Sunday, July 28, 2013

[SDAWP Photo Voices] "Green" Link Up

Hubris.  That's how I entered the "green" week with SDAWP Photo Voices--with hubris. Green? What a breeze! It's summer in San Diego! The place is positively brimming with green! Early into Day 1 I spied this leaf outside the SDAWP offices:

I didn't even the see  awesome bug on the bottom right hand side of the photo until later.  And veins on the leaf itself--who knew an iphone could do that? (Lot's of people, I think, but I'm new to it). 

The next day I had to look for green.  It turns out I wasn't accepting just any green, and it was limiting me.  Kim talked about this on her blog as well--I had set the bar too high with red. Green was stumping me and continued to do so.  I settled on my spray cleaner bottle, but felt like I was cheating:

A few days later I captured this bike outside Price Center and these books in Giesel Library though I never did post the books.

And here I am on Sunday evening with very little to show for it and a distinct feeling that I missed some gorgeous greens. In fact, let me tuck my hubris away for a moment, eat some humble pie, and go take a five-minute walk-about.  Let's see what I come up with...

About five minutes later...
Well then.  There it is.  A bumper crop of green.  I didn't even leave my front yard. My favorite is the one with the splash of red.  I'm a sucker for a pop of color. 

What did you find this week?  Link up at  the SDAWP Voices "Green" Link Up!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

[SDAWP Photo Voices] Orange Link up

I complained about yellow, but orange was a sticky wicket.  Now I need to look up sticky wicket...

Here is my favorite of the bunch:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

[SDAWP Photo Voices] Yellow Link-up

I finished off my yellow week with a few pictures that I liked. Yellow was tough for me, for some reason, but I think I made friends with it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

[Life] The One Where I Compare Doodling, Jogging, and Beauty

IMG_8457I am a doodler. I like the word doodle when I say it over and over again in my head (because if I did it out loud I would appear crazy).  I mostly doodle for free-motion quilting ideas, but I doodle for other reasons as well.  I doodle to focus when I need to, I doodle to play with lines and color when my brain needs to refresh, I doodle to see if some day I can doodle my way into being artistic.  I have books on doodling and watch You Tube videos about it. My doodle books are written by real artists.  I see that doodling is art, but I still call myself a doodler rather than an artist.  But then I remember...

doodler : artist ::  jogger : runner

IMG_8458Just like running books say to motivate yourself by calling yourself a runner rather than a jogger, and professional publications say to dress for the job you want, I suppose I should try on the word artist. I think I use the word doodler because I'm not willing to call myself an artist.  I see what art looks like and I don't feel like my pen doodles or thread doodles are art. BUT, if I were one of my students and they said something like that, I would instantly say to them "You are an artist!"  They would protest, blush and shake their heads at me and I would insist.  "You are! You are an ARTIST.  Own it!" And I would provide the opportunities to explore that new idea and the skills involved and mentor to help them develop a vision. In my own head though, when I call myself a doodler rather than an artist or when
 I say "I like to write" rather than "I am a writer", the voice that protests is very quiet.  Quiet enough to ignore.

In the last few  days this theme, this lesson, has come to me in a variety of forms.
First, I separated out the two sides of my life--education and artsy stuff--into two Twitter accounts, and re-separated my blog into two blogs By Pen or By Thread and Wear the Cape. It set me to thinking about how I don't declare my creative side to my education life very often, and I don't declare my education side to my creative life much at all. Why is that?  They feed into each other constantly. Some posts, like this one perhaps, belong on both.

Then, "Make Cycle #4" started with the National Writing Project Making Learning Connected #clmooc.  And yes, that sounded like a new language to me at first, too.  The focus of this Make Cycle is the develop a credo. I was especially drawn to the idea of using Bull Durham's iconic speech (linked here, but please be warned it is not G-rated.  Bull Durham was, indeed, human) as a mentor text, I probably still will, but this idea of declaring your own beauty, your own intentions just keeps tip-tip-tippity-tiptoeing around me and poking me. What would be my focus for my credo?  Education or Creativity?  Would I dare combine them?

And yesterday a co-worker told me about the You Are Beautiful Campaign which is based on the idea of sharing one simple thought with your world--the thought that you are beautiful in every moment--by placing "You are beautiful" stickers all around the world. Here is a wonderfully concise video explaining it.
And last night I read Kim's post  on Thinking Through My Lens where she shared a video about embracing your creativity by David Sivers.

