27 November 2007

Spiral Jetty, finally

after three years of encouraging my students to 'go see one of thee most famous earthworks - here in our very own state,' i finally went and did it myself the day after Thanksgiving. it was beautiful... and terribly cold.

19 November 2007

recess chronicles

Ash really enjoys watching the elementary school kids play during recess so we usually go out to the backyard once or twice a day to observe the goings on from our side of the chain link fence. some days are better than others but today during fourth grade recess was especially good. we saw a couple boys loading one side of a teeter-totter up with gravel then one of them says, 'let's launch it!!' he runs over to the other side and with all his might pulls the heavy, industrial strength teeter-totter down on his side. when the empty side hits the ground the gravel shoots about oh, seven or eight inches in the air. the boys are thrilled. 'awesome!!' and the game begins again. after launching gravel a couple more times one of the boys stands where the gravel used to be as the other boy tries with all of his might to move him up into the air (maybe he planned on launching him too). but as it turns out, there's nothin' doin' since the standing up boy must weigh 'a hundred pounds', according to the boy who is trying to launch him.

then a swarm of five or six girls, followed by one boy, runs by to the merry-go-round. the girls hop on while the boy, Bruce is obviously trying wreck things. two of the girls are very emphatic that Bruce stop touching the merry-go-round and they keep yelling, 'get away, Bruce! get away!' so Bruce takes off chasing one of the girls who wasn't on the merry-go-round yet.

and finally, three boys are playing tether ball only they aren't really playing they're just swatting at the ball and trying to hit each other with it. one of the boys, let's call him Short Sleeves, gets a pretty good run with the tether ball making another boy, let's call him Long Sleeves, pretty mad. mean while the third boy is just watching all of this play out. after all sorts of protesting and attempts to have the tether ball for himself Long Sleeves gets pretty mad and out of nowhere kicks Short Sleeves right in the crotch. Short Sleeves is obviously hurt but pulls himself together enough to start making his way toward the teacher who is playing jump rope with a some girls a few yards away. when Long Sleeves realizes where Short Sleeves is headed he starts booking it to get there first... and he does since Short Sleeves is a little slow due to his recent injury. before Short Sleeves even arrives Long Sleeves is pointing and saying, 'teacher, he kicked me!' Short Sleeves is outraged! 'no he kicked me!' and before he can even finish his side of the story Long Sleeves is making more false accusations (and of course lots of pointing at Short Sleeves and the tether ball and so forth). the teacher says something that i can't really hear and just as fast as it began it's over. Long Sleeves makes a run for some place else and Short Sleeves goes back to the tether ball to bring the third boy up to speed on what just happened. the bell rings and everyone makes a mad dash toward the school.

01 November 2007

why did Picasso cut off his ear?

last week in my 9:30 design class one of my students asked why Picasso cut off his ear. she also presented her first-person project on Michelangelo in a pinstriped button-up suit (dressed as the artist). yes, she has declared art as her major.

i got this email from a student who didn't show up to give his presentation.
hello Mrs brooks this is P im sorry i didn't come to class today i actually came late at 11:40 i know that is no excuse however i had my project done and was up all night finishing it. I was actually planning on pulling an all nighter and getting my character ready (what i was going to wear) though i know excuses wont get me anywhere. I would just like to explain that i took a nap and woke up at 11:30 i did however complete my project and would like to know if there is anyway i can still present it and if you could tell me what i missed in class to i would really appreciate that thank you for your time.

here's the reply i felt like sending...

please use punctuation. you're right, excuses aren't getting you anywhere. in fact, telling me about your all-nighter doesn't make me think you are a dedicated student or deserving of a little slack. it just affirms to me that you don't know how to manage your time and you need to pull it together. i'll admit procrastination is part of the game here but instead of taking a nap after staying up all night, drink a BooKoo so you can make it through the last few hours of your sleep deprivation experiment and get to class to present your project. oh, and remember how last time you asked me to fill you in on what you missed in class i reminded you that it's your responsibility to find out from a classmate? yeah, same deal.
i didn't reply though. i just talked to the student in class today and reminded him that if he misses his presentation day he has to take a zero on the project. but hey... that's what blogs are for!