Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Purple Dreams and Sumatra Coffee

Too much caffeine

If anyone says people don’t dream in color, I surmise that they don't drink coffee.  After a nice little cuppa the other night, I  dreamt that some well-meaning soul had given our art room a makeover in purple.    Even the ceiling tiles had been repainted a grayish -violet.  Our demonstration island as well as all desk and counter tops now glowed with  purple laminate.   I reached out to touch the  transformed  surface in disbelief and realized that our back counter and cabinetry had been entirely replaced with pale lavender  hallway  lockers.  Quickly checking my watch,   I calculated that I had exactly one minute to figure out where all my supplies had been  moved before students spilled through the doorway.  I could feel my heart pounding and a swell of panic rising as the hands on the clock approached 9:38.  I woke up with a start as the bell rung.  From here on out, I'll stick to decaf coffee after 7:00 p.m.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Greatest Gift

"The Nativity" by Elizabeth Brott, circa 2002

This is a cherished treasure made by my daughter, Elizabeth, in her younger years.  She fashioned the pieces from Sculpy Clay.  I love their simplicity and personality.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!

 Snow Day - an unexpected gift
Ingrained in their DNA, northeast Ohio students are capable of scanning a weather map to identify the next big front likely to sweep into the area and shut everything down.  Of course, anecdotally, a surfeit of ice cubes find their way into the sewer system and pajamas get worn backwards to ensure a clipper veers our way.  Although I've never put much stock in that kind of thing, when I want the real skinny on the probability of a snow day, I catch the talk in the elementary wing.  Working on a mural a couple of winters ago in their hallway, I came away with a healthy respect for their meteorological abilities.  Today being Monday though, I didn't know what to expect since I couldn't canvas my reliable calamity day experts.  When I got the call at 6:10 a.m. today, I took it as an unexpected gift of time.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Finger Dancing

My daughter, Kate, demonstrates 9 x 2

The other day one of my students rattled off a mnemonic device which enabled him to remember the number of days in specific months.  That segued into a trick I’ve long used to remember my multiplication facts. Demonstrating using my two hands, I illustrated how to read the nine’s tables by depressing various fingers.  Surprised by its simplicity, several senior high school boys unabashedly placed both hands in front of them, fingers going up and down testing the system.  It was a rather sweet cross curricular moment – visual art meets finger dancing math. I can just picture our stellar math teacher  groaning at the sight of seniors using their appendages to count.   I suppose it’s only fair if he decides to fire off some thanksgiving hand turkeys to make us even.  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

You paint the windows?????

 Snowmen  by Kaitlin1173
Yep – once a year we spread some Christmas cheer and paint the windows around school.  This Saturday,  15 art club students and one alumni wielded their paint -laden brushes to the likes of Family Force Five and Trans Siberian Orchestra reverberating down the hallways. As a veteran window painter, here is a short list of things I’ve learned:

1.       If you don’t have a spare razor blade, avoid applying more than 3 coats of tempera paint to any given area. (Right Kathleen?)
2.       Did you know that those handy little green scrubbies actually scratch the windows?  Yeah, found that out the hard way.  When it’s time to remove your paintings, either have an excellent relationship with the person who regularly cleans the windows; or,  get yourself a large bottle of  glass cleaner, a box of clean rags, and 15 kids.  
3.      Unless you want a conversation with administration about menacing looking snowmen, all snowmen need to be on their best behavior and stick to doing what they do best.
4.       Although kids won’t choose the Amy Grant or James Taylor Christmas albums from the playlist, they will remain permanently embedded on my iPod as classics.  Fact.

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas...