I'm considering a couple options for my future right now, and attending TAD next year is one of them.. but there's one thing I can't really find any information on, and that's the pods. I understand TAD classes like "figure drawing" will supply high-res images to work from, but that can't compare to working from life. Do the pods frequently have live models to draw from? What about cast work and the like? Are the pods really more like a shared studio (ie community easels, people to exchange crits with, etc), or do the local directors/teachers supply more information, classes (that is, extra weekly figure drawing from life or something), bonus assignments, etc?
I guess I'm just torn between attending an atelier for a bit and jumping straight to TAD. I don't have an art college education (actually, I'm just getting out of high school next year), so I feel like I should really be in a classroom working from life for a while, but I don't want to dilute my education and waste my time anymore when I could jump straight into the real learning road.. which, as best I can tell, would be TAD.
Sorry for my verbose tendencies and thanks in advance for all information!