Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Slice #25 - Gardening, Step One

This is going to be one of those posts where the writer likens teaching to gardening. 

Though we didn't yield much from our seeds last year, we are going to try it again.  When I took this photo on Day One, I wasn't sure we would be successful.  Did I put the seed in too deep? Too shallow? Will they get enough sunlight? Did I put too many seeds in? Self doubt was creeping in and I started to wonder why I thought this was a good idea. Eventually, I decided to stop worrying and just try not to overdo it. Last year, my first year trying to grow anything from seeds, I think I "overworked" the situation.  This year, I tried to be nonchalant about the seeds. 

Look at them go!

Here comes the comparison: Sometimes, I have to remind myself to TRUST my teaching.  That's not saying that I need to be lazy in my teaching the way I was lazily dropping seeds in the dirt, but that I need to stop the self-doubt and let the good stuff get out there for the kids to latch on to.  I know I can't be perfect every da, but I also know that my methods and philosophy are strong and deep-seeded in the way I teach, every day. Though the comparison is weak right now, the growth of the seeds still gives me inspiration in my teaching, and that's all that matters! Grow, seeds, grow!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Slice #24 - The Sound of a New Book

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I've been in a debate with myself for weeks over the decision to purchase an e-Reader.  I thought I could never enjoy the book experience digitally, but recently I have been branching out with my reading.  Not branching out through the genre I'm reading, but through the mode.  I just started my first audiobook (The Help by Kathryn Stockett)! I've read samples of books I might want to buy print copies of on the Kindle app on my iPhone (The New Sweet Valley Twins Confidential by Pascal and Unbroken by Hillenbrand)!

Now, I don't see my new obsession with these many modes of reading to be turning my back on the book.  On the contrary! I get to experience MORE books than ever before! I read while driving (audiobook). I read before bed (print book). I read wherever and whenever I have down time (iPhone). It's a bibliophile's dream! (daydream?)

Now, with all my gushing about my new multimodal reading habits, I have to share my favorite recent entcounter: the crack.

Yes, the crack.  It is one of my favorite sounds in the world.  It's a sound that can't be imitated by anything else.  (Wait, what is the sound of a black hole opening?)  Yes, it's the sound of opening a new book.  No matter how excited I get about my new reading experiences, this sound will always bring me back.  The print book will never go away, because I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Slice #23 - Vivian Maier, a Talent Hidden

Vivian Maier's work at Chicago Cultural Center Exhibit

I secretly wish I could have a secret talent that went undiscovered.  A secret genius.  Like Vivian Maier.  I was first exposed to Maier's work in a TimeOut Chicago article about her April exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center.  It was the picture below that caught my attention.

I don't know anything about photography, so I'll probably sound ridiculous using any terminology, but, even to a lay person like me, this photo had life, texture, and grit.  I couldn't take my eyes off of it.  I had to see this exhibit.

What's more, the article revealed that Vivian Maier was no publicizer of her work.  In fact, she wouldn't let anyone see it.  She never even had the tens of thousands of negatives that were found after her death developed. She comes across as a recluse and (in my diagnosis) a candidate for Hoarders. Could it get any more intriguing!? I pound my fist and say, no, it can't.

Spring break came around, and when M asked me what I wanted to do, (while I was reading another TimeOut issue) I happened to be looking at the museum section, and saw the listing for the exhibit again.  "This."  His response was a sigh, but because he loves me, we went.  Hey, we were going to see a comedy show later that night anyway.  Fun for all. 

The exhibit was wow.  It was a party for my eyes.  It made me want to learn how to take photos like that.  It made me say, "How does she DO that?" 

I think there's a book and a documentary in the works.  I can't wait to get my hands and eyes on those, too. 

See her discoverer's blog for more party for your eyes: http://vivianmaier.blogspot.com/