say that school has never been "my thing". But I've definitely found my passion, and classes like yours (which aren't easy to come by) definitely make this process more enjoyable. Thanks for such a wonderful semester, and, most importantly, thank you for aiding me in multiple Trivial Pursuit victories against my in-laws. Never stop teaching!
Thanks for everything you taught! One of the few classes where I actually feel like I took something from after leaving college.
I'm a former graphic design student of yours from Oklahoma State University. I wanted to let you know that your classes were and still are a great source of inspiration for me in various aspects of my life, not just design. I'm happy to hear that you are still teaching. I'm sure many of the students that will take your class will view the world a bit differently by the end of the semester.
I'd just like to let you know how truly inspirational your teaching that course was to me. That was your ultimate goal with the class after all, inspiration. Since the day you introduced it to your class, I have regularly checked up on your blog, reading the new essays and blog posts as well as trying to catch up on the older ones. I wanted to thank your for your devotion to design and more importantly your goals to educate and inspire young minds like my own. Thank you, professor. You have made an astounding impact on my life.
It is the most interesting class I have taken in a while and I thoroughly enjoyed you as a professor! Thank you for your time and I will remember what you have said to me over the semester for the rest of my life! As designers we will all make the world a better place!
Thank you for a wonderful class. I've learned so much about graphic design that architect teachers would never teach or may never know. Been a pleasure.
Great teacher with a lot of great advice to design students of all types. Very fun and entertaining as well as a useful class. Note taking and attendance is required. Test every 2 weeks, all memorization, but if you pay attention and take notes they aren't too hard. Easy Final. Worthwhile & gives out money occasionally for right answers :)
Jim Watson is by far the greatest and most inspiring teacher I have ever, and probably will ever have. Going to class each week was a complete treat. Write down everything he says, even if its a silly story. It will probably be on the test. But you will remember because it was such a great story! Take his class!
He is flippin amazing! He is hilarious and I wish every teacher would be like him! He makes class so fun.
While I was in Europe, we saw a lot of art and architecture. Because of your class, I was able to say 'Oh I know who that guy is!' or 'I know what era that art is from!' I just wanted to say thank you so much! I learned so much in your class and I know that it will definitely influence my design. So thanks again for being a great teacher.
I hope you know, you are the most remarkable teacher I have ever had in my entire life. And I mean that completely. The other night I was reading my lecture notes from your class, just for pure pleasure and enlightenment. Just wanted to make sure you know that there's a little Indian girl running around the world a little better off, because of a teacher named Jim Watson.
I am very sad that your class is almost over. I have really loved it, and it has been one of the classes that I have enjoyed the most. You're a great teacher, though you probably already knew that :) and I just thought I would say thank you for teaching the class.
Watson is fabulous. Every single one of his lectures was tremendously interesting. His tests were not too difficult. The StyleBook was fun to put together.
I want to thank you for a great semester. I'd heard nothing but good things of you & your class from HoGD veterans - the rumors have proven true. I am a sculptor, however, I have always had an interest in graphic design. I feel my art is not necessarily to be "beautiful" but to be compelling. It is important to convey a message. I feel I learned this semester more lessons on dealing with the content of my work to add to the aesthetic training. Thank you, sir, for the inspiration.
I am graduating this December and your class was the best, most fun class that I took. It was really very awesome.
Greatest teacher ever. Loves to teach and it shows. Design his classes well, makes good use of time, and makes a killer class a lot of fun. Tough but worthwhile.
Your class was one of the most exciting classes I ever had, it was like watching an incredible episode about design on the History Channel.
A large reason for switching to Graphic Design was how inspired I was by your class. I really loved every part of the class and was genuinely sad on the last day. I, as well as many students, have found that class to be my favorite course I have taken in college.
I really appreciated having you as my professor. I feel I learned a very substantial amount of material and your class has been my most enjoyable class yet during my college career. I truly appreciated your devotion to teaching.
I love what I do, in fact you may be part of the reason. Since I took your class the idea of environmental/architectural design has been in my mind...you showed me that I didn't need to become an architect to become a structural or spatial designer. Thanks for being a great teacher! Just wanted to make sure you know what a great job you have done.
Great guy, really gets your creative juices flowing. The tests are complicated but they're done in a way that allows bonus points if you remember anything from his lectures (which you will). Awesome, awesome class!
It was this class that made me want to teach, I loved the way you inspired the students and got them excited about learning history. I think that it can be very difficult to get students excited about any kind of history.
His tests have a lot to remember, but he wants you to do well so he tries to help out as much as possible. Earn brownie points by mentioning The Simpsons since he is a huge fan. This is the kind of class where you truly get the grade you earned.
Watson is awesome! He is hilarious, which makes his class go by fast and easier to learn. Everyone should take this class!
Watson is great. He's funny, very knowledgeable, and passionate about his subject. Exams are long and cover a large amount of info, and consist of filling out a booklet with everything you know. He tests over notes and slides and requires you to do some drawing. But don't worry, he offers lots of extra credit.
I absolutely love his class! He is passionate about the subject and you will learn so much. His class is not boring at all. His tests are long and so much material is covered but you can do well if you don't put off studying. I highly recommend taking his course, he is definitely inspiring.
Awesome professor!! Not only does he know what he is talking about, but he will also inspire you, and teach you what a designer is really about. You have to learn a lot of info, so studying ahead of time is a priority for his tests.
Awesome Prof. The class is very difficult, lots of information. He tells you everything you need to know and makes it fun. You have to go to class, if you miss a class you better know someone that will give you their notes. Very Enjoyable and you get a lot of useless, but fun, trivia.
Greatest teacher I have ever had. Very inspirational and pushes you further. Yes the class is hard but so interesting you do not ever want to skip. Watson is awesome, take him.
Very tough class, but you learn so much. He makes class go by very fast and is so entertaining. Knows everything about everything. Tests are fill in the blank and require lots of studying, but totally a fun class.
His tests are all fill in the blank, but man, does he know what he is talking about. He seriously knows the most random information, and really makes the class interesting.
The class was fun and interesting. Although there were many tests, I feel that they helped in retaining the information. Dr. Watson is very entertaining and makes his lectures fun.
Watson rules. No one else could teach this class and hold my attention.
I loved this class! It was challenging but fun to learn and inspiring. Loved Dr. Watson's energy and enthusiasm towards the material.
Watson is awesome. He made the class fun and interesting - and I hate history.
It was extremely interesting. I looked forward to coming to this class. This has been one of my favorite classes.
Dr. Watson is the most entertaining professor I have ever had. He makes learning fun. I've never enjoyed a history course like I have this one. Dr. Watson is the best professor I have ever had. More educators should be like him. He's knowledgeable and enjoys what he does.
I could feel my mind expanding with what I learned and with the new ways that I took in information. Thank you Dr. Watson for always showing a passion for life.
Not only was the content good, but also the design of the curriculum was conducive to an over-all understanding.
Best teacher I've had since coming to OSU. His discussion sections were fun.
Dr. Watson was a very engaging instructor and OSU is lucky to have someone as passionate as he.
Extremely informative, held my interest, very much enjoyed. The instructor was highly knowledgeable, amazing personality, and very humorous. The grading was very fair, more than enough chance to make a good grade. I feel very lucky to been able to take this course. It has been a pleasant surprise.
He keeps the material very interesting - good job. I really liked the way the tests are set up. I have really enjoyed this class and learned a great deal. I have started catching myself looking for different styles of design in every aspect of life.
This art history class was the most energetic.
Great - Watson teaches wonderful life lessons; he loves his work, he's enthusiastic, and inspiring.
Watson is excellent! The best I've ever had! Entertaining and super intelligent!
Dr. Watson encourages us not only as students, but as people. He is very intelligent and passionate. It was a pleasure being in his class. Very interesting and helpful information. One of the best I've had. The tests very well-organized and still challenging.
The class was lots of fun and very interesting. Watson keeps the class entertained. I love the bonus for extra points, it makes you want to study harder. I would recommend this class to other architecture/design students.
I've never enjoyed learning so much information. You rock!
The course had a lot of useful information. Watson was great in knowledge, making the class fun and enjoyable. I wouldn't mind taking this class again.
Watson is the best professor I've ever had. He deserves to teach more than this class. I would like to see him as a GD studio teacher.
His goofiness keeps the students attention.
Very fun and interesting subject matter. Watson always kept my attention. I took this class just for fun and I loved it!
He was fun and engaging. He's not afraid to involve students in lectures using and playing off their comments. I'm not a fan of Art History classes, but this was amazingly intriguing. Dr. Watson's nature made the subject matter very engaging.
Wow. Dr. Watson is probably the most fun and knowledgeable instructor I have ever had. I would take more classes with him.
Great instructor. Most likely the best I will ever have.
Watson was very enthusiastic, willingness to teach, his desire to open our minds.
Awesome course! Loved Watson! I want him to teach graphic design courses here. Amazing - I haven't ever wanted to learn more than in this class.
I am very please with how the class was run and made enjoyable. I enjoyed his teaching style and feel that I came away with knowledge.
I look at the world around me in a new and better way.
Dr. Watson's syllabus should be the standard for all other professors to follow. I have never had a syllabus help me so much in my studies before. The course information was so interesting I look forward to class.
Perfect class. Dr. Watson is an excellent teacher. He makes the class very interesting and teaches in ways so it's easy to retain information.
By far the most fun class. Helped me out in my other classes and I feel I learned a lot.
Excellent info. Kept me awake, that's a first. Wonderful, captivating, entertaining, very upbeat.
I loved this course! I wanted to come to class and I learned so much! Watson made this class amazing. He is excited, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about the subject. It's a part of his life which makes it fun.
This is my favorite class that I've had in three years of college. Best teacher I've ever had.
This was the best course I've ever taken. Best teacher I've ever had. I learned more in here than I have in all of my other art classes combined.
Very useful for any designer. None should go without being exposed to this material. Watson was excellent at explaining and making the information exciting.
Watson was great at teaching and delivering the subject matter. Other art history instructors should take a lesson from him. I wish he was the only art history teacher I had to take classes from!
Great lecturer with a great mind.
The course was great because of Watson. Very passionate about the content he was teaching which was really engaging.
Learned so much - intensely helped in my major and grasp of design. He treats students like real people - not common these days. Wonderful attitude makes it far more fun to learn.
Wonderful attitude toward students. Very funny. And incredibly intelligent. Had great lecture material and presented it very well.
Hire Watson so we can have other classes with him - one of my favorite professors.
It was amazing. I feel I have learned more in this course then any other ever. My favorite teacher of all time. Knows his stuff. Great teaching style. His use of visual material is amazing and his examples are perfect.
This class was so great, I honestly learned more about graphic design in this class than in the last three years. I have applied it to all my other classes as well and to my own design. I really enjoyed this class!
By far, my favorite class that I have taken in college. Dr. Watson is passionate about design and teaching others.
This class was so hard but so much fun! Thank you.
