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  • Enlightened

    September 28, 2009

    Sean’s kindergarten teacher called me on Sunday night to ask if I would be the art teacher this week at school.  I was thrilled when she asked because I have been chomping at the bit to use my hard earned, but mostly useless, degree in art.

    When I think of all the time, money and effort I invested in my degree, I remind myself that education is never a waste.  I tell myself that for me, education was about enlightenment more so than employment. Which is good, because that’s pretty much how it has worked out.  In the ten years since my graduation I have on many occasions been enlightened but have yet to be employed.

    As Mrs. D. worked her way toward asking if I would help out, I was mentally planning my lesson:  I would start out with color theory, maybe introduce  perspective drawing combined with a brief survey of Classical Greek and Roman art and then….

    “I was thinking we could decorate small pumpkins,” she said, “Have the kids paint faces on them, maybe glue on some google eyes….”

    “Yes!” I said, “That’s exactly what I was thinking!”

    Okay, so we’ll skip the Greek ideals of beauty and go right for the google eyes.

    I will teach those little children to glue on google eyes using the Greek ideals of beauty.  Education is never a waste.

    Photobucket

    This is what you can do with or without an art degreee

    39 Comments »

    1. RefreshMom says:

      It may be ‘just’ a pumpkin with google eyes, but it’s so artistically done! (really!)

      * * *
      Kind of makes memorizing nearly every painting in the Louvre worth it.

      September 28th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    2. Kay says:

      Oh my gosh.. those are so cute. I’ve never seen googly eyes with eyelashes before. : )

      * * *
      Hobby Lobby my friend, Hobby Lobby, where just today my head exploded from craft overload. There are little bits of my brain somewhere in the google eyes department.

      September 28th, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    3. Jenny says:

      Sooo cute. Hope the kids have fun making them!

      September 29th, 2009 at 12:14 am

    4. Sue says:

      Looks like it will be a fun project. Having been an elementary teacher, believe me, I bet you would be welcome to be the art teacher every week! You could actually get in some art lessons, too.

      When we were at the county fair this year viewing the work done by children in classrooms, my husband even said, “They don’t teach art in school any more.” So many of the projects were not artistic. Now, your pumpkins will be, I realize, because you will encourage creativity.

      One thing I absolutely hated when I later subbed was when the teacher left a note to have a coloring contest. I don’t think I followed those instructions– hope not. I realize fine motor skills are developed by coloring, but the child who had stayed inside coloring for hours was rewarded more than the child who had played outside more and colored less. I don’t believe in coloring competitions in kindergarten. If a child wants to enter a supermarket coloring contest, that’s different, but to be subjected to that at school and for some of the little boys to neve win– not my cup of teaching.

      September 29th, 2009 at 12:32 am

    5. Everyday Mommy says:

      “I tell myself that for me, education was about enlightenment more so than employment. Which is good, because that’s pretty much how it’s worked out.”

      Boy, do I know the feeling.

      September 29th, 2009 at 12:39 am

    6. Everyday Mommy says:

      And, thanks for inspiring our next homeschool art project.

      September 29th, 2009 at 12:39 am

    7. k&c's mom says:

      I love that you can give 20 students the exact same supplies, and you come up with 20 totally different projects. I’ve learned to just let them go. It’s not about the product: it’s about the process. The pumpkin will rot some day, but they’ll remember if they loved art class or not.

      September 29th, 2009 at 1:02 am

    8. Sarah says:

      It’s a very lovely googly eyed pumpkin!

      September 29th, 2009 at 1:05 am

    9. Priscilla Willis says:

      The pumpkin is adorable – and it does exhibit some of the classical Greek ideals of beauty along with cowgirl panache!

      September 29th, 2009 at 1:30 am

    10. topmom says:

      I loved doing crafts with my daughter, alas, she is too old for that now (a Senior) but I do think it did much to stimulate the creativity in drawing that she enjoys still.

      September 29th, 2009 at 1:33 am

    11. Brigitte says:

      Oh, that little she-pumpkin just sparkles with personality. She, at least, is very enlightened.

      Reminds me of my similarly useful math degree. At this point, I remember nothing beyond a few 8th-grade algebra basics . . but I was “enlightened”. 😉

      September 29th, 2009 at 5:36 am

    12. Nan says:

      The last time I went to the states, I filled my suitcase with googly eyes to give to the boys’ school!

      September 29th, 2009 at 7:17 am

    13. Mama B says:

      “I tell myself that for me, education was about enlightenment more so than employment. Which is good, because that’s pretty much how it’s worked out.”

      True for Bio majors too! And since I have been home for so long…I would have to go get another degree to think about working again.

      Is that Peacock picture (top left) yours? It’s beautiful!

      * * *
      I did it in Photoshop. It was my “plan” to put up something different in that space every other week or so, but that hasn’t exactly happened.

      September 29th, 2009 at 7:37 am

    14. Tonggu Momma says:

      I’ve always felt that crafts teach children to follow directions, but art teaches children to LIVE.

      September 29th, 2009 at 8:14 am

    15. Holly says:

      My 5 year old daughter loved the pic of the pumpkin and laughed a lot. I love your blog too!

      September 29th, 2009 at 8:15 am

    16. Jeni says:

      Very cute! And education is never wasted. That’s what I tell myself as we pay off those student loans for an advanced degree that I’m not using.

      September 29th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    17. Jeni says:

      Oh! And I really like the peacock. 🙂

      September 29th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    18. Heidi says:

      I will be entering our first grade classrooms again this week to teach them about Young Hare painted by Albrecht Durer. I really enjoy interacting with the little ones like that. And I don’t even have an art degree – just a few hours training for our Artpals program.

