courage

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So What Else Goes On Around Here?

As a result of a cool, damp, winter, spring flowers were a little late.  We helped them along a bit.As a result of a cool, damp, winter, spring flowers were a little late. We helped them along a bit.There were just a few flowers at first, but then a full meadow
broke out in Shelly and Iremely's office.   Early hummingbirds even showed up to check them out but left in disgust.There were just a few flowers at first, but then a full meadow
broke out in Shelly and Iremely's office. Early hummingbirds even showed up to check them out but left in disgust.
Art rooms are busy places. For much of the school year, the heartbeat in our studios is a rapid one. Our schedule is set up to support our colleagues' shared planning time as well as their students' fine arts/library/PE needs. Because of that, an entire grade level is with us, albeit all over the building, for their designated specialist time. The pace is intense for lots of good reasons - kids are naturally curious and the wise adult provides LOTS of choices to keep them focused on learning; our standards and benchmarks are comprehensive and detailed so we have to hit the palette running to have half a chance at meeting expectations, and, as is the case in all schools, there just aren't enough hours in the day.

Still, following the sage's advice, "If you want something done, ask a busy person," there are additional tasks that are done "for the good of the order," to celebrate hard work, or, frankly, just to celebrate. What school improvement committee work can't be improved by siting it at a broad studio table surrounded by brilliantly colored child art and accompanied by an obscenely large tote full of chocolate Belle, meet aspiring horn child.  Child, meet Belle.Belle, meet aspiring horn child. Child, meet Belle.in the center? Is there any day that's too busy to drop what you had in mind for planning time, pack up your French horn, and introduce her to a couple of classes of Mozart-loving second graders? What better activity for a winter teacher conference day - when people are coming and going and an artist might just need to drop buy and......decorate an edible masterpiece? And what about the care and feeding of the most vertebraically gifted inhabitant of the program? We offer public interaction (with a parent permission slip and snake lover hallway pass, of course, and don't you think those are some interesting conversations over the dinner table?) every month or so at feeding time. Sometimes it's just the art club kiddos and me, but Jezebel has a few slightly taller, adult friends, too. A couple of "cases in point:" Mr. E and Ms. B have worked hard on their snake befriending skills over the past two years. Initial reticence has given way to closer interactions, more and more comfort closer to a goal of actually touching Jezebel, and, finally, full contact snaking. I present to you the latest members of the "I don't like all snakes - just this one" club. One set of pictures proudly made the rounds of family and friends and the second set actually had to be printed out in wallet-sized versions so a certain teacher's mother could share with all of *her* friends. I'll let you guess, fair readers.

In this series, we get to see our heroine who's worked up her courage...In this series, we get to see our heroine who's worked up her courage...

after many soft one-on-one conversations with her friend, Jezebel.  What IS that high pitched noise I hear?after many soft one-on-one conversations with her friend, Jezebel. What IS that high pitched noise I hear?





Agreed - holding your hand might help but be careful to keep breathing.  Yes,  the snake still likes you.  Yes, I'm sure.Agreed - holding your hand might help but be careful to keep breathing. Yes, the snake still likes you. Yes, I'm sure.

Maybe we'll watch the Art Club kids hold Jezebel for a while.Maybe we'll watch the Art Club kids hold Jezebel for a while.





See how calm and happy the kids look?  Hmmmm.See how calm and happy the kids look? Hmmmm.











As a matter of fact, they look like they're enjoying themselves.  Imagine!As a matter of fact, they look like they're enjoying themselves. Imagine!

Awwww - just too cute for words.Awwww - just too cute for words.

What's that you say?  You're ready to move all the way up to a solo hold?  Let's go for it!What's that you say? You're ready to move all the way up to a solo hold? Let's go for it!

Woo hoo!  You ARE good at this and you're right.  After a little bit of practice,Woo hoo! You ARE good at this and you're right. After a little bit of practice,

it's not scary at all.  Yes, we ARE proud of you!it's not scary at all. Yes, we ARE proud of you!

















Then there's the matter of fact, "I'm ready to hold the snake" attitude.Then there's the matter of fact, "I'm ready to hold the snake" attitude.

Not quite the level of drama, but equally cool.Not quite the level of drama, but equally cool.









































































In my first visit since the new hip debuted just over a week ago, I found the art classroom in yet another metamorphosis - plant hospital and spa. We did surgery on a waterlogged angel-leaf begonia, re-potted several leggy pot poaching types, and watered the collection that's grown into a lovely jungle. Art and kids and plants and kids and animals and kids and cookies and kids and people who like being around kids and kids. Yep. I'm in the right place.

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