The professor presents the material in a great way. It is a lot of information but he makes it fun and easy to remember. It was one of the best classes I've ever taken. I learned a lot!
Amazing class. Learned so much, one of my favorite classes out of six years!
I think every art major should take this class. Watson is the only one who could make it fun!
Dr. Watson makes this class so interesting. I had no idea when I was getting into and I loved it.
The lectures were incredible, very entertaining. It should be a university requirement for every professor to have a syllabus like Watson's. I loved it!
Loved the class. Now I'm really excited about graphic design.
The course was like a wonderful series of interesting episodes on The History Channel.
Great teacher, made me think in a whole new way.
The teacher was awesome and made learning fun.
It was a lot of fun. I loved it. I learned a lot and wish there was another class. Don't leave.
Jim Watson is the most passionate, fabulous, entertaining professor I've ever had. He knows his stuff inside and out.
Very informative, the most interesting class I have had so far at UCO.
This class was amazing. Not only was it informative, but it was entertaining in a way that made it easier to remember and understand. Do not retire from teaching.
Favorite course I've taken in school . . . ever. I would take any class taught by Watson, he's amazing. I've never studied as much for a course as this one and it's been 100% worth it. Love this class.
I loved it! It was very inspiring as a designer. Watson was extremely enthusiastic! Made the glass so enjoyable. I wish he taught graphic design courses at OSU. I think this is possibly my most enjoyable class at OSU. I wish professors would be more like Watson (passionate about design).
I loved it. I feel like I'm walking away with a lot of great, great information. I love the teacher, the subject matter, everything. Thank you!
I love this course. I learned so much and lectures were always very interesting. Outstanding - best instructor I have ever had in college.
Have recommended this course to others. Thank you for being so devoted to students and teaching in such an in-depth and visual manner. I learned a lot.
Loved it! Thank you for teaching this class. Love the passion you have, it helped rub off on the students. Thank you so much for the awesome class. You should teach more here. Would definitely take another class. I want to learn more!
I was originally put off by the art history classification, but Watson made me enjoy learning.
I learned a lot. Would love to sit down for coffee sometime just to hear more stories.
I learned more in this class than ever thought possible. Thank you.
Great course, taught very well. Amazing teaching style. Learned more in this class than 80% of courses taken thus far.
I love this course. It was very informative and fast-paced. Never boring! I liked the layout of the exams. Will recommend Watson's class to all those planning on doing a graphic design major.
I don't give good surveys very often. It's hard to find teachers like Dr. Watson.
Loved it. I wish you taught graphic design at OSU! Awesome! Best art history class I've taken. Loved the design of the exams. Would take other classes with Watson if more were offered.
This is the first art history class I've actually enjoyed.
I enjoyed this class very much. I wish I had taken it earlier in my curriculum.
I learned a lot and enjoyed it. Great attitude and nice projected voice. Wonderful.
This was a really good course. I learned so much in it and I feel so much more knowledgeable about my major.
Awesome course. Watson was funny, which is good considering how much we have to learn. A lot of tests, but I loved learning this.
I loved how the pictures were firsthand and of places in NYC. Showed in history and today gives a good mental picture. Friendly, knowledgeable, interesting life on website. Extremely interesting, loved the history!
This class is great. It should be taken earlier - before Type 1, GD 1, or Illustration 1. Type and GD make so much more sense now, in retrospect. Watson was awesome. He inspired me to like graphic design when I was starting to get frustrated with it. He designs the slides, lectures, syllabus etc. to be user-friendly. Loved this class.
Extremely well taught, interesting, never a dull moment. Watson was very knowledgeable, friendly, easy-going, and knows his stuff. A lot of information, but it's presented in a fun and interesting way. Tests were fair with lots of opportunities for bonus. Very impressed, great teacher.
Wonderful lecturer, gives info accurately and appropriately.
The best class I have taken in my entire college career. Enjoyed Watson very much. I learned so much! Incredible - presentations are amazing.
I feel like I've learned more in this class than I have in any other design course. I like Dr. Watson's teaching style. He is so lively and makes just about everything interesting, even if he has to tie it to a completely different subject. He does this in a way that helps you to remember the original point. The class never confused me, instead I think it made things more clear. A broad spectrum of material was covered, concisely and neatly. Very engaging individual. Dr. Watson is the best teacher I have ever had. He is open-minded, funny, thorough, encourages you to think critically, always knows what he is talking about, and makes the time go by quickly.
Dr. Watson is one of the most interesting and knowledgeable instructors I've had the privilege to know. He's great.
The class was difficult but incredibly informative and interesting. Dr. Watson did an amazing job of getting the information across clearly and teaching me so much about the history of graphic design.
The instructor was well-prepared in teaching. He also is a very good communicator and makes learning enjoyable. I recommend him very much.
Dr. Watson is the best and most influential teacher I have ever had.
The relationship between the students and the professor. The interesting manner that the material was presented. The energy and interest that the instructor presented. Dr. Watson deserves an award and a raise, he's the ideal professor in many ways.
My favorite professor. You did a fantastic job of teaching me. Thanks.
He makes class fun and enjoyable. Takes steps to make you feel comfortable with taking the tests so you do well.
I feel Dr Watson is superior in teaching the information to us because he is so well-prepared. The man is good at teaching and is very funny. He makes learning fun. I look forward to coming to class every day.
Dr. Watson has been one of the few instructors that go that extra bit to show students that he cares, he approaches things with both compassion and humor, thus making the class very enjoyable.
Everything - he was inspiring, encouraging; gets students excited about the information presented.
I enjoy every class period and his teaching. A lot of fun in class and makes learning easy.
He does a great job. He is fair and thoughtful of others.
This course was so fun! I learned a lot about something new. Great! Dr. Watson is one of the best professors I've had at OSU. My favorite class!
This was the most beneficial and enjoyable class of college thus far! Thanks for being so prepared! Always.
Very interesting. Entertaining!. Kept me interested the whole 3 hours.
I loved him! He's so knowledgeable and enthusiastic - exactly as a prof should be!
Well-planned. 100% relevant. Excellent course. Very knowledgeable, intelligent, inspiring, charming, and funny to boot. Excellent professor.
Lots of extremely relevant info! Made a 3 hour night class fun to come to!
Very fun to listen to and really knows what he is talking about. This course can teach you to look at the world in a whole new way.
I learned way more than the course was intended to teach.
Very interesting and helpful to major. Awesome. Very informed.
I really enjoyed this course, it was the best course for teaching what design is and the aspects of the industry. No other graphic design course in the program has been as helpful as this one has. All the other courses expect you to come in with the knowledge and lack any lecture or drive to help students progress. All the studio professor do is require us students to perform often without the knowledge to do so. All of them should try this lecture approach. It was so helpful and I'm a better designer for it.
The best history lecture class teacher I've ever had. Really cares about the class and knows how to get his students to learn.
I've learned more in this class than most of my other courses at OSU. Watson teaches in a fresh way that keeps the students' attention and made me want to learn about the information.
Everything was great. The most enjoyable class I've had in four years. Super informative and inspiring as well.
Instructor is passionate about the subject matter and very knowledgeable about many related topics. He imbues students with enthusiasm with his teaching style.
Should be required for strategic communication majors. He was very enjoyable and relatable. The grading motivate you to succeed. Fabulous power points.
Made a 3 hour class extremely enjoyable. Don't think it would've been possible if he did not have such good energy.
Amazing! One of my all-time favorite classes. He's very enthusiastic, which is awesome since it is a night class.
Probably the most informational and worthwhile class I've taken this semester. He's hilarious. Makes class content interesting.
Wonderful teacher who is great at explaining things and makes it fun.
One of best courses I've taken at OSU. Loved it! Great, interesting, and funny. You can tell he knows the material and is passionate about it. Excellent designer.
I was incredibly impressed with how much he knows and his presentation of the material. He is great at what he does!
I learned a lot to help me with current projects and will take it with me outside of school. Really fun class. For future students' sake, I hope you never leave.
By far, the best class I've taken in the five years I've been at OSU. I enjoyed/looked forward to coming to class each week even though it was a 3 hour course on a Monday night. Always prepared. He knows his stuff and makes the class enjoyable. Exams had a great layout. Grading was very fair.
Easily the most worthwhile course I've taken at OSU.
Really cool guy. Very informative and interesting. Helped me see the design world in a broader perspective. Explained material in a way to engage students with relevance to test. Reinforced my knowledge and appreciation for graphic design and design overall.
An absolutely phenomenal teacher. Truly inspiring.
Probably my favorite and most intriguing course I've taken at OSU - I want everyone to take it. He was awesome hilarious entertaining. Love his teaching style. Works well with the weird class schedule. Appreciate his brochure style syllabus course layout.
The information was relevant and interesting and the teacher made it impossible not to be involved. Best instructor I've ever had. So interesting, helpful, animated, knowledgeable, and captivating. I loved the test format and the very fair grading system. I believe this will be the best and my favorite class of my university career. I learned more in this class than in all of my other classes combined and would pay to take it again. I appreciate that the teacher values spelling and how individual minds work.
Wish he was teaching more design classes. He made class very fun. I actually looked forward to coming to class despite the fact it's so late at night.
Fabulous simplification efficiently explain material.
Only instructor with a website - very helpful.
Amazing. Things every designer should know. The most engaging and knowledgeable person I know. This may very well be the most enjoyable class ever. I love this stuff. I can't imagine learning it from anyone else.
Watson taught me more about graphic design and my own future than any other professor could have. Exams are very well-organized and the content is all appropriate and expected.
Awesome, inspiring, well planned. Who needs a textbook with Watson as a teacher! I've been to several schools and there are a few teachers who I admire and will remember. You are one of them. Thanks.
Absolutely love this course - my favorite so far at OSU. Dr. Watson is an amazing instructor. If class wasn't so intriguing, I would not be able to drive home so late without falling asleep. A ton of info to learn, but well worth it.
I have never in my life attended a class as wonderful as this. I would happily eat my own waiting crickets just to take it again.
The course was extremely helpful in my comprehension of design and its processes. This instructor is one of the best that I have ever had. Dr. Watson is truly committed to the education of his students, to inspiring creative thought, and to doing whatever he can to help the students be successful. Other professors could learn a great deal about teaching from this course.
I absolutely loved this course. Watson's teaching method was very useful in helping me remember the information instead of studying it just for the test.
I loved this course and looked forward to it every week. Dr. Watson is very charismatic and obviously cares if a student is struggling. Great class.
Even though this was a three hour class, I always wanted to come. He made it interesting, kept our attention, and was very funny. I enjoy this class very much and it was one of my favorite classes I've ever taken, thanks to him.
The course is extremely useful to budding graphic design students looking for thinking expansion. Watson is enthusiastic, intelligent, engaging, and interesting. The material was presented and explained flawlessly with great attention to student interests. The exams were hard as hell, the grading was wonderful. This is probably the best course I've taken it OSU. If all of my instructors were as good as this man, out-of-state tuition might actually be worth it.
Amazing class. Fun, but also very informative. Dr. Watson is great - he made having a 3 hour night class incredibly fun - interesting to listen to. Very fascinating and always entertaining. Lots of information but tested knowledge well. I feel I learned a lot because the tests forced me to study really hard. Bonus points helped so much. Overall a wonderful class - I have recommended it to non-majors and those who love art history.
