September 13, 2015

A bit of soapbox and a lot of gorgeous lettering

I am subbing in a 6th grade classroom for awhile, so trying to keep my head afloat in my art life. And gym life. And blog life. And personal life.

Teaching is all-consuming, even at the subbing level; so many things to put into place to start a classroom on a good track. I suspect I am preaching to the choir  here, but don't ever, ever fall for the line that teaching is an easy way to make some money, the 3-month vacation storyline included. I have learned to dismiss without argument those people who spout that falsehood. I know for a fact they have not spent a week or a month or a year in an elementary classroom either as a teacher, para-educator, or volunteer. Or they have no teacher who lives under the same roof. They can't have. The only thing that could change that tune would be to take on the job in any of those roles themselves. Even worse - those in power who speak in glowing terms of teachers as heroes and education as the motor that moves our democracy, but refuse to fund at the level that makes a difference, argue that classroom size has no effect, and establish the latest and greatest systems that require teacher buy-in, set up teachers to take the blame for failure of the systems to work, ignore solid research and teacher input, and change at the next whim of politics.

Off my soapbox.  Thank you to my friend Claudia for sending me over to this lettering artist. Beautiful calligraphy. Enjoy.


September 1, 2015

Ode to the Powerless

Between studio clean-up, out-of-town guests, and a last-minute commitment to sub for an indeterminate length, I've not been able to draw, paint, mix my media, create, ponder, read, save the world or blog. So I've pulled out a poem I wrote and included in our 2007 Christmas cards to explain why we sent no cards the previous and infamous December 2006. I was reminded of this because our area still has  several hundred homes without power from serious winds last weekend. We here at 624 were gratefully not one of those affected this time. But we have already paid our dues. Our days of Powerlessness numbered TEN. as explained here:

On fourteen Dec two thousand six
We 3 Molines got in a fix                                         *Bob, Wrigley the Cat, Diane
From winds and rain so fierce and strong
That Northwest WAh had to get along
For days that numbered two...three...four...
The Northwest day, (eight hours, no more),
No heat, no phone, no "You've got mail."
For most, after 4 days, ended the tale.                      Power returned for all but 100 customers.
Not for THIS cold house at six two four.
Day six...the patience wore
As neighbors lit their homes again
Day eight...still dark and when
We finally left for Illinois white
On 22 Dec in the dead of night                                 Actually, 4:00 pm but may as well have been
We were one of a hundred
Without heat and light
So that's the story behind the fact
And why your mailbox last year lacked
Our greetings and wishes for holiday cheer
A Merry Christmas and Happy New  Year.
But here's our wish for peace, felicity,
Love, and joy, and electricity.                                  
Power returned to the last 100 homes on Dec. 23 as we discovered when we "called Wrigley" from Illinois and, well, he didn't answer, probably under covers deep, but our answering machine had the juice to answer!

Wrigley spent much of the time  under the blankets

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