I hope everyone is having a sweet September.
A recent social media post...
TRIGGER WARNING: Optimism
Tomorrow is the first day of school for the 2022 - 23 school year. I’m very excited to greet not only the high school art students that I’ve worked with before but also the new ones that I don’t know yet. It would be easy to say “Okay. Another year. Another cycle. Same circus. Different clowns.” however this year already feels markedly different. Over the last two days of setup, planning and meetings I’ve encountered more positivity, optimism, general good will and excitement from my colleagues (teachers, support staff and administrators included) than I have in the past 23 years. We’ve all worked our way through (and hopefully out of) the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic and the many variables and obstacles it placed in front of us. If you’re not clear on what I mean, talk to any educator. They will clarify. Many of our students at all levels are still working through varying degrees of challenges brought on by 2020 and what has followed yet many have come through it all remarkably well adjusted. There’s still some healing and remediation to be done there as it all cycles out, but this will come in time. Anyone who knows me in any aspect of my life most likely knows how much pride I take in serving students by helping them develop their creativity, skill, intellect and supporting their sense of self while allowing them to be who they need to be as they evolve into adulthood. There is a catch, however. The work they do and the achievements they earn don’t have my name on them. Everything they develop and create belongs solely to them and them alone, as it should be. I guarantee that if you ask any of my colleagues they will agree and I’m certain that they will also add that we are all ready, willing and able to serve our school community and hold space for EVERYONE to create the best versions of themselves. Sometimes I think back and I don’t know how we collectively did it over the past few years but the point is WE ALL DID IT TOGETHER. Parents, I wish your children a WONDERFUL school year. Alumni, I hope we did right by you and I wish you all the best. Fellow educators, we got this. LET’S GO!
Kristen and I are very happy to see each other
but this is also how we look whenever we A.) See tater tots
B.) Hear “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” by Belinda Carlisle
or C.) See Prince’s 2016 passport photo.
Ready to make the magic happen again.
Vibe Check: I bought two new floor lamps to shift and vary lighting around the classroom and it’s a whole mood now. The kids told me the vibes are immaculate and I’ll happily take that on the second day of school.
Is it just me or does everyone decide to remove all of the items on their shelves, clean and rearrange everything and add new shelves to the mix on a holiday weekend? Also, who else stops to take photos of groupings of items laid out in an aesthetically pleasing fashion on a table (to be shared later) before dumping them on the sofa and coffee table? Oh look! Two sets of shelves down. Only three more to go! Yeah… This shouldn’t be time consuming at all. Maybe I’ll just live like this for the next few days. Or week. Yup. This is fine. Follow me for more home decorating tips and thanks for coming to my TEDTalk.
I shared some photos above of the chaotic (yet colorful) upheaval during a complete overhaul of one of my display spaces. This involved cleaning every item, every shelf, adding some new shelves and doing a deep edit of collected ephemera before rearranging several (if not all of) my storage and display spaces both here and in other rooms. One of the results was a full reset and refresh of my living room which feels pretty good. The other result was the five large shopping bags of very cool items that are now displayed in my classroom. They’re going to make for some fun still life material for my students to draw and paint. I’d call this design remix a personal and professional win / win and one of the most Capricorn things I’ve ever done.
Living Room Vignette: Treasure Chest
Back in 2018 I bought this 1960s gum ball machine at my friend Vanessa’s booth at Blue Ridge Flea Market. It sat empty in my foyer for four years until now. As part of my recent storage and display overhaul, I decided this vintage gem was better served as a showcase for “smalls” in a corner of my living room. Like their container, many of these items (which date from the 1930s to the 1960s) were purchased at flea markets however quite a few of them were gifted to me by friends. I’m looking forward to rearranging the contents periodically to allow certain pieces to be featured front and center. Huge thanks yet again to Vanessa for the sweet deal on this beauty, which finally has a proper presentation and purpose. I’m so grateful to have this unique treasure chest in my home.
Ummm… Can I Have Some Privacy Please?
Twenty-one years later there is still no way to calculate the loss. We can only continue to process the series of shifts that began that day and all that has continued to change ever since. Nobody that was lost on that day has been forgotten or replaced. I still see the phantom outline of the towers whenever I see the skyline and I’m certain that I always will. (35mm Film Scan - 1989)
Walk tall and keep moving forward. Love, CDM