Material was interesting but there was a lot of it to learn. Watson was great - made info easy to understand and interesting. Really knew the material. Made the class fun. Was taught in a way that you could understand and remember it.
One of the most well structured, efficient classes I have taken. Watson was extremely devoted to teaching and making sure we got the most out of the class.
Actually knows how to teach and you actually learn and have fun.
The best, most informative, and helpful syllabus I've ever had. I liked the exam layout.
Great job at explaining the relevance of the material to Real World job environments and graphic design firms.
You explain everything well. You make class exciting and enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I couldn't begin to say enough about Dr. Watson. He is by far the best professor I have had since beginning at OSU. He's extremely knowledgeable and always more than willing to help in anyway possible. He made this class interesting and worth every minute. I wish he taught more classes here because I would most definitely take them.
Excellent. He made me actually want to come to class. He is passionate about teaching others and has helped me in my design projects.
Good personality. Always willing to help. Moves at a perfect pace - both enjoyable and informative.
It is real info that can be applied to architecture as well as to life. Watson was simply impressive. His ability to bring energy to class every time is a delight. His methods of teaching were conducive for learning.
His attitude, humor, and teaching ability is exactly how all instructors should be.
I honestly don't think I've ever had a better teacher. The outlines were great. I learned so much. The test were hard but I appreciate the bonus chances and grading breaks.
I really enjoyed this class. It showed how well the professor knew the material and he explained it well. I don't feel like I just heard what he was teaching but I understand it - I know it. I also thought the tests were good - long but not impossible and the extra credit points were great. Two thumbs up.
Creative and rule breaking professor.
He was really good at explaining things. For the amount of work that we got it seemed impossible to do in the little time we had but his teaching made it possible. Jim Watson should definitely be teaching more courses at OSU.
Thought it would be miserably boring, but turned out to be very interesting because of the way it was presented. Very useful course. Excellent instructor - best teacher I've had here.
This has been my favorite class so far. Watson was fun, great sense of humor, very real. If only every class would give tests in the same manner. Grading was very fair - love the many opportunities for extra points
Great informative class. Funny, all-around nice guy, and inspires students. Very long in-depth exams but fair with the grading. I have told my friends not in the art department to take this class.
What an imagination! Watson's energy and interest in the subject was channeled straight into my learning experience.
I love this class. I actually looked forward to it. Thanks for making learning fun and inspiring me. This course would be great for all studies not just design students. Thanks.
The test format was the best I have ever had.
Watson is devoted to teaching. Able to keep one's attention very easily. He is fun to listen to. Very interesting lectures that seem to go by quickly within 3 hours because they are fun and packed with a lot of information.
Helped immensely to solidify my interest in design and that I chose the right major. Wicked cool dude.
Amazing course. Unconventional instructor. Human. Just a regular guy. Knows how to make anything interesting. Wacky!. Excellent organizational presentation skills. Wow. The lectures rocked. The funnest class I've taken in years.
The best art history teacher ever (clone him and never let him die).
I'm an advertising major and this class was very helpful - favorite class so far.
He is a hoot. Always energetic, always knows what he's talking about, he makes learning this stuff really fun. Most interesting art history class and most relevant to GD students.
Fabulous. If I was dying I would still come because it is fun and very motivating. Makes me want to go home and make better designs to be the best so one day people will study my work.
He is such a wonderful teacher. I've never looked forward to a history class so much before.
If we had more instructors like Watson at OSU, the college itself would be worth it's weight in gold.
The teacher was just fantastic. This is the only worthwhile class one should take at OSU.
I feel Dr Watson made the course.
This is the best instructor I've ever had. The course was incredible. He is very knowledgeable on the subject and truly cares about and listens to his students.
Wish I had taken this class before I took more design courses. Great format covered the info while offering inspiration.
The best class I've ever had. The best. BEST. The best instructor ever. Funny and informative.
I'm not a graphic design major, but I'm glad I stumbled across this class. Hands-down, best teacher I've ever had.
The best. He inspires me to design. I've never missed a class. The info goes into my brain like a movie. He makes me want to transfer to UCO so I can learn more from him. There will never be another instructor like him.
Amazing instructor. I learned so much, not just GD history, but other helpful helpful info as well. I wish he was a professor at OSU. Watson's knowledge and logic could benefit all students. My parents would have loved this course.
Dr. Watson has to be the coolest instructor ever. First professor that I'd actually want to hang out with. He is wonderful and makes you want to learn. Never had an instructor like him.
This course has opened my eyes. I am very satisfied. Prof. Watson is a remarkable professor, maybe the best I have ever had!
Fun. Holds your attention the entire time. He was a riot but he knows his stuff and he knows how to teach it. So cool.
Excellent instructor, best speaker I've ever had opportunity to be around. Makes class super interesting.
Excellent overview of graphic design. Best art history course (or any course) I've ever had. He's absolutely amazing. He draws you in and the information is plentiful, relevant, and easy to understand.
The best and most knowledgeable instructor I have had in five years of college.
Really opened my eyes to what lies ahead after graduation. He made the class very interesting and I enjoyed the work I had to do, for a change!
Loved his teaching style, made me want to come to class. Nice to know there are professors with senses of humor.
He makes me think and make the most of life as a designer. He was very helpful, a great designer, and has a wonderful attitude.
He forces you to stretch yourself and makes you excited about what you're studying.
His style is fresh and a welcome change. This is the best art history course we have. I would recommend it to anyone, even non-majors.
All the other art history courses haven't taught me squat compared to this class.
He does not make students feel inferior to his knowledge, wants to share.
The course was very beneficial - my design process and overview have improved greatly.
I'll never look at design, indoors or out, the same way again.
Dr. Watson is without a doubt the best professor I have had in my three years at OU.
This is been the best class I've ever taken. I learned so much and it is valuable information. Thank you for making it so interesting (or for keeping us interested since the info is interesting anyway). It was great! You helped renew my interest and motivation for design.
This has been a wonderful class. It was interesting and I learned so much. I really hope that every design student get see opportunity to be in this class. I think the information I obtained will be beneficial to me and the professional world. Thanks for the experience
I've said it once and I'll say it again, you are one of the best instructors that I have ever had. I wish I could take another course with you. I will even take this same one over again just for the knowledge. Thanks.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the class. I can only imagine the strength of my work if I had this class a year ago. You opened my eyes to the world of design. You gave me a history on which to build my own portfolio. Dr. Watson, thanks for the long Monday nights, even though I had to tape WWF wrestling. I believe I am a better designer for taking the class. I really miss the informal design topics and tangents we discussed. Maybe there could be a Design Theory. Thank you.
I learned a lot. OU should get more professors like him.
One of the best and most enthusiastic teachers I've had at OU, if not the best!
Watson is very encouraging and has really stimulated my thinking as a designer.
I never experienced a dull moment during your lectures.
Jim Watson is a national treasure. We are so lucky to have him.
He makes the class fun and not boring I really remember most of it
I really enjoyed his lectures - he is a great and energetic teacher. He really knows what he is teaching and that helped tremendously.
Great lectures very thorough. Very informative. I've learned the most about design and styles from this class. Great job Dr. Watson!
Best teacher I have had in all of my education. Pure brilliance!
I've never been able to sit through a 3-hour class and enjoy it so much. You were extremely well prepared and you really knew your stuff. I'm really going to miss this class. I feel like I absorbed more in this one class then all of my other college courses combined.
I love this class because of the material taught and the way it was taught. The instructor has a passion for the information he is teaching and it shows. Wonderful.
Wonderful class. I love Tuesday nights. And I love how I noticed design now everywhere I go. You have helped me learn to see.
Jim is the best teacher I've ever had. He deserves teacher of the year!!!
One of the best teachers I've ever had, a pleasure coming to class, wish you taught design courses for VisComm, I learned a lot, love test format, can't say enough positive, stylebook a great idea.
I wish I had taken it as a sophomore and not a senior. It would've been very helpful to my thought process.
Mr. Watson is the best instructor I've ever had, including high school. He is fun and understanding. He's easy to understand and, unlike many art instructors, he has no superiority complex. I wish he taught all my classes.
I must say you were probably the best professor I have had since I've been in college. Yours is the only class I don't fall asleep in, even when I work 40 hours a week. Great job!
Jim Watson is one of the best educators I have ever had the pleasure to learn from! I didn't miss a single class and I did not want to.
Very energetic teacher, very organize, fun fun fun, needs to teach more classes at OU.
Dr. Watson is a brilliant instructor and the first faculty to ever really make me want to be a designer.
Wow what a great class! I would have to say that this class is the first, out of many, that I have not wanted to skip. I love it! Every night when I get to my apt I tell my roommate all the neat tidbits you gave us. I think your enthusiasm for this class is so cool neato awesome. It makes me want to learn. Thanks for a great fun semester.
PS Hope to see you in New York one year on your trip.
Watson is the greatest teacher so far in my college life. He is very talented and informed. Class lectures are interesting. I think the knowledge of the instructor is the most important to judge the quality of the class. I will surely take another one of Watson's classes if it is offered at OU. I just love him! He's the best.
This is the greatest class I've ever taken. The knowledge I've received here will influence my work and life for ever.
Jim Watson makes the material exciting and influential. He is by far the best teacher I have had the privilege of being taught by during the two years I have been here.
Enjoyable, interesting. Awesome, knowledgeable, animated.
Very interesting even for someone not studying graphic design. Very well presented material. Well done!
Great. Enthusiastic. Loved him. Engaging and fun.
Wow! Can I say how refreshing! I'm an English major and the surprise of your delightful class was utterly fabulous. You are an incredible teacher. I was so blessed at how honest and approachable you presented yourself for all of us and how effective you are as an educator. What a switch. This was my favorite class.
Great class, I loved it. Interesting & helpful. Fun, funny, and great with the class content.
Very knowledgeable, hilarious, & makes a boring 3 hour class fun to sit through. Easy tests if you paid attention and took good notes.
Awesome, funny, great to learn from. Even though this is a big class and a lot of information, you make the class really fun and I have a lot of respect for you not only cause you're smart in your field, but because you are really down to earth and easy to talk to.
I have taken this class as an elective and it has been more than worth my time. Watson is an excellent professor.
Interesting subject matter, definitely beneficial to all design majors. He kept class interesting, very knowledgeable. Dedicated to graphic design & other areas of design as well.
Very knowledgeable of the history of graphic design, enjoyed his lectures and having him as a teacher. Bonus points are very helpful.
Very interesting, didn't realize the significance of graphic design until this course. He talked in an interesting way that always kept me intrigued. Exams every other week helped make studying manageable. Really enjoyed this course. Always looked forward to coming to class. Learned a lot.
This course was awesome, interesting, and extremely relevant to my studies. Instructor was awesome too! Great teaching style, super fun, entertaining, and helpful. I wish you'd teach more courses!I like the way the tests were set up and the way they were timed. Everything about this class was great. I wish there was a sequel course.
I genuinely enjoyed the course, I truly feel it was enriching. Dr. Watson is rad. He is a great presenter and makes a 3 hour lecture interesting and enjoyable for the entire class period. He inspired me to take my life in a new direction, which is already improving my life in more ways than I can count.

