Aug 20, 2012

First Day Back At School and I already miss my summer vacation!

Today was it, August 20,2012. First day back at school for us teachers on my 25th. year of teaching. It was a pretty typical day back with the morning meeting that challenged your attention span. The introduction of new baby teachers and new protocol. I had a bit of a calm all day. Maybe because of my dream I shouldn't mentioned that I had last night of showing up to our faculty meeting unprepared and drunk to the wind! Nor the excuse of leaving the meeting to sit in the bathroom for 2 hours to find items to clog up the toilet that lead to a disgusting run over of all kinds of shite!This still is the dream. This stress dream before school started is much different than the others that I have had previously of waking up, realizing school started two hours earlier than it was, or the given a floor in a parking garage to teach a class of 100! , or the one about not being able to find my car while running late to school dream. No this one was different. Because I really didn't give a crap in this dream! Course I know I was really influenced by the fact that I watch Withnail & I last night. Had to be the drunken theme of this dream! Or maybe cause at year 25 you get to start to relax a bit about your job. You know what you are doing and you know you won't settle for lame teaching in yourself or in your department. Oh well, it is what it is...Stay Calm and Carry on...the mantra for the year! And to end this lovely passage I will conclude with some of my favorite pictures of my summer vacation trip to the beach, spent with my lovely Mr. Kidner and my family! Good times had by all. 

Aug 19, 2012

“I am a lucky kid!”

For the past two Saturday nights, my Ashley and I have been going out to the woods, to the gunpowder river and find peace. We arrive with our picnic dinner or evening snacks, fishing rod (for Ashley), paintbrushes and a new field watercolor set and pads for me. We get there around 6ish in the evening and we stay till it gets dark. We find a good rock that sits out on the water and commence with our favorite activities that may even just be, doing nothing! I think about my Dad and how he took us fishing as kids, camping and canoeing. We spent our favorite memories over the river and through the woods. We are armed with our mosquito repellent and headlamps. 

   I think about my two summer at Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center, being an adventure Camp director and the nights spent taking scared adolescents through the woods at night for games of camouflage, running to get out of a thunderstorm or simple going for night hikes without our trusty headlamps. These were fun times that are still fun times to have.  Last night the one sentence that came to me head that made we smile was this: “I am a lucky kid!” yes I am, even at the age of 49! I truly am. So, if you don’t know where my man and I  may be on a Saturday night, well, we aren’t gonna tell you. It’s our secret hiding place! 

Aug 17, 2012

What’s been happening in the Jennyjen Sweat Shop!

 It’s been a busy summer in the Sweatshop! We started our summer out with AVAM’s Sideshow Flea Market, Pile of Craft at the end of June and then Artscape in July. I had a number of wholesale orders and a new project that I will write about later on. I didn’t teach or write curriculum. That’s right, the first summer in 24 years that I did not work a summer job of some kind! Well, I guess that’s not true…this is the first summer that I worked for myself! And my boss wasn’t too awful to deal with! SO I did have some creative moments and started to do more drawing with my sewing machine. I started to draw bird portraits with my sewing machine. No programming involved! Just me freehand sewing on my machine! I really love these and they help me feel like I’m honing my artistic and observation skills! These are all for sale and in my shop

Aug 16, 2012

Apologies for Neglecting My Blog and reflections for Getting Older

Sorry for not keeping up with this blog. I was so good at one time, enjoying the sharing of what’s going on in my thoughts, my life and my art. Seeing this lacking since March, I woke up this morning with some sort of motivation to write and reflect. I turned 49 this summer. One more year of this half a century left and I have to admit, I may be in denial, but I’m really not that upset with how fast this life is going. Its been a pretty good ride so far! Oh yes, it slows down horribly when stuck in meetings and I have no escape plan. I notice how hard it is to concentrate and have exact meaning of what it is I am suppose to comprehend, even when the discussion is the lack of meaning and comprehension our students have in daily studies.  I am getting optimistic but some of the new trends in education that have been persuaded by the experiential education movement. My way of learning.  I learn by doing…making mistakes and using problem solving to solve the problems I need to solve. I think most of us learn that way.
      I am anxious about my school year this year. I am in year 25! Yes, that is how fast our life can go when all of a sudden a career that you thought you wouldn’t last 5 years, becomes 25. I head a department of 5. All but one is being evaluated this year, which means lots of observations, pre and post ob meetings and write-ups.  I have now 5 different preps, meaning 5 different courses I am teaching (one is an on-line class that I just have to monitor and be there as support). So really maybe make that 4 different preps: Art 1, Photo 1, Studio and Advance Studio, oh yeah, and Studio AP. Lets go back to 5 preps. And I’m monitoring AP Art History.

         My Jennyjen42 business is going well and surviving. It is my retirement plan. I need to stick with this teaching career for a decent pension and medical benefits…this will be my mantra for the next five years. I spent my summer working towards this retirement life of daily sweatshop routines and have quite enjoyed being able to work on a normal, refreshed mode, as opposed to tired teacher making items for shows and whole sales till the middle of the night. I wanted to work on this blog this summer and you can see how much I did that, but it’s all ok. I am going to work on writing more. Writing and exercise, eating well and getting rid of my muffin top that appeared last school year and is slowly going away. The exercise helps the mood and gets my brain thinking smarter. Hopefully help with my attention span as well.

      Today is my last full day of my summer vacation since I will need to go into school tomorrow to set up my classroom and have a full school day getting ready for next week.Gonna make it a full sweatshop day. I have tote bags to make for the BMA! I will post about this later. And a wholesale order to work on. Meaning its potholder day! I know I use this blog as my journal. And I hope to write more and keep more consistent with it/ I know I have lost a lot of readership. I’m going try to keep up with it. I miss it as well. OK, enough for this morning. Thanks for reading.