 Now those sentiments from  the last couple of days are banging around in my head. What would happen if I embraced those phrases that I hide from?  I am an artist.  I am a writer.  I am beautiful.  What does it feel like to say those  things?  To declare them boldly?  How are we helping our communities--professional, personal, classroom--to embrace their own creativity, their own beauty?  Isn't there more power in the message if we do it ourselves as well?

For today, I'm still turning it all over in my mind.  Doodling... jogging... creativity... beauty... education.

Also posted on By Pen or By Thread

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

[SDAWP Photo Voices] A Yellow Walk

The theme for SDAWP Photo Voices this week is "yellow." Last week was "red" and it was surprisingly easy to find interesting red things. Yellow... so far... not so much. So early this morning,, after being pounced on by the puppy at 5:34 A.M.  precisely (every, single. morning.  5:34 A.M. ) I took my trusty "big camera" out on a yellow walk.

As I walked I meta-cognated (it is too a word!  and if it isn't, it ought to be). Why was yellow harder to find?  Where does yellow become orange and when does it become brown? And what about how yellow makes you feel?  And why didn't I enjoy my yellow walk as much as my red walks last week?

From Psychological Properties of Colours by Angela Wright
YELLOW. Emotional
Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.

Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.
The yellow wavelength is relatively long and essentially stimulating. In this case the stimulus is emotional, therefore yellow is the strongest colour, psychologically. The right yellow will lift our spirits and our self-esteem; it is the colour of confidence and optimism. Too much of it, or the wrong tone in relation to the other tones in a colour scheme, can cause self-esteem to plummet, giving rise to fear and anxiety. Our "yellow streak" can surface.
Well then... What an amazingly powerful color--both optimism and depression, self-esteem and emotional fragility, emotional strength and anxiety?  Maybe my eyes didn't know what to think as they scanned the streets and fields on my morning walk.

This discovery lead me to think about a short story my artsy cousin K shared with me years ago. It's called The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (full text here).In some ways similar to The Bell Jar, the author here has shared a ficitonalized account of her own forays into mental illness (forays? perhaps not quite). I read a few literary critiques about the story and there is a lot of discussion about the underlying themes of "andocentric hegemony" and allegorical reference to "yellow journalism." For my purposes today though, how about a close look at the color yellow? Out of 6000 words yellow appears only 10 times excluding the title (thank you Google Chrome "find" option.) 

The first:

The second:

Then half of them in this excerpt:

And then:

While I'm tempted to squirrel away my yellow photos in order to have something to share all week, this contemplation makes me want to show what I have today and challenge myself to keep looking--warring emotional well-being and all. 
So here is the yellow wallpaper of my walk today

Try a yellow walk of your own and see what happens--what do you see? what do think? how do you feel?

Monday, July 8, 2013

[Books] Reading List

My "to-read" list of books has recently spilled over the edges.  I'm carrying a couple of books in my work bag, storing a couple more next to my bed, one more on my desk at work, and three on the Kindle app on my tablet. I want to have read them all.  I actually want to read them all!  I plan to list them here and make a declaration that I will read them.  First the list, then the declaring:

Books in my work bag:

Mindset by Carol Dweck

The book on my desk:
CELDT Coordinators Manual by the California Department of Education

Books on my Kindle app:
Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
The Daily Five by Gail Bousey

Books by my bed:
The Instructions by Adam Levin
Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher

Okay, those are they.  There are seven of them, and they range wildly in their content, interest level, and weight (in the singular case of The Instructions--it's too heavy to lift). 

I do hereby declare that I will read these books and post on my progress before the end of the Summer (officially, Labor Day). I do also hereby declare a caveat in the instance of The Instructions as it is quite long and might be too heavy to lift. 

There. It has been said. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

[Photography] SDAWP Photo Voices--"Red"

This week for the SDAWP Photo Voices journey the theme was "red."  I think was my favorite week by far.  I loved having one theme for the week, focusing (no pun intended) on something for more than one day or one moment (usually a moment during my early morning puppy walk), and watching the photos "roll" in on Instagram and Twitter (pun intended that time, with a shout out to film photography).

Morning walks, cool drinks on hot days, fresh fruits, and flowers.  What a wonderfully #red week!

I used Picsart to create a collage of my "red" photos and will be linking up to the SDAWP Photo Voices "Red" post. Come see what we have and join the fun!

SDAWP Photo Voices

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

...and we're back!

A year from my last post and here I am again--ready to resurrect Wear the Cape.  Follow me!  Tell your friends!  Pressure me to post!  Offer to guest post!  Let's share what we do in our (okay, your) classrooms!