About studio design courses
I can't thank you enough for constantly pushing us to produce quality design!
I have learned a whole lot about not only being a designer, but about myself this semester and I want to thank you for that. I have really enjoyed your class and will continue to strive to be the best designer that I can be. I can honestly say that I will walk away with a great amount of lessons learned, that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
watson is a hoot. jim watson (exalted dictator of the universe) is the best teacher i know. he has had such an impact on who i've become. he sets very high standards for his students, while at the same time reminding them not to take themselves too seriously. he used to doodle during boring meetings, which i found both hilarious and liberating, and he'd always say ‘life is a hoot' when anything amusing happened. thank you for all the inspiration, exalted one.
I've never had a teacher who does so much to impart true wisdom.
I took Graphic Design I as an elective on the way to an Art Ed degree and, boy, was that a choice that changed my life. The way you taught that class, the way you introduced design to my life . . . well, it unlocked a passion for problem solving and creativity that I never knew I had. As I was working with a young designer last week I realized it was long, long, long past due for me to thank you. Your passion for molding young minds into thinking machines and aspiring designers proved to have one of the most profound effects on my life and who I am today. My wish for you is that you wake each morning and swell with pride over the fact you've made such a great impact on people's lives. Thanks for choosing to teach.
Thanks so much for what you taught me. I continue to this day to learn from those lessons.
I have enjoyed the past year of classes with you and I hope to continue challenging myself to think outside the box just as you have taught us to do.
The past two semesters have been an incredible journey. I thank you for the time you invested not only in me, but also in the other students. You are a unique individual. You contain large quantities of wisdom, and you share it at every available chance. Your challenges throughout the semesters have had a great influence on me. You have given me so much knowledge and started my growth as a designer. I am truly thankful and appreciate your time at OSU. I hope that whatever is next for you brings you joy, and that you continue to grow, be influential, be influenced, and never stop loving life. It was a HOOT.
Jim Watson taught me to question everything, that designers solve problems, and, as communicators, we need to provide a rationale for everything we do.
Thank you for encouraging me to think for myself. It worked.
Walking into Graphic Design 1 class changed my life. You made design fun and challenging and always pushed me to do better. Thank you.
I found myself reflecting over GD1 class memories that I treasure. I consider myself blessed for having you as an inspirer and motivator. (The title of "Professor" does not seem to fit you). You once said that one does not need a degree to be a designer. Although I do plan on completing my degree. What you gave me in the brief time I spent at UCO, is the belief that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. About "making a difference" and "change the world" I will be working on advocacy in the bicycling industry to get more people onto bicycles and out from in front of TV'S and PC'S.
My compliments on your website. In these days of "Flash Animation" it is refreshing to see a website with more meat than fluff.
This guy is amazing. He will make you a better designer, there is really no two ways around it. Take him, if at all possible.
He was very inspiring. He taught me more about challenges and earning a tough skin than any teacher in my life. He also knows how to make everyone laugh and earn a positive outlook without feeling sorry for him/herself. He also made it a very interesting semester for everyone :)
Changed my attitude about not just design, but about life. He is the most unusual and interesting teacher I have ever had. He will not settle for the usual BS from students. He will make you think and be prepared or you will look very stupid. Strange quirks - eats food off the ground, swears loudly, constantly whistles or hums. A friend and mentor.
Makes you think outside the box. Not afraid to speak his mind, and good at getting others to do so as well. You will not be bored. Be prepared to put in the hours.
Thank you for helping me become a better designer and a better person. You have been a great influence on me.
Thank you so much - I learned more from you about how to go about my life than any other teacher in my life. It's just all one big design problem, yes?
I can say without hesitation that what I did learn from your teachings is how I live my life. 'Neurobics' are a necessity for me. And I make sure my family is fully exposed to them.
Do you still ask your students “Why?" I hope so. You made me think and I still do today. You helped train my mind! Thanks.
I wanted to thank you in person for forever changing my life.
If not for you and your guidance, I would definitely not be the person I am today.
His classes are hard, but you definitely learn. Dr. Watson knows what he is talking about and is the most interesting person I know.
The teacher that motivated me the most was Dr. Watson. He is a master of teaching, you can learn anything in his class.
I've always held you in high esteem. Really, your encouraging me to become a designer is what seeded my passion for design. So I thank you for that. You change people's hearts and minds.
I liked having to think things through rather than having someone hold my hand through them.
He was a hard teacher in a good way. He pushed us to reach our potential.
Dr. Watson is probably the best teacher I've ever had. He helped me develop as a designer and a person. He urged all students to become more confident and to never settle for ordinary.
Great class! Had lots of fun learning! I learned to think outside the box and to become more specific; to always ask why?
Watson's the best - taught us to overcome our fears, be more confident. He opens your mind to different ways of thinking 'outside the box'.
Watson is great. I really respect him as a person and a teacher. A great man.
The ideology of the course in relationship to the job market and expectations of clientele. Great instructor, if I had instructors of his magnitude earlier in my education I would been a better person and student long ago.
Dr. Watson relates better to students than any professor I've ever had, bar none. Everything about this class was great, especially the blunt criticisms.
He was very funny, made class worth coming to, had a great time. Class was a hoot!
Instructors enthusiasm towards subject matter and students work - knowledgeable - creates a great atmosphere for class discussion.
It's the only class where the grades reflect your work. Most classes require little or no effort, but this one pushes you. Thank you, you've made a big difference.
Liked the mind expansion, learning to be responsible for our own decisions, and learning and being prepared for the real world.
Dr. Watson wants you to think on your own. This is greatly appreciated after having most all of the college teachers I have had just tell me what I should think. Pushing me has made me become a better student.
Dr. Watson has a very good approach with students. He's able to get everyone to open their minds and talk about what they think.
He helped us learn to think properly. He was the best teacher I've ever had.
The way Dr. Watson teaches is outstanding. Breaking away from the norm. He chewed gum from under the table and blew me away. Then he rationalized it and blew me away even more. Dr. Watson is honestly the first teacher I've had at UCO that has taught me something. I never missed his class because I enjoy it so much. I cut most of my other classes at least two or three times a month. Dr. Watson is great! He's a hoot.
Dr. Watson is the best teacher I have ever had and he has been one of the best influences in my life. He makes learning fun, but he still teaches life lessons as well as school lessons. He treats students as equals and doesn't expect us to treat him with respect if we don't feel respect. He encourages us to think freely, have an open mind, and say what we feel, not what we think he would like to hear. Dr. Watson is honest and direct - he doesn't mislead students. He encourages talent and discourages ignorance. I learned much about graphic design from Dr. Watson, which is the intention, but I learned more about life, which is a bonus.
He emphasized attention to detail and thinking deeply. This class changed me.
I learned not only about graphic design but also about problem solving and living in the graphic design world.
I would recommend this instructor to someone of any major. He is a professor about life in general.
This was a great class - fun, intriguing, and difficult. I liked it a lot!
The curriculum format was excellent. Every instructor in this department should be required to outline not only the course, but the specific assignments as Jim Watson does. His attention to detail made the course meaningful. Watson's engaging mannerisms encourage most students to become involved. Jim Watson should have more of a leadership role in this department.
Teaching how to clear your mind and get past your inhibitions. Learning attention to detail. Learning the best way to communicate. The mind games were fabulous.
Dr. Watson makes learning fun. He has so much knowledge to pass on to us, a semester class is just not enough time.
He does an excellent job. He makes learning fun. He is extremely tough, but very fair. He makes me use my own mind, but he will give guidance.
Dr. Watson is the only challenging professor in the art department. This is the first college course that I felt challenged in.
Dr. Watson does an excellent job: explanation of assignments, format of handouts, and the teacher's attitude.
The relationship between students and professor was excellent and made it easy and encouraging to learn. I wanted to come to this class and see what the next assignment was to tackle. This is one of the best classes I've had at UCO and definitely the best professor. He teaches you and makes you want to learn. That's how it should be with all classes. This was not an easy class, it took a lot of time and work, but it was much more enjoyable and beneficial than any other class I've had.
Liked his organization and knowledge of the subject. He demands a lot but gives even more to his students. He is considerate, open, honest, and understanding to all of his students. He is in A type of professor.
Dr. Watson is the best instructor I have had since I began college. I look forward to having him for history.
The attitude of Dr. Watson toward the students was exceptional. He was very helpful and graciously shared his experience with us.
Dr. Watson is the best teacher I've had at UCO. Signed, OSU student
Dr. Watson's teaching ability and attitude towards his students is above high standards. He is an asset to UCO. We are very fortunate to have such an interesting and knowledgeable teacher here at UCO.
Very interesting teacher and one who enjoys teaching. His ability to talk and get along with students was exceptional.
We were all able to show our true creativity in our own work. I love being able to actually design my ideas. Dr. Watson has patience and he certainly knows what he's talking about. The entire class will leave with a lot of new culture that was taught to them. Excellent!
The positive attitude generated by the teacher added a lot of encouragement to my learning and getting a good grade. It made me want to do better work.
He knows his subject. He works well with the students on things other than just classwork.
He is a very knowledgeable person who takes a great interest in his students. He knows his subject well. We are fortunate that he is at this university.
This course was a very interesting and learning experience. Dr. Watson has a genuine interest in his work and his students. That is very rare these days. He is a wonderful instructor and a great asset to UCO.
Dr. Watson is one of the best instructors to come along in quite a while! What would the art department be without him?
This is my favorite instructor, a neat inspiring teacher.
I like doing actual projects for posters and layouts. The teaching and the content of the course were excellent. I was really pleased that Dr. Watson was willing to help us at any time. When we'd ask questions he'd answer really well without making us feel inferior. He had the ability to draw answers and solutions to problems out of us. He is probably the best instructor I've had.
Classwork related directly to work that would be done in the field. He made it a challenge, a fun challenge. I enjoyed doing the work.
Like his emphasis on thinking and the creative process.
I thought he was very very good about being upbeat and with the times. I also like the way he gave assignments that pertain to the real world. He also just made it very interesting. He is an excellent addition to the droll condition of the graphic design program.
The teacher's overall attitude towards life was a great break from the stress created by other classes. This class is damn tough, and for a good reason. If Dr. Watson ever let us slip, we would not get the full retribution we deserved for our laziness and procrastination. The class has been a huge eye-opener and has completely changed my life. Besides learning about Graphic Design, I am taking away life-long lessons that will apply to every aspect of my life.
I have never learned so much about life and myself. I grew to love this class and now I am inspired more than ever to go out and change things by being an excellent designer.
The way Dr. Watson related to us made me feel like I could do the assignments. He is the reason I came to UCO.
Liked Dr. Watson's approach to make students think and explore new ways. The grading was a little hard to take, but he explained it so it made sense.
I learned more in this class than any other class, even though I expect to make a C.
I learned more in this class than I did in any other class I've ever had. I've even noticed a change in my opinions and attitudes because of this class. Dr. Watson is such a 'hoot'. I have taken and will continue to take every class that he teaches.
He is great! Why can't more instructors teach and encourage like he does? Liked the level of excitement generated. Participation was encouraged.
The instructor really thinks through methods to teach the information. He cares about preparing students for the competitive job market. He is not afraid to tell students exactly what they need to know to improve their work. Great motivator!
It's obvious he enjoys teaching. He is one of a handful of teachers I have had in my life who i would state is Exceptional.
Encouraged deep thinking. Activities outside of class pushed students to work hard.
I felt that every aspect of this course was great. It is so much more than the material and activities. Dr. Watson is an incredible teacher and teaches us well - in fact, better than any teacher has taught me anything. I appreciate his attitude, open-mindedness, and especially, his criticism.
I'm glad I had you as a teacher. I like the person you really are and I respect you for fighting the apathy that plagues our society by making students aware of the problem.
I enjoyed the class immensely - sometimes you were very hard on us but that only prepares us for the 'real world'. This is one of the rare classes in 6 years of school that I'll forever remember what I learned. Thank you.
Liked his views on making us think. Philosophy on life and design was not pushed on us, yet it is something that impacted me and will stay with me the rest of my life.
It was not the usual spoon-feeding like most of my other classes.
The way the instructor encourages class participation helps each student grasp the content of the course. I have encouraged friends who have graduated to sit in on the class - it will improve and expand their skills and abilities as designers.
Watson is straight forward with the class on what he expects of us and what our future career as designers will expect out of us. He is by far the most interesting and beneficial instructor I've had in the Art Dept so far.
It made me think in a different way - having to think thoroughly about everything. Dr. Watson creates a fun environment and encourages us to express ourselves. I really loved it and wish you taught more classes. Watson's fun personality, class critiques, and class discussions.
The course pushed me to think more objectively about my work. This class was a challenge. But I still enjoyed it very much.
It caused me to think critically.
I liked his method of teaching. Not just course material but life lessons also.
This was a wonderful class taught by a great instructor. The information gained and the way it was presented will make a definite impact on my career as a graphic designer.
The class was very enjoyable - a wonderful experience - the only class I could come and learn without taking notes, memorization, or studying. Dr. Watson loves to teach. This is the only reason he is here at UCO.
This was a great class. Would even recommend it for non-majors. He let us think for ourselves and taught us to think better.
I have never been so motivated to work in my entire life. Exciting challenges. Open discussion forum - very helpful.
I felt challenged in this course. The instructor actually made me think which I feel a lot of instructors lack the ability to do.
I had heard things about this teacher that were negative and I feel they were wrong - it is important that the student is prepared for their working field when they graduate. Excellent instructor!
There were three influences you had on me that have endured these 25 years:
1. Your amusing practical joke one day of faking a sneeze while simultaneously finger-flicking a bit of water on an innocent passer-by's neck.
2. Making people answer various trivia questions in order to be counted present for meetings (class). Some that I stole directly from you included, "Countries that no longer exist" and "Dead rock and roll singers". I still remember someone whining, "Don't make me think!" which you found to be cripplingly funny.
3. Design solves a problem. That's the main one. I've always remembered that.
Thanks so much. I wish I still had you around to keep me on my toes. You made school really fun.
Watson is so much fun, and he really encourages you to think in new ways. I also love using the website. I want a Watson uniform.
He encouraged me to think outside the box and he made me a better designer.
The course made me grow as a person and as an aspiring designer. Thanks to this class, I think way too critically.
I've never had to think so hard in my life. My head hurts.
I learned to think more critically and that work is concept-driven.
What did you like about this course? Neurobics. What can the instructor do to improve this course? The real question is what can I do to learn more?
I liked everything about the course. I had to think more than ever before. I'm no longer a normal human being.
Best damn class of my life.
This course was great for opening my eyes to how lazy I had gotten in my previous classes. We'd gotten so far away from developing concepts that the practice of 'making pretty' had drained the creativity out of my work. Watson was very willing to go out of his way to help and has no doubt had an impact on my career as a creative. I enjoyed having a design class that didn't chain me to a computer. I would have loved to have had Watson at the beginning of my education. Watson did a great job of adapting to a group of students who fully expected to walk right through college. I only fear two things leaving this class: I fear for the students the first time they encounter a creative director that expects a professional and I fear that Watson will retire from teaching with regret for coming to OSU Stillwater. This entire program needs to take a serious look at other design programs around the country.
It was very beneficial to have a teacher with a different point of view on graphic design. Some of the grading was a little harsh - it was just different from what we were used to.
Great teacher. Very interesting and full of knowledge. Was very helpful with 'real-life' projects. I was a little disappointed with only having class once a week. The grading was fair and very helpful with explanations.
I think this class helped it all 'click' for me. This was a great class, I loved it. I really learned a lot.
I like the client-driven projects. I like that the responsibility was placed on the students to get things done within a week - he treated us like adults.
Wonderful class. He challenged us to grow in a very positive atmosphere. Love him.
Watson was very helpful and understanding and eager to help. The course couldn't have been better. Thank you.
The course was very beneficial. I loved getting to work with actual clients. The instructor was awesome!
Jim Watson taught me more than I was expecting to learn, and I had a great time doing it!
I really miss the motivation I had in your classes. I'm eternally grateful for your inspiration.
I owe a lot of your drive and enthusiasm for teaching to set the standards for myself.
Thank you for the best semester ever. Thanks for not pushing your views and opinions on us - our minds are cluttered enough. I feel like I creatively retain much more from Graphic Design 1 than all of my other art classes combined. Your attitude towards us as students was unbelievable! Thanks for treating us as real people.
This class has helped me be more confident with myself and my work. I learned more about myself. I would recommend this class to anyone. You encourage students to face their fears and when they do, it is such a rush and a great feeling that it encourages you to face more fears. Thanks.
The class was tons of fun and informational. Watson was great, he taught more than just curriculum.
Watson had great interaction with students. He really pushed us as designers. Raising the standard of design education. I really enjoyed the class.
He was a great instructor - funny and entertaining. I learned a lot and he did a good job trying to prepare us for the 'real world'. It's a shame that he is only filling in and won't be here next year.
I had a great time in this class, learned a lot! I always looked forward to coming to class because you made it very fun! I loved the mind games!
Watson was so positive and helpful. Also very fun and down to earth. Approachable.
I am very happy that you came to the Arts Magnet and I am blessed to know you and to have been instructed by you. I enjoyed your classes so much that if I could relive them I would not hesitate to do so. I learned plenty of practical things that will help me in life. I especially enjoyed all of the class discussions - I found them very interesting and informative. I like to see you work with students and handle all types of situations. Your creativity and your wonderful sense of humor seem to be limitless. I appreciate you for talking and listening to me and for letting me in on your advice and your opinion. Your influence has been a great one.
I had never imagined that this class would change my life. I was very excited when I got accepted in ClockTower Studio. It was like a dream come true. ClockTower is a place where a graphic design student becomes a professional designer - where I learned how to become a better person. I served ClockTower day and night to maintain its great reputation as a professional design studio. I was confident, proud, and dedicated to serve this studio under your supervision. There were times when I failed and acted unprofessionally, but under your guidance, I learned from those mistakes. My initiative and positive attitude helped ClockTower to maintain its reputation as one of the best graphic design studios in Central Oklahoma.

