Friday, January 25, 2008
I have work to do this weekend though. I think she wants to donate materials, but also maybe some people to come in and talk to students, and maybe some presentations. I think it's a good idea, but I just have to think of things that would be relevant to them.....narrative art, storytelling, social commentary in art, graffiti, propaganda etc....
I've been going to these programs when I first moved here, and I guess regular attendance really helped me. They recognize me now, and want to give me a hand! I'll take it!
It's Friday!! TIME FOR CELEBRATION!
I've been wracking my brain to figure out things to do, and maybe things are falling into my lap a bit..... What's next?
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Anyway, weeks go by here so quickly I feel like I have hardly enough time to communicate with anyone these days. Plus I was dealing with a cold I've had since Christmas. Finally, I think it's going away. But my theory about colds is that we always have one, and it just fades away sometimes.
This week I got to go to a workshop at the NGA. At night! I love it. It's such a cool feeling being in rooms full of artwork at night. We spent time in the newer part of the museum, in the modern art section. Looking at a bunch of stuff. I always like going there. The program last night was kind of basic but I got some good reproductions, a book, and some much needed coffee...
The only thing that I have been forever neglecting that I feel terribly guilty about is a painting I've been working on since about November. It should be done by now. And I have only one more layer to finish. But it's a daunting layer. Filled with tiny script. I got myself into it, and I just need to finish it. I think J agrees.....
At school I'm dealing with some returning kids from last year. It's such a heart breaker. I mean I actually enjoy my students. For the most part they have really interesting personalities, and I can usually find something I like about them. Which is great. No one is ALL bad! But one came back with carvings all on his harm, obviously self-inflicted. He doesn't even want me to see it, although he could wear a sweatshirt if he wanted. And today he told me that someone cut that arm off. When clearly it is not missing. It's the strange facade that these kids wear everyday. Obviously this kid realizes that I want him to do better, and that I want him to be safe. I've been through so much with this kid. In the last two years. He obviously craves attention, but doesn't know what kind of attention. And he has been disheartened from the time he was born. Born in Vietnam, grew up in the streets there for about 6-7 years, was brought to America with his father (raging alcoholic) , learns to drink (just like his father), lives on the streets of Annandale. That's really all he knows. And I'm not kidding! Never ever has attended school regularly, has been in and out of the system, can't read, can't do simple math. Has no hope. It's almost impossible to get him to do anything. Although for me, he will do something. And I guess that's why I keep on trying. He's an addict, he's depressed, he has no family.
So what do we do with these kids? Why are they not able to get the support they need from the first moment they step into a facility like this? There are so many more like him. The story differs a little, but basically it happens all over.
I am ranting, I realize this, I went from talking about my transcripts, to a museum, to this. I'll stop. I'll go eat lunch. Some nourishment should un -cloud my brain a little bit.
Everyday at least one students asks me why I smile all the time, and I usually tell it's because I like my job. I do like every frustrating moment of it. It's challenging, it's interesting, and it changes day to day. And I also like to think I'm offering my students a little bit more than art. A little compassion, understanding, and acceptance.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
We actually turned off the lights so we could let the white light just pour in the windows. It was nice. Serene. Easy feeling.
Fortunately I got to go home early. I was home by 1 pm today. The kids went to their rooms, and they'll probably will watch tv and not be able to look out any windows at all. I wish this "system" could change. They're kids caught up in a lot of dangerous webs. Some of them making simple mistakes, but others pretending to be adults, hardcore, tough, a menace to society. The "system" almost perpetuates it.
But only when something simple happens, like snow, does it make them realize that they're all growing up way too fast, and they can recall a day when things were much simpler.
So, I'm home and I realized the chai I'm having is kind of like this day. Warm, airy....frothy... I'll drink it, and feel my belly become full and warm. But, my cup will be empty, cold and used.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
But I hope to kind of turn this blog into more than just ramblings. I can't believe it's already Mid-January. Like many of you I've probably already broken a thousand promises to myself.
So I've been thinking a lot about going international again.... I think I do every year at this time. This is when teachers go to the recruitment fairs, and go to a million interviews to snatch a job you might like in a strange country.... It's a crap shoot,unless you do your research. While I do love traveling, it's just not the same as living and experiencing another culture first hand. And while I love where I live, and would like to stay here, there is something that is always calling me somewhere else. I think about those ideas, and I'm still trying to hatch a plan that will get me there.
Good thing "J" is open to these possibilities. He is doing a job search right now, and I already threatened him that if by June he doesn't find his "dream" job, then we should try to snatch up a last minute placement for the next school year in a foreign land.... Of course I think he just really wants to get a job in this area and stay (and most of me hope he does too).
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Happy New Year! Enjoy a lovely beverage!!!
No more smoking in Alexandria or France! Enjoy it at home people.