      But speaking of google eyes. Did you know you can attach a pair to a small black paper plate, punch eight holes in the plate, put a pipe cleaner in each hole and – voila – a spooky spider? Really, it’s true.

      September 29th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    19. HarryJacksMom says:

      Ditto everything Mama B said, but from a school psychologist’s perspective. It’s nice that growing kids was the base of my education, but when I actually ‘used’ that part of my brain the other day, I know my parents were pleased 😉

      Thanx for sharing so much beauty with us!

      September 29th, 2009 at 8:53 am

    20. Shelly W. says:

      That is so funny! But I have to say that it would take a Ph.D. in Art for me to come up with a pumpkin that cute. Crafts give me hives.

      September 29th, 2009 at 9:12 am

    21. Tom says:

      A classic example of post-modern sculpture, no doubt inspired by Henry Moore. It’s never too early to begin them on the road to art literacy. Next week you might want to explore they styling of Deborah Butterfield.

      September 29th, 2009 at 9:14 am

    22. Sarah at themommylogues says:

      Every time I walk into Hobby Lobby I want to quit my freelancing job and just make crafts all day. I’m not particularly good at it, but they make it look so inviting.

      September 29th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    23. momof8 says:

      Awesome!

      September 29th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    24. Kathy says:

      Its very greek to me!

      And if you were listening to the over-achieving-part-of-your-brain, you would get chicken wire and paper mache’ (err..flour and water glue and newspaper) and make gigantic pumpkins to decorate the front lawn of the school.

      Aren’t you glad you told that part of your brain “no!” ??

      * * *
      I wake up every morning and give that part of my brain a pre-emptive smackdown just for good measure.

      September 29th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    25. Lisa says:

      I can tell you from experience, my pumpkin would have suffered because of my business degree.

      September 29th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    26. zoom says:

      That pumpkin has a sassy attitude. And if you are offering yourself up as a tour guide to the Louvre, I’m in.

      * * *
      Now wouldn’t that be fun, you and I in the Louvre for a couple of days?

      September 29th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    27. quinn cummings says:

      The Greeks PRAYED for googly eyes. Marble isn’t nearly as friendly and fun.

      September 29th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    28. happy geek says:

      That’s a pretty cute pumpkin.
      My English degree and I, well we would have just talked about the pumpkin, maybe written an ode to googly eyes, but no actual pumpkins would have been produced.
      So it’s a good thing you had your degree:)

      September 29th, 2009 at 11:51 am

    29. Kathy says:

      In my humble opinion, people are trained for a job, but they become educated for life.

      Seems to me your education is doing you proud. The pumpkin is really cute too.

      September 29th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    30. Shannon says:

      I love the peacock – we are partial to them around here 🙂
      And, I think my “higher” education was really in beer consumption, as I still put that into practice. on a weekly basis. My Business and Spanish degrees… not so much!

      September 29th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    31. Shannon says:

      PS I was over at fiddledeedee and immediately thought of your bank/white pants post, but I see you were there too. I really do think the two of you should write a book together! I would buy it.

      September 29th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    32. Elizabeth says:

      When I interviewed to be accepted into my degree in college, the Dean asked what my plans would be after graduation. I told him I would teach until having kids and stay home. He seemed disapointed and told me that “we are interested in training those who will work in the trenches.” If my dirty kitchen isn’t the trenches, then I don’t know what is. Education is the best gift we give ourselves, our families and our communities. Maybe the Louvre wil have googlie-eyed pumpkins on display someday:)

      September 29th, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    33. Kate says:

      I came up with that craft when my DD was in K, too. We used gourds though….waaaay more personality in gourds, I must say!! Your pumpkin looks more like a gourd to me with the stripes….

      Anyway, we watched Veggie Tales starring Jimmy and Jerry Gourd (Are You My Neighbor? where the gourds were ‘odd’ and ‘different’ but managed to save the spaceship by eating the giant popcorn meteor). We discussed the vast differences in the gourds and how God made us so different, too, and we had popcorn to go with our Veggie Tales. Then we got to work on the gourds and they turned out totally adorable, googly eyes, hats, and all. We didn’t do feet though! But then, I only have an English/Writing degree, not an art degree. ;o)

      * * * *
      These are gourds. The teacher bought pumpkins, but I trumped her and bought gourds because they don’t rot and the hats fit better. We’ll use pumpkins for another project. And, yeah, it takes an art degree to think of feet.

      September 29th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    34. Jenny-Jenny says:

      I found a childrens book years ago when my kids were small all about a family who had a gourd carving party every fall. All the neighbors came and carved and ate and then lit candles inside the gourds and floated them down the river like a twilight parade. I loved that book and haven’t found it again. You super cute google eyed gourd made me smile. Sure am glad you have that degree!

      September 29th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    35. rrmama says:

      Love it!

      September 29th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    36. Iota says:

      You see a decorated pumpkin. I see a still life.

      September 29th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    37. mythoughtsonthat says:

      Kids don’t get nearly enough art experiences once they start kindergarten. There is far too much time spent on coloring in the lines. So great that Sean’s class has you.

      Peace.

      September 29th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    38. edj says:

      You would thrive in the French system. They do teach them perspective and things like that in K. Also they have topless beauties (pre-raphaelite, but still) in the 6th grade French text book. It’s a whole new world. 😉

      September 30th, 2009 at 7:03 am

    39. Marie says:

      My kids love to put googly eyes on everything, including pumpkins 🙂

      September 30th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

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