Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm off to Artfest!

Well, my friends, I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go enjoy some rainy days in Port Townsend, Washington at Artfest. I don't know if I'll get a chance to blog before I get back Sunday evening (although there is supposed to be a coffee shop that has free wireless internet on the Fort), so know that I'm thinking about you. And have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Picture Hope

Shutter Sisters Dream Assignment: Picture Hope from LittlePurpleCow Productions on Vimeo.

I think this is a beautiful idea and it made me cry. Of course, Hamburger Helper commercials can make me cry these days, but I still think this is pretty amazing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Top Ten Tips for Writing Perfectly Penned Poems

Since next Wednesday starts National Poetry Month (no, it's not a joke!), I've published my top ten tips for writing perfectly penned poems (do you like my use of alliteration? Oh yeah, it's a poetic device). You can read my article on Associated Content. And then you'll write fabulous poetry and totally pass me up and become the next U.S. Poet Laureate. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't share these with you...

I Believe We Are All Creative

According to John Updike, “Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.”

I believe everyone is creative. Creativity is not just about painting a masterpiece or decorating a room better than anyone else or sitting in a glass box in the middle of a crowded city and composing a violin concerto. Creativity is taking what you have, the talents you were given at birth or the simple resources you have available to you, and doing something worthwhile with those things.

It drives me crazy when my friends and members of my family say that they are not creative. I think, How can you not be creative? You’re a human being! Humans are essentially creative creatures. We’ve been creating since the dawn of time. We built the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico. The Taj Mahal in India. Notre Dame de Paris in, well, Paris. And we didn’t stop there! Then we decorated all of these edifices with murals, jewels, writings of a hieroglyphic and calligryphic nature, and elaborate stained glass windows.

Humans have created masterpieces of music that have stood the test of centuries. Handel, Beethoven, and even Barry Manilow have created music that transcends time. Everyone recognizes The Messiah, “Fur Elise,” and “Copacabana.” These men took what they knew, took what they had, and created something remarkable.

Creativity was handed down to us from our ancestors. It’s more common than brown eyes or olive skin and more prevalent than heart disease or obesity. Being creative is simply who we are.

The feeling that some are creative and some are not tends to be widespread in those of my profession: high school teachers. Teachers at the high school level often look at their elementary school friends and think that elementary school teachers are just more creative. After all, their classrooms are always decorated for the holidays and they make applesauce in the fall, paper snowflakes in the winter, and little bunnies with cotton ball tails in the spring.

For the most part, high school teachers do not have classrooms decorated for Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day or make cutesy craft projects. But we are a creative bunch. We take vague state standards, the most current research from respected professionals, and whatever resources (high-tech or not-so-high-tech) we have available, and we create masterpieces of teaching. We care about “doing it right, or better.” We are creative.

I wish, sometimes, that I could take the blinders off my friends, family, and colleagues so they could see their own creativity. I wish that all people understood that they are creative, even if what they create doesn’t hang in a museum or get played by a symphony orchestra. I wish that others would believe, as I do, that we are all creative.

*note* This is an essay I wrote for the This I Believe. Sadly, they did not publish it, but, lucky you, now you get to read it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Is it a bull or a dinosaur?

I bought this painting at the DI a few days ago for $3. On the back it says, "Madrid, Spain," and I just had to have it. I thought it would go well with my vintage Spanish postcards.

I hung it up the other day even though it is nowhere near the vintage postcards. I just wanted to see what it looked like on my blank white wall.

Last night, Andrew looked up at the picture and started giggling. He said, "That dinosaur is trying to eat that girl's big bum!" Hmm, maybe this picture isn't what I thought it was...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

National Grammar Day

On National Grammar Day, Good Grammar is Not Just for English Teachers
National Grammar Day is March 4. Use the day to encourage good grammar with your high school students and to make grammar fun.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Managing Working Mommy Guilt

I received a whole $2.50 for this article on Associated Content! I think I need to add "Freelance Writer" to my resume.

Managing Your Working Mommy Guilt By Not Being Perfect

I have to admit that I excel at the "not being perfect" part of this article.