Friday, February 27, 2009

More accidental collections.

I'm still trying to find beauty in the ordinary. But it does get hard and judging from these pictures, a bit blurry. But I love how connections reveal themselves to you if you stop and breathe and look for them. For instance, Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology is always, ALWAYS dead on for me. This week, and I especially need it, he advises Scorpios with "Let's hope that if the world offers you the moon, the dawn, and the breeze, you won't reject these gifts and say that what you really wanted was a comet, the sunset, and a pie in the sky." I needed this reminder to appreciate what is being offered and not demand something else. The other spooky connection that happened with the last blog post was the date I wrote the blog post mentioning Rilke's first letter is the same date (many,many years before) that Rilke wrote the first letter. Spooky and very cool. Let's hope the universe keeps smacking my little head around some more. As a cranky and sick person today I need it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Accidental Collections

I've been thinking a lot about Rilke's writing especially the part in Letters to a Young Poet where he writes about being an artist and "if your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is no poverty and no poor, indifferent place." I also was thinking about Keri Smith's How to be an Explorer of the World and on the back, she writes, "At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting."
And so I've given myself the project to find beauty in the ordinary and really look around and observe my world. I had been feeling rather plain, boring lately. You know how it goes, everyone else's life seems so fascinating and exciting, and your own seems small. People are travelling to exotic places, doing cool stuff at their jobs, etc. I decided that if I really truly wanted to be creative or at least have the guts to call myself that, then I'd better put my money where my mouth is. I started with looking for accidental collections. Things that I never intended to collect but somehow ended up with. These things are especially important since those who know me well, know that I give away A LOT of stuff. I spring clean at least 4 times a year. So for something to accumulate, it must be a sign. The first collection I found was colored pencils. I have many. At least 4 different sets. As I took this picture, I realized that I not only really love using them, but I find them beautiful. I think a jar filled with colored pencils is as breathtaking as a dozen roses in a vase. I could fall in love with someone who gave me a jar filled with them, that's how romantic I think they are. Weird, yes. But very cool.

After the colored pencils, I started looking around my room and tried to do that with new eyes. I started to appreciate the small crazy world that I've created in there. And I hope to keep that freshness, that joy for the little things with me for a while...I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In creating this oracle, I've borrowed words from the artist and poet Wolff Bowden. Please steal them from me and use them in cryptic, affectionate communiqu├ęs that will deepen your connection with someone who makes your heart sing. Here's the first batch: "You belong to love as wheels belong to roads, as grapes belong to the blossoming of taste, as corn belongs to crows, as shadows belong to the ache of heat, as happiness belongs to the capricious pangs of the soul." Here's the second: "May the color blue behold your body while sun washes your shoulders near the window. May your lips refuse the kiss unless your heart is home. May euphoria find you in the place where you are lonely. May you light a billion candles with your mind."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Coming up...

A project called "Accidental Collections."
I thought of this while driving to work one day, I swear the best ideas come either on the way to or coming from work.
I just have a Valentine's Day Party to get through first...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stayed Tuned...

Accidental collections coming up soon...An idea I had today while driving to work. Collections that I did not intentionally collect... Interesting to me at least.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What is it with me and children?

Subbing never ceases to amaze me.

Seriously, just when you think you've got something down, everything changes and totally knocks you down on your bum.

I often go into a classroom mentally and emotionally prepared. It used to be a sort of putting on of invisible armour but now I've found a better method. As I drive to the school, I think of having an open and calm heart. I imagine myself patient and understanding. There are two images I think of : Mary Poppins and an eagle. Mary Poppins calls herself "firm but kind" which is my teaching style. An eagle is strong, serene and majestic. This and even music helps. Jay-Z's self confident swagger and Beyonce's fierceness inspire me.

So, by the time I'm in the classroom, I'm in a really good place. Today was no exception. It was just some of the students' reactions that were different.

During the reading group portion of the day, this girl was being, for lack of a better word, a jerk. Not listening, disruptive and rude, she really was bugging me. Finally I told her I'd send her to the office which other teachers had already suggested for dealing with certain students. She seemed to stop and get back on track. But then, get this. She asks if she can stay in during recess and even eat lunch with me! I was so dumbfounded I said yes. She and two other "trouble makers" came in and played teacher. Now tomorrow, since I go back to the same place, they want to come in again and bring a few other friends.

I was thinking about it on the drive home and I guess it really always comes down to the simple fact that (quoting Oprah here) "every child wants to be heard and seen." And all humans really just want attention. Someone to notice us, listen to us, and understand us. Yet, I cannot get over how we go about getting that attention sometimes. This desire causes some strange behavior and forges some unusual bonds.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Warhol, La Face, and Middle School.

I have neglected this blog I know. But now with the beginning of February and other beginnings in my life, I feel renewed and ready to share once more. Hopefully you are too.
First, I am finally FINALLY going to Pittsburgh this spring and to my Mecca, the Andy Warhol Museum. I cannot wait. I suppose since I'm going with my history nut father, I will see a few other things like Fort Pitt or even a Pirates game. But fear not, I plan on going to the Warhol Museum (and store!) many times. I am curious to see what permanent collections they have as well as whatever current exhibit will be there at the beginning of April. I do also wonder what possible trinket I could purchase at the gift shop since I already own a Warhol wig, doll, purse, wallet, many books, a few postcards and now this mini Warhol. Perhaps, a simple T-shirt? How typical!
The other news that probably many of you know is that I was swallowed into the entity that is Facebook. Last January, 2008, I started an account one day when bored and never thought of it again. All of the sudden, a week ago, several friends "requested" me and the madness began. I was hooked. Still am but have gotten it under control. In fact I haven't logged on in a few days which for some would be an eternity but I'm tough. I've also found another new/old addiction: word searches. I'm nuts about word searches. I now know what I will be doing all day long in the old folks' home when I'm 90.
My final new news is that I have been offered a long term sub job in a middle school starting after Spring Break until the end of the year. It would be in a LAP program helping students with reading and comprehension skills. I'd work with about 16 students each period and have a full time para helping everyday. With all these positives, I still am apprehensive. Middle school students make me nervous and I feel self conscious. I'm going to observe a few full days to get a feel for the students. The teacher has a whole transition plan in place as well. I have a feeling though that I will take the job for the mere fact that I love to scare, challenge and prove to myself how capable I really am. I'm a bit of a masochist that way.
In closing, Happy Black History month. Very exciting.