About Professional Practice
I loved the in-class participation and the creative thinking encouraged. A great instructor for a great course. This has been the most beneficial course I have ever taken. Exciting. Interesting. Fun.
Jim makes learning fun and easy. He is very knowledgeable and experienced in this field and many others and is always willing to share his knowledge. He is one of the best teachers I have ever had. He makes you eager to come to class.
The class was a pleasure to attend. Jim really is a motivator.
Jim Watson has the ability to make even the most boring and mundane classes fun and interesting.
Professional approach of instructor, treats students like professionals.
Instructor makes you see and think creatively. Enthusiasm is very good. Motivates the creative energy in the students. Excellent instructor.
This course has had a positive influence on me. Jim Watson's optimism and enthusiasm is encouraging and refreshing. He is able to motivate.
He makes us work hard in a fun way so that I don't realize how much I work. He has much respect for one's answers.
The course was extremely beneficial. Loved his method of teaching. Taught by someone who loves his job and really enjoys sharing with you.
Loved the challenges and being encouraged to solve difficult problems, making my mind work in new ways, the feeling of creativity running through the instigation of Jim Watson - a great motivator - really picks the brain to make you think. Excellent.
Dr. Watson has a lot of knowledge and experience in graphic design that he shares with students. He is very outspoken, keeping students on their toes at all times. He makes you really think about all decisions made and ways to make things communicate better.
Eye opening - makes you make decisions, treats students as individuals. I've learned more in Dr. Watson's classes than in the rest of my college classes put together.
Liked the tough critiques - I'd rather be slammed here than in the interview/real world. If you can't take it here, it would scare me to be in the job market.

