Sunday, October 30, 2005

Which Peanuts Character Am I?

Well, I just discovered I am most like "Rerun." Okay - I didn't even know this character EXISTED! It was interesting to note that MOST people in the survey were like Schroeder. Hmmm... I wonder if I've ever even read a Peanuts with Rerun in it! I'll have to ask my brother who is up on ALL THINGS PEANUTS! (Brought to you by Quizilla:


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Teen Read Week

Week 8 of school and also Teen Read Week. We're doing a few Teen Read activities, headed up by the Media Specialist. I think it's rather fun (loving to read) so I wanted to write about it. First, we're doing D.E.A.R every day at a random moment (Drop Everything And Read). I love it because I can read a book in the middle of school (fortunately, the teachers know when it will be so we can plan our lessons around it, but the students don't know!). I chose to read The House of the Scorpion, because several of the students are reading it (it's about cloning, and interesting). We taped 5 mystery "book lovers" to play over the morning announcements, and the students have to guess who is reading and what book; I got to be one of the mystery readers too! Some of the kids guess right away, but then again, they asked yesterday if it was me, and it wasn't, so I think they are just guessing!
We also had our students create a poster with their favorite books/authors/genres and hung them in the cafeteria.
I'm handing out raffle tickets to students I see with a book or reading a book, and I'm doing a raffle at the end of the week.

So it's been pretty positive on the reading end ... although I like teaching grammar and writing, I do miss teaching the literature... and I don't really enjoy teaching CMT prompts (so far - maybe once I get used to it, I will like it more!). Journaling has been great - the students get disappointed when I have to cut them off!
Still, I'm glad they seem to enjoy it! And it makes for interesting conversations about the art of writing.

That's all folks!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Illustration Friday - Cold

When I saw the prompt "cold," I thought of the illusatration for Les Miserabé. Of course I could never duplicate the cold empty sadness on Cosette's face, but I hope I've captured some of the idea of that feeling in my drawing. Proportions seem to be a bit of a problem for me!
I was moved to place the door behind her, perhaps a symbol of being shut out - another form of coldness. I used purples, blacks and blues to indicate the colors of coldness. I'm enjoying matching color to the prompt - it's a familiar connection for me between visual sybmolism and literary symbolism.
I'm also including an old poem that speaks of coldness between two people. There's no real story to the poem, I was just trying to recreate the feeling.

