Saturday, November 8, 2008

Juggling Pumpkins, hues, and Obama

It's been a beautiful week... in many ways! On Monday I was able to attend my weekly Bible study group... something that I'd missed for several weeks. I had even been thinking that I should just drop out altogether. After all, I had missed at least three chapters of reading, all three discussions. How could I catch up with all the things I had still to finish for school? But one of the group members approached me and said that it wasn't ALL about content study...that we were each of us part of this group, and each giving to the group. When one is missing, it's noticeable. My pastor reminded me that I wasn't so far behind, and that all I had to do was show up. Another member said she'd missed me. Another asked if I was ever coming back. Okay, I had promised, I would try to make it Monday night.
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So glad I went back. Our pastor didn't have to, but, like the good teacher that he is, he reviewed the past few weeks to catch me up. I felt welcomed again, I knew that no matter how busy my weeks are, there's always a friend or group of friends who will miss me if I don't show up for the commitments I have made. I feel the same way about them when they don't show up. I know they have busy lives too, with their work and families. Mine is no fuller than theirs. Time management is a big issue with me. And biting off more than I can chew at times.
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Juggling is probably an apt way to describe what I do. When one of my commitments becomes too heavy, I toss it into the air so I can attend to another one. And when a prior obligation becomes more urgent, I will toss something else into the air so I can take care of what seems more important at the moment. Hmm, I really don't care for that analogy. Tossing things into the air seems a bit irresponsible somehow. Even though my hands will be on all these things at one time and another, they're still getting tossed when I have too much for my hands, heart, and mind to attend to at any given time.
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I'd rather adopt the image of one who carries her load to the end, and who helps others when her load becomes lighter. And maybe even accepting help from others who offer. The dilemma, though, is determining what that load will be. As one journeys, the load doesn't stay the same. Challenges arise, barriers appear out of nowhere, and endurance levels fluctuate. You shift the load. Life has a way of teaching us to be strong, to endure, to be faithful, and trustworthy. We gain knowledge of ourselves through the challenges we accept, as well as through the failure of them or the success of them. The good news is that even the failures contribute, in a beautiful way, to our development. We do become stronger, we can endure, and we can change. Yes, we can!
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I can say this assuredly because I did get to sleep late this morning and I feel completely rested and well. I write this because I want to remember this beautiful day, weeks from now, when I might well be tired and exhausted, or even sick with the flu. (A flu shot next week should remedy that, though).
Here are some of the pumpkins first graders have been working on these past couple of weeks. Oil pastel pumpkins, cut out, glued with cardboard tabs under them so that they stand out from the black paper. Then the kids draw leaves, weeds, vines, etc on the black paper. We've been calling them 3D pumpkins.
Second graders worked on an oil pastel piece called The Sun... they are learning about warm hues... and the fact that they now understand the difference between hues and colors impresses me and the other teachers. The question I posed to them was "How can we express a warm object in a piece of art?" After I had shown them several examples of art works that did express warmth through use of color, they were able to answer that question easily.

Each student created their own sun-like image using only red, orange, and yellow. Oil pastels blend so easily. When they are through with the drawing, they will paint black tempera or water color over it... resulting in a resist.



And then there were the elections on Tuesday ... I was thrilled that I had voted early because it meant that when I got the email at school telling me that I could hang some student art work at the local Starbuck's, I was totally free! I carried the stack of mounted pieces in a large plastic pouch through the parking lot in the dark and drizzling rain. Two hours later, voila!
Kindergarten through fourth grades were well represented. My only complaint was that the room I was directed to was very small... in fact, it was a vault. The place used to be a bank. Vaults make for tiny coffee shop rooms. Cozy and private, yes... but not roomy in the wall space. I made good use of it, though.

I was pleased with the look of the display. The next day, I typed up a sheet with all the names of the students whose work is on display. Parents will be told so they can visit and admire.

The best day of the week had to be Wednesday morning when kids walked proudly into my room, telling me who had won the elections. Had they thought I hadn't heard? Or were they letting me know that they already knew?
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"Hey Mrs. G, did you know that Obama won President?" one boy announced to me.
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I smiled and said, "Yes, he did!"
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The rest of the week the sun did shine! And today is a beautiful day.

20 comments:

  1. What a great way to display the kids art, even if the room wasn't ideal I think you made a great job of it and the kids will get a real kick seeing their work displayed.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend

    Yasmin

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  2. Great wisdom in the words about the Bible study. And your children made such beautiful pictures! The display looks like a real art gallery!! Awesome.

    It's wonderful to see the children interested in the election.

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  3. So pleased you went back to bible study, we cannot do without it. What clever children you have with their drawings.
    Jenny <><

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  4. Some days I don't think I'm ever going to get a spare moment until after the holidays. So I do understand the juggling anology.

    I love the fact you were able to display the students work publicly in Starbucks. It will give them a sense of pride to know so many will get to see it.

    The most amazing thing is the excitement among the kids who are realizing Obama is president. The hope has trickled down to even them. I have a great story of that on my latest entry. With Paul's interaction with one of his students. (He's a teachers aid to hard to handle kids)...(Hugs)Indigo

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  5. I've a question. In the UK, we associate pumpkins with Halloween only. Do I take it that in the US, it's associated with Autumn too?
    Gaz

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  6. How lucky you are to see that beautiful display of handmade pictures on the wall every day and when they make new ones to grace the walls............just lovely.

    Hugs, Rose

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  7. The childrens' artwork never ceases to amazed me, Bea. The display is lovely. I know they had to be so proud.

    I always feel like I'm juggling something or other. I guess that's just the way things are.

    Isn't it something to see such excitement over an election and a new President? HUGS

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  8. The display turned out beautifully! I bet some parents will take their kids there so they can see their work on display!

    That's so sweet that your students wanted to tell you about our new President. He won...yes, he did!

    Hugs, Beth

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  9. I always love a visit to your page Bea. You always have something interesting to say and think about. I Love my scripture study group. It's just nice to be with like minded people and sharing thoughts together. Your class's artwork always amazes me. You are a wonderful teacher. I know you must be tired of me saying that, but it's true!

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  10. You did a great job on the display Bea, despite the small room. And the kids must be very proud to have their work displayed.

    B. x

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  11. You did an excellent job, using that space to best advantage. I'm sure the kids and their parents appreciate it! And I leally like some of those suns and pumpkins a lot!

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  12. Your students must feel so good about having their art on public display. I am continually amazed at the quality of work that you are able to elicit from your young students. The display is enchanting!

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  13. It's great that Starbucks let you display the art work. You have some very smart and talented students there; but then, they have a very smart and talented teacher, too. I can relate to the time-management thing; it isn't my best suit either. I'm glad you had such a nice day.

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  14. great entry Bea!
    the kids do wonderful art in your class!
    What a big heart you have to go hang it all up in a a public space! beautiful!
    love,natalie

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  15. Hi Bea - found you again at last!!! fantastic photos and interesting post. Glad to see you are as busy as ever,

    Kate (An Analysis of Life)

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  16. Beautiful photos of beautiful artwork! Your friends here are just like the ones at you bible class - we will always miss you when you aren't around and always welcome you back with open arms :-)

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  17. But just look at what you are juggling! Such a full life Bea, and while there is often a criticism for 'doing' not 'being'
    at least it is never boring!

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  18. I haven't been able to visit with anyone in a very long time because of my charity work. I'm here and I'm glad. I am so impressed with your 1st graders. Those pumpkins are wonderful. And what a wonderful offer from that coffee shop.

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  19. what a lovely entry! pleased that you attended that class
    love,natalie

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