About the New York City Study Tour
When you said it would be hard to adjust back to Oklahoma life, you weren't joking. I just wanted to thank you for taking us to New York. I don't think that I could ever top this trip. This was probably the best thing to happen in life so far. After having experienced all the things that we did I am forever changed as a person. I will no longer look at the world the same way again. It's almost depressing to look at my pictures because I wish that it didn't have to end. The greatest thing that I experienced in NY, other than all the great shows and sites, was a great sense of independence. I have traveled all my life, but NY, for some reason, made me realize that there's so much in the world that I need to experience. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate this experience - it has given me a whole new outlook on life.
Loved Wicked so much that I'm taking my mom to see it. The visit with Massimo Vignelli was the best visit ever! Central Park is my new favorite place. I was ready to go home by the end of the trip but was ready to go back after being in OK one weekend.
I want to thank you for an amazing trip. It was a life changing, spiritual experience. I will never be the same.
Every minute of the trip was a highlight. I couldn't do without any of it! Thank you so much for the opportunity.
Massimo's hospitality. New York pizza and bagels. Good balance overall between seeing things and free time. Don't change that. Best trip ever!
This was the best trip I've ever taken.
We were able to see and take in a lot more information and sites than on most tour packages.
I'm very happy I was able to participate. Loved the instructor's background knowledge and quality of preparation and presentation.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip - the freedom to see and do on our own and Watson's knowledge of sites - allowing us to experience as much as possible. I feel very privileged to have been part of such a unique experience.
Thank you so much for making NYC such a memorable experience. I had an incredible time and learned much. It was truly a week I will never forget.
Thanks for caring so much.
It's been a real inspiration and an eye-opening experience thanks for making me realize life's a hoot.
Thanks for being our leading light and inspiring our dreams. We realize all the extra time and effort you put into this trip just for us. Thanks for truly caring about our futures by coordinating exciting new experiences. We appreciate your hard work and dedication.
Thanks so much for putting so much effort into this trip. I couldn't have had a better experience.
This trip is so amazing - it couldn't have been any better.
Excellent trip. Watson was very well informed.
I would recommend this trip for anyone. A lot of material was covered, Dr. Watson was always good-natured and the students were very cooperative with him and each other.
You have done more to bring the fascination of New York City, and thus much-needed open-mindedness, into the minds of the Midwest's young people than anyone else.
The NY trip still has a daily impact on my design decisions. It was fantastic. I don't think a graphic designer should be introduced to NYC in any other way. Thank you for your dedication to teaching.
Thank you for the wonderful time in New York City. It was a life-changing experience. I'm so glad that I spent my spring break learning, seeing, and doing instead of watching television. Even better, I spent it with you - by far the most interesting and exciting Professor I have ever had. I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful experience.

