Thursday, June 26, 2008

Learning 101

This summer is flying by...I can't EVEN believe it is almost July!

The packing/sorting/cleaning process is just as daunting as ever...and the large dumpster in front of the house is nearly full. In many ways it is bittersweet...this house has needed a good cleaning for at least 40 years, but cleaning it reminds me that my parents are no longer together, and that I am moving on and away from my childhood home (yeah, yeah - most of y'all did that YEARS ago).

We are finding some interesting things, though. I think The Boss said he found 14 buckets of screws. I am hoping there is nothing Freudian in that collection.

Meanwhile...upstairs...I am responsible for the kid camp. Moustache Man has taken a serious liking to James Bond and Westerns. Sharpie Boy loves to watch dominoes and dinosaurs on "Tube Tube."

In order to keep myself sane (?), Eloise, Daliah, and I have been volunteering for the Ramapo Island group (Peggy Sheehy, BernaJean Porter, et al). Peggy sent out an SOS on Friday night - - apparently her students had worked on a project that (seemingly) was not going to be built on the Teen Grid. So, she wanted to have it on the AG, and had no space for it and no one to build it.

Well. You know Literature Alive! staffers can't leave kids out there in the just jumped in and said, OK, we'll do this. Eloise, Daliah, and I are like a well oiled machine. Each of us does a different thing, and we work very well together. Daliah, for example, is our detail girl. She made a lunch line that would set anyone to shame. Eloise, the Goddess of Scripts, did all sorts of crazy things with scripting. I worked on content and playing with the media. All in all, we finished the build over the weekend, and were rewarded with happy faces on the kids.

The project, one built around Robert Frost's famous poem, The Road Not Taken, is amazing. The kids did a lot of work with storytelling goddess, BernaJean Porter, and their teacher, Peggy Sheehy. They made little movies, they made audio clips, they did EVERYTHING! There was no way we could let all that work fall to the floor.

Meanwhile, my students at LCCC worked on building Fruitlands - the location of Bronson Alcott's communal experiment. This build is the foundation of a project that will start in a few weeks - The Blithedale Project. Students at DeSales will recreate Nathaniel Hawthorne's text in SL.

So, we are busy, as usual.

But, that isn't the focus of this post.

Within the web of all of this activity, Eloise has been teaching me how to use my brand spanking new photoshop. Being a student again is really frustrating. I have in my head what I want something to look like, but it is hard for me to create it in Photoshop.

Eloise is a really patient teacher! It is good to be a student again; it reminds me to take steps and to foster step taking. Anywho...the images you see around this post are my first attempts at creative genius. Thanks, Elo!

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