- quick read
- good reminders
- awesome quotes and one liners
his blog is interesting to read too.
teaching was incredible today! i am so energized by spending awesome quality time with these brilliant kids!
the image above is from one of my 4th grade students during last spring semester. it was during our 'continuous-line-without-looking-at-our-paper' drawing sessions. you can tell that the artist did peak during the timed session because of the breaks in line on the body sections. but i say 'who cares?! this rocks!' i am just blown away by this quality of work coming from such small folks! i've been in college classes with individuals (art majors) that couldn't pull something this concise together.
i think it has everything to do with inhibition. that is something that i feel is oober-important in working with anything artistic or creative. whether it is drawing, painting, music, programming or problem solving, we have to be open to all ideas. we have to be willing to try something. we have to be willing to start something before deciding if it is the right thing for us.
we work on this in class by remembering at the beginning of each class that we're all different. that being different is okay. that our art will not look like our neighbors' art. that we are doing art for ourselves. what we draw or how we work on today may have constraints to work within, but everything else is up to us.
i was very surprised at the start of the sessions last year how very tight so many of the kids minds were with regard to how to do something and how many kids seems afraid to start something. 'what do you mean drawn a straight line? should it be on the bottom of the page or on the side? do we start at the top or the bottom?' the beautiful thing is that you get to decide. where do you want to start? where do you want to end? how big or how small or how wide do you want the line to be? should you use a marker or a pencil or a crayon?
i think that this is very liberating for children. and it is very moving to what the transformation after working together. how much the kids and i look forward to our time together. how much more open they are to making their own choices when it comes to materials. it stirs up some powerful emotions for me to watch kids learning to take control of their choices and feel terrific and proud about what they've done.
at the end of each session we engage in a little critique. the idea at most levels is two fold - allow the rest of the class to see what the others were doing and to encourage appreciation for other people's effort (even when it doesn't look like ours or maybe it's 'not for us,' we can still clap and smile and encourage others).
this year we changed up the sessions from 2 classes of 50 kids to 5 sessions of 25 kids. and i am able to teach in the homerooms instead of the cafeteria. the acoustics are so much better, that just that improvement would be worth it. but the kids are in an environment where they are used to being, learning, and listening. it is also much easier for me to distribute supplies and give directions. i also really love that i get to spend more time at each table of 5. we get to talk and enjoy each other more this way.
toss in a couple of the painting area of my studio. i started that studio organization posting, where i can move these later and add the other sides of the room. but i'm actually tired enough to fall into bed now - mission accomplished.
you stroll into the kitchen for a drink of water or any common thing; suddenly your brain pops up a mental picture of your keys sitting on the counter right in front of you - except you know full well that your keys haven't been there for at least a week... your brain's just trying to help you jog a little. this can become extremely irksome. if you're a visual beast like me, you run to the nearest location and check it. sometimes that leads you to think of other places your keys could be or what you were doing at the time you set your keys down over there...
my usual next step is to mount a full scale search of every crevice, pocket, shoe, bag, surface, cubby, pocket, and bin between the car, my door, and my desk. if i've failed to find my keys at this point, my next step is usually to abandon the idea of searching and just go back to boiler-plating it for a while. after a week of using up mental energy on such a pointless thing, i sucumb to having a new set made or a new key ordered.
at the point between letting go of the search and the arrival of the new key (or in one particular case a household move from one place to another), you find that key you lost. i found a key today. it wasn't to my car or house, but something vastly more important. i found the key to moving on from this loss and i know i'm going to be alright.
i'm done tipping my brain upside down and digging through the past. i'm going to be alright in my life and my work, my place and my conscience. i have a lot of work ahead of me to follow my purpose and define my true balance, but i just know i'm going to be able to do it.
i have crossed through a life intersection.
(was there a fender-bender? some days it seems so. maybe i escaped with my life and that's enough... *shrug* it seems somewhat vague yet - like whiplash - i may not know until some time afterwards.)
as i look back at the important people and decisions that i've met and made over the years, there are some that i think i could have gone either way on and still come back around to either the person i am today and/or the place i am today. there are others (some big and some small) that had i acted differently, or the context of my choice had been different, would have altered me or my situation significantly.
some days i'm on the fence over destiny and free will. perhaps i'm just too ambiguous for my own mind... but it seems to me that both could be intertwined. in some cases it doesn't matter, in others destiny is altered completely. perhaps it is not the end that matters, but what we do at life's intersections. you know, that whole its the journey not the destination thing... or a mix. ^_^
i feel altered. i feel changed. my choices make me who i am, but so does my perspective on those choices. full stop, this is not meant to sound like a philosophy essay.
oh heck, let's just call it like it is - all days i'm on the fence over destiny, free will, and many other topics. i try not to be 'a person of right or wrong.' (black and white, good vs. bad decisions - i try to be more of a context decision maker. e.g. Murder is bad, but if someone is attacking me, it would not be below consideration.)