About community presentations
Leadership Oklahoma City's Arts and the Quality of Life: you were cited by a number of class members as the strongest part of the day, and frankly, this day is packed with strong presenters. Thanks to your time and expertise, the members of Class XII are better prepared to participate in our community's cultural life. Your time was well-spent!
One of the most informative speakers I've heard.
Dr. Jim Watson is a good speaker and did a good program. I think other people should hear him as well.
The speaker was a very interesting and smart man.

RateMyProfessor Scorecard
31.0 Number of Ratings
  2.2 Average Easiness
  4.9 Average Helpfulness
  4.8 Average Clarity
  4.8 Overall Quality

About this website
I have been impressed by your web site and how easily you can adjust things to make someone’s life easier. - From Sochi, Russia
Thank you for writing such a wonderful website with your design ideas. I was introduced to it by a friend and I’m enjoying it. - From Lausanne, Switzerland
I somehow stumbled on your website and spent the last 2 hours reading all your published work. What incredible insight you have in design and creation. I am very impressed with the sheer content available to take in. I am taking all your study of design to heart.
Hi Jim, I recently found your blog and am so obsessed. Having finally gotten a one-bedroom apartment of my own in New York City, I keep coming back to your blog for inspiration. Incredible!
I just wanted to say that I love your work! I particularly enjoyed reading your musings about logo designs. Thanks for sharing a succinct and helpful discussion about logo design - it's a great read!
We see the fun and passion for design and teaching in your website. It's a joy to read. You don't look or act like you're 70.
Thank you. And congratulations on your most admirable and impressive inventions!
I really enjoy your Wensdays Blog. I have come to realize how privileged I am to have had the opportunity to learn (and still learning) from you.
After signing up for your History of Graphic Design course nearly ten years ago, I still find your blog inspirational. I enjoy your "reworked" designs and thoughts on culture, they push me to evolve my creativity and thought process still. Thanks again for encouraging thought.
I found your website today through a 37signals article (http://37signals.com/svn/posts/2953-jim-watsons-interesting-design-observations) and started reading The Idea Kit. I just had to write to say THANK YOU for providing such a great source of inspiration! Writing this kind of a message isn't something I would normally do, but you kind of forced it by encouraging to break the crust of habit. :)
From Finland
This the first time I have been on your site and blog. It blows me away. How do you find time for this? I know you are “retired". Obviously, I could not explore your site completely in a mere hour or two. I hope to return many times.
You possess the most unique way of looking at and assessing everything you encounter, as they really are. I am very glad to see continuing to carry out your mission thru your web site.
Your blogsite rocks! Double woot!
I finally looked at your website tonite and I'm amazed! The story of your dogs is heart warming. It's such a great site. simple, easy to get around and navigate, and filled with lots of info. Just wanted to say what an encouragement you are in your lectures and your teachings! I have enjoyed being a student of yours and look forward to completing my degree under your instruction. I have looked at my life in new ways since taking your GD 1 and Hist of GD classes. Living simple is easy to do now, no more junk to have around, clutter seems to frustrate me more now. I make things simple for me and have told many people about your manner of instruction. Pretty interesting questions come back my way. I just wanted to say what a "hoot" your website is and how fun it's been in your classes.
I have been following your entries for over a year now and I amazed at how I keep finding new nuggets of wisdom and keen observations in places that I never explored on your website. You have been a source of inspiration and humor for me as I am sure countless others as well.
I visited your website today. Great stuff! It's very resourceful and insightful. The Idea Kit is my favorite. I often refer to it as my 'extra motivation tool'. Thanks.
I have been going to your web site and reading almost daily, it has been so much fun. Just wanted you to know that I am enjoying the heck out of it. It is a nice way to take a break.
everything you ever wanted to know about jim watson and creative thought can be found on his website, including his extensive portfolio, inventions, a biography, quizzes, essays, broadway shows - i could go on forever. it really is the most informative and entertaining read online.
When I am feeling low, and totally bogged down in mommyhood, and terribly uncreative, I go to your website. I read about the things you've done, and I look at the graphics I will never see in person, stuck as I am. I think about the questions you've raised, and it gets my brain going again. My friend is going to check your website a few times a week, for inspiration and courage. Dr. Watson, you touch more people than you know.
Enjoyed your site very much. I'm a “nearly native" New Yorker (lived here since 1966) and both my parents were native New Yorkers. I really love NYC history, and I still learned a lot from your site that I didn't know before. Thanks.
I am a graphic designer in Wichita. I found your Design vs Decoration section (as well as others on your site) to be very informative. Of course as a practicing designer, I'm aware of these principles, but clients often are not. I often spend about 30% of my time on a project educating clients on principles of good design. Not just the "look" but how important design is in marketing and communication. I also cringe every time a client calls and asks me to "just make it look good."
I have a confession: I've been looking over your Web site more often than studying for our exam. I think it's primarily because few of my past professors offered the sheer amount of information - personal and professional - on their Web site, if they had one at all. I believe, in complete honesty, that had I been exposed to graphic design earlier in my college career, I'd be completing a different major right now. Basically, I'm blaming you completely if I decide to return to college for another degree. Just wanted to say thanks for your site. I appreciate your openness, humor and your philosophies in design, teaching, religion, politics and life in general; sharing these personal elements seems to be pretty rare nowadays.
Also, I would like to thank you very much for all your support. You were always honest and understanding. I now believe I can do this. So from all the knowledge I gained this semester, I have also learned that 1. not all people are the same and 2. I can prove people wrong and I am strong enough to do so. And your quotes and creative thoughts on your website have helped me a lot!
You are, and always will be, a huge source of inspiration. I enjoy your bloggings. It's nice to read that there are others out there that feel as awkwardly about certain aspects of life as I do, but also find the most beautiful moments in simple settings and things.
I came across your website and found it to be a valuable and and informative resource. I appreciate your design philosophy and approach to solving problems. I have been a graphic designer for 20 years, and I am always learning new things - about a client, an industry, a new market or a product. It seems no matter how long you have been in the business you really never stop learning. Thank you for the great resource. I will refer to it often.
Below: 37signals site: "Watson's site is filled with interesting, strongly worded observations on design."

