A Life of Service
Published on August 16, 2008
The above photos is my second grade class I had this week. They changed the schedule around a bit from last year, and now I will only see my kindergarten through third grade kiddos only four days a week, for forty minutes each day, once a month. Get it? So, if you round down to getting the kids in the room and settled, teaching a little something, setting up and passing out supplies, then later cleaning up…the kids actually have little time to create and jump into Art. But there are schools in my city–state– and country that don’t have Art at all. So I try to make the little time I have with them fun, educational, and creative.
You’re probably wondering what this group of second graders is suppose to be. Right? Well, we spent this week learning about the contemporary Artist George Rodrigue.
George Rodrigue is famous for his Blue Dog paintings. My little kiddos LOVE them. Rodrigue started out painting Blue Dog as a ghost that visited graveyards, but through the years, his Blue Dog started to get more sweet and silly even. Some of his paintings, Blue Dog has friends…like Red Dog or Green Dog. I should also add that the original Blue Dog was made in honor of Rodrigue’s own beloved companion dog named Tiffany who died. So we looked at a lot of Blue Dog paintings, talked a little about the Artist, and then discussed how Tiffany was Rodrigue’s friend, and how he is honoring her through the paintings and keeping her spirit alive. The students really loved this. First we began by drawing our own Blue Dog drawings by creating our own imaginative scenarios. Then on our last day together we decided to be either Blue or Red dog by making the masks you see above!!! Fun! Fun! Fun! And…as the kids left the room and proceeded to walk through the school wearing their masks they sang “Who Let the Dogs Out”!!! Too cute!
This is my job. Can you believe it?!?!?
On the first day of school this week teachers were busy making copies in the workroom…and all were complaining how they don’t want to be there…and blah blah blah. I finally spoke up and said “C’mon, this is the best day of the year—this is the one day all the kids are on their best behavior–everything is new–and we also get to see how much the kiddo’s grew over the summer. It’s fun!! No tests–No nothing.” I then went on to add “Anyways, isn’t this what we all went to college and worked for? We choose these careers because this is what we want to do, right? So stop saying you don’t want to be here–because there was a day when you couldn’t wait.” The whole mood in the workroom changed….the teachers moods all lifted and they all said that I was right and needed that reminder. Everyone left smiling and excited.
I tell you, reading The Law of Attraction this summer has been a big help. I set my intention each morning as I look at the beautiful mountains that my school sits next to and think of only all the positive, beautiful things I want of my day. I want to manifest an atmosphere of creativity and soulfulness. And, the exciting thing…is that it’s starting to work. With my seventh and eighth graders we are making clay masks based on the theme “The Sky is the Limit” So basically anything that has to do with the sky: from clouds and the sun to birds and airplanes to planets and even aliens and superheros (that they create on their own–no copycats!)…This is only the beginning of the project though….next quarter we are going to upcycle and recycle stuff into costumes that will go along with our masks…then the following quarter I got permission from my principal to have my school’s first “Project Runway” show in front of the entire school with the seventh and eighth graders wearing their ensembles!!! The coolest thing is that this week they were working on their ideas and sketches, when I decided to stop them and show them some masks made from different cultures. We discussed how many cultures use masks as sacred objects in ceremonies to symbolize different phases of an individual’s life. I then brought up the idea that in creating a mask and costume they can express parts of themselves that maybe in their everyday lives they are afraid to express. I invited them to really think about why they are choosing to make what they are making and over the next few months we plan to write about how the symbols the choose relate to their own spirit. I couldn’t believe it…when I talked to them about this…they all sat there quiet and attentive and really interested. I explained to them that many times Artists, myself included, create something instantaneously but after awhile into it, realize what significance it really has to the inner self. I told them that I had the feeling this costume is going to have the same effect. They all got it. Really got it. The Laws of Attraction at play here? Possibly.
In conclusion, last night I picked up a holistic health newspaper from the natural living grocery store Hansel manages. The first article I read was titled “Serve People Well–and You’ll Be Served Well Yourself“. I found the article on-line too and you can read it HERE. The best quote from it says: “…if you want to make a lot of money, don’t make money your goal. Make serving a lot of people your goal. If you hit that target enough times, you’ll get your reward. That reward will be money, and you can do whatever you choose with that money. But remember that money is only the reward for hitting your target-it’s not the target itself. Always keep your priorities straight.”
This week, as my first official week back to school, I realized how much I love to be of service…especially to young people. I love manifesting and providing them with the opportunity to learn about Art, Creativity, Beauty, and especially that magical part of themselves we can all agree on and call the SPIRIT. I know that this year ahead of me is going to be lots of work and a bit exhausting— I realize that I won’t be able to sit in front of the sewing machine or pick up a paintbrush as much as I would like to— but it is all completely worth it!
Peace & Love.