Craft Conspiring

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Know Your City (& It's People)

A Goal.  Colorado Springs.  Also use all the periods.  We moved here last month.  Our furniture just moved last week.  Danny has been stationed here on and off for the last four years.  I was living in Denver.  Pikes Peak creates weather with gusto, sunlight, and like, its really tall presence.  Garden of the Gods is made of red sandstone and some great Mother Nature imagination.  There are fires.  And firearms.  And Space Command and other important governmental agencies, including four military bases that employ lots of uniformed commandos.  People come and go and leave rented houses with weeds growing in the sidewalk cracks.  There are a lot of churches.  Aside from chain restaurants, there is a great taco joint, Palmer Park hikes, local breweries, a bar to watch football pre-cable installation, the Air and Space Museum, a fly fishing shop, and a couple backroads that will propel us most quickly into the mountains.

I tutor a young, second grade lass who is filled with energy and life.  He is beautiful and is 'behind' in his reading because he can't read Lego magazines as an academic resource, and generally wants to talk about using rockets to win his cross country races instead of telling me his site words.  I don't blame him.  Also, second grade cross country?

A principle of emersion and empathy in the classroom is to become one with the community.  To know it's resources, it's politics, priorities.  Why the haves have and the have-nots do not.  What sports teams are of interest, and the prevalence of immigration and domestic abuse.  Also, what makes people smile or fear, but mainly laugh.  Here's to that new journey in this place.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

'Cause I've Got A Lot of Ze Questions

We're studying the implementation of a national overhaul of curriculum through a small overhaul of classroom procedures in an effort to understand how to incorporate learning for all.  Learning for all!  It's learning inspired through grassroots change, a bit of empathy, an equal distribution of resources, and the dissmeination of unbiased knowledge.  Anyway, curriculum, assessment, engagement -- it all needs to be more accessible to the marginalized and underrepresented.  Socrates would, like, totally be into it.  Freedom to discover, I say.  Take that to the podiums, district board members.

Here's a drink of another infographic.

Numbered Thoughts and Green Smoothies

I often hit snooze, hit snooze again, then roll over to open my email.   It's seven minutes of complete morning brain time prior to caffeine.  I don't even have to think about sitting upright.  Today I awoke and found this in my email.  It's filled with cheese and cliche statements, is numbered for our convenience, but it reads with a couple curse words and box breakers.  And, I like the guy and appreciate a dose of food-for-thought with a side of vitamins.

Contemplating the article under blankets and morning haze, I remembered what 8-year-old Joanna wanted to do with her life...become an actress on Broadway.  I felt a twinge of sadness thinking about the disappointment that girl would feel.  Then there were a couple other key points that helped bring the sadness into perspective: Don't care what other people think, Do something that makes a difference.

Here's another list: 1) This schooling is going to take 3 years to finish.  2) I have a lot of credentials left to earn.  3) Those who can't do, teach.  4) If I can't make this point in six minutes, I will lose complete interest.

I'm OK with number one; number two I get excited about; screw you, number three; and four, I'm almost done.

I'm creating and living and now am drinking a green smoothie with a dose of caffeine chaser.  Here are a few thoughts from the schooling.


Perspective - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Your Own Creativity and What to Do About It

Yes, you are creative.  You were born to create, innovate, survive, and most importantly, to thrive.  You were born to sink your heels in the sand and say, "No."  You were born to think critically about what you see and feel, and you were given a sense of reasoning to ask, "Why."  You were born to write, to see something from a new angle, you were born to fly, or sing poorly, or laugh.  You were born to invent or use someone else's invention to reach your ever-evolving potential.  You were born to not just sit.  You were born to do.  Whatever it is, do it.

If your brow furrowed at any of the above, I don't blame you, but I hold responsible an environment of standardization and a culture of norms and regulation.  I place emphasis not on our teachers, but a failing system of education that modifies behavior towards conformity and a side of pickled consumerism.  As Sir Ken Robinson states (and I paraphrase): We must involve ourselves in the restless process of our very nature.  We must ignore those individuals who won't move, challenge those who are willing, and listen to those already on their way.

It is essential to fulfill this plight of ours, as humans.

Create, y'all.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Caffeine Made Me Do It

Shall we, dare I say, try this again.

I really squashed my momentum when I wrote last Wednesday, felt alive and ready, but didn't write Thursday, Friday, Saturday…you get the idea.  I kept thinking, what am I going to write about?  Oh though, I've got things to say.  Things to explore.  The ocean awaits.

Here's some things: My iPhone is my camera, and that is fair warning that most pictures will be highly filtered, but I will take them.  And my academic writing?  It may bleed into this page, but it has its place.  And my dog?  He's just grandly cute.  Grandly?  And also, if I'm going to be an art and music teacher, I've got some work to do.  Got some exploring to explore, learning to learn.

Last night between football games and dinner cooking, the below happened.  For all of the paintings completed in my artistic life, most of them have been attempts at plagiarized copies.  Case in point: a Goog search for 'aspens in forest, oil painting' produces a variety of the same scene.  Crimson reds resting in the foreground give way to warm, alizerine greens and tips of yellow ochre leaves.  In front, noodle-y aspens stand in proud, white contrast. And that is, in fact, the scene that hangs above my dining room table as we speak.  As I speak, I guess.

To get into that space where creativity hovers and my eyes blur and I'm lost in artistic wonder is difficult.  But I believe it's only difficult because my ego is there with a devil's pitchfork, poking me in the side of my neck prone to spasms, saying, "Youuuuuuu shouldn't dooooo that.  You're not good enough."  And that voice controls me when I let it.

Amongst many other insights about creativity written by Julie Cameron in The Artist's Way (online version here), she mentions speaking to a higher power -- whether that be God, Ginesha, the universe, your dog, my dog, Yourself -- saying "God (or, see last sentence), I'll take care of the quantity, you (You) take care of the quality."  Quantity I'm working on, quality I await.

These are not the acrylic colors I would normally put in my shopping basket, but they were a wonderful gift from a lovely sister, and they were used on a blank canvas gifted from another friend, and they were used to paint on an easel given to me by two of my best girlfriends.  I've got gifts to use.  

Heart don't fail me now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Truculent Futz.

This one morning around 8:15 a.m. I was inspired by a bunch of writers who used words like Totally and Like and Stoked.  And this one morning was today.  And this inspiration was something I am going to wrastle into being by overriding the auto-correct, abandoning the inhibition that comes in the form of that little voice in my head that says, "No, what? No. Don't." and I'm going to try.  My self-proclaimed-yet-stagnant, embarrassingly-relevant-continual-revelation that I Must and Shall do what I absolutely love in order to be in harmony with that person who is ever-changing and volatile…well that gaspingly long exclamation will be marched into action.  Today.  DO IT.  I will create.  I will create for myself first, for the people I can ask and have them tell me honestly if it sucks or not secondly, and thirdly, hopefully, for you.  YOUUUUU OUT THERRRRE.  Whoever you are.  I have this thing I wanna share, and it's crafty, and it's me.  And this is it.

Do I need a domain?  Shhhh.

In grad school the proverbial 'they' teach you to write in absurd quantities.  What I have come to realize with art and life and love is that if you do anything in absurd quantities, some of it will end up being on the upside of the judgment pendulum, and I!  I! Will be sharing it all!  If I write this down with such proclamation it's bound to happen.  Right?  Hello?

Here are some info-graphics from ze learning.  36 months of grad school, 8 of those down.  Ew, when you put it like that…

Onward.  Upward.  Peace be with you.