Below: My favorite web site from Chuck Green's ideabook.com, 2008 and 2017.

Thirty-plus years browsing online, this is my favorite website…
Since I first signed onto CompuServe in the 1980s I have visited tens of thousands of websites - to date this one remains my favorite. Not because of the design (it's plain), not because of the navigational structure (the use of frames makes it tricky to share links), not even because of the information (while lots of it is smart and innovative, I disagree with plenty of what Jim Watson, its author, believes and doesn't believe).
It's my favorite website because it is a crystal-clear example of a foundational principle: that design is opinion.
Yes or no. Left or right. Light or dark. To my way of thinking, the calling of a designer is to determine what you believe to be the source and meaning of truth and to use that knowledge to improve communication and perfect systems. If you're good at it some significant number of folks will agree with you. If you're not, you're forced to dig deeper - there is no faking success as a designer.
I won't spoil it by giving you the whole story, instead, I encourage you to take some time to explore this Professor James Robert Watson's website then to return here and tell me what you think.
Here, unabashed and in depth, is one designer's opinion and his expression of it.
Professor Watson recently retired - not surprisingly, Jim Watson scores a 4.8 our of 5 on RateMyProfessors.com

1999 Outstanding Mentor Award

2008 AIGA Fellow

Every year the AIGA, the national organization for design, awards medals to outstanding individuals and firms that have made a significant contribution to design. Another award given is for AIGA Fellows - I was nominated by the Oklahoma chapter and participated in the 2008 The AIGA Design Legends Gala in New York City in September 2008.

2008-09 DSVC Golden Apple Educator of the year

Monday morning, the mail arrived and included a package from the Dallas Society of Visual Communications. Inside was a plaque and letter stating that I had been nominated and won an award - Golden Apple Outstanding Educator of the Year - from the 2008-09 DSVC National Student Show and Conference. I'm not real sure how it happened but I am very grateful to the OSU students who nominated me. It is a nice finale to the year of teaching full-time at OSU.

2010 Oklahoma Retired Art Educator of the Year

At the Annual Conference of the Oklahoma Art Education Association, Jim Watson received the above honor. The awards chair, Eric, is on the left in the photo
My first reaction was, How does one excel at retirement? Sleep late and wear mismatched socks? But, then I realized the award was due to my activities since retiring: I accepted a 1-year full-time position at OSU to cover for a colleague who took an emergency leave of absence, I still teach the History of Graphic Design at OSU, and I was involved with AIGA/OK and the Department of Design at UCO. The conference was at OU and it was fun to see former students and fellow teaching colleagues.