Saturday, August 22, 2015

Greetings from the Flip Side...

Well, here we are...three weeks into the school year. I know, it's kind of nuts that it's only August 22nd and it's already been three weeks of school. But that's Arizona for you. 

The weeks approaching the first day of school and the first week thereafter were exhausting. However, it's all been rewarding. The mood and climate of the district sure makes a difference. 
Picture of all the new teachers for the district and a couple of board members. July 2015
That said, the lack of money for art supplies in the classroom remains the same. Well, the lack of money for just about anything in any classroom remains the same. Again, that's Arizona for you. 

At the same time, there is more communication of what the actual nominal budget is for supplies. Sure, the number is completely insufficient for my amount of students, but at least I was given a number. I also have enthusiasm for an awesome collaborative public art project I would love for all my students to put together for the school and community. Sure, it requires more funding, but the town as a whole is supportive of the arts and education. I have more faith I can make this happen here in Wickenburg. 

It's amazing. A year ago, I wasn't even planning on being back in the classroom this soon and I was certainly hesitant and doubtful of going back to any Arizona classroom at all. However, looking at where I am now and how the circumstances have come together, this is obviously meant to be!  

Here's a little art sampling from those first two weeks. The big hair drawings are from our first week Get to Know You exercise. The project is called Bad Hair Day. Students create a funky hair style out of their name.  The letter collages below are the first big project. Taking inspiration from the fun and colorful text art of Pop Artist Robert Indiana, students chose one letter and made a colorful collage out of it.

That said, transition at home continues with the new house. We finally moved all of our new stuff out of the rental. It didn't help that all that was going on at the same time as the start of a new school year, but when it rains, it pours! And of course, the heat doesn't help either. 

Gosh, last week the heat really spiked. And of course that was a day that I had to go to Phoenix with Christian for a doctor's appointment. He and I left Wickenburg before noon and the dash read 106.  By the time we got down to the north Phoenix area to stop for lunch it was 111. When we left Central Phoenix around 2pm it read 117. We stopped at Costco for two things. Milk wasn't one of them, but we stayed in the big milk room giant cooler for over ten minutes. It was 41 degrees in there. It felt perfect. I didn't want to leave.

 The first week of school also meant Mikelle turned 15 and Alexander started Pre-School! I didn't get to be there to see him off, as his first day was also the first day for my students. Maybe that's a good thing so I could be spared of the tears of seeing my baby starting school. My friend Elyse (her husband is also a teacher in the district) takes the boys to pre-school.

First day! 8/4/15 The backpack is almost as big as he is!
I was so exhausted from that first week of pre-school that Mikelle's slumber birthday party at the house is a bit of a blur.  Wow. She's 15 and a Sophomore in high school. How can I be the Mom of a kid that old? That means I have to be old too!
January 2002...Rexburg Idaho   How can this snow angel be 15 already?!
Age 5...just as the freckles were starting to sprout!
Fun picture of her that I got away with a few months ago!
My students helped make some of these fun birthday posters, and the night before her birthday, Chris and I hung these at the entrance of the high school for Mikelle to see. She was hoping it was friends who did it. She seemed a little disappointed when she realized Mom and Dad were behind it. I tried to tell her that many 6th-8th grade "friends" made the posters, but she said she didn't know those kids, so that didn't count. Well, Christian is in one of my classes. He helped make one! So that counts.
Speaking of birthdays, Chris had his big 4-5 this week. Birthdays don't freak him out like they freak me out. He's more secure in that area. 

I posted this Throwback of him in August 1998 with Zoey in the shower. She was only about a year and half at the time. Now she's an 18 year old screaming diva bird. Well, she was a baby diva back then. Not much has changed.

Well, as far as getting everything up to speed, that's all I can muster right now. There is more of the June Oregon trip to recap (still...yes, I know....), but time to enjoy the only day to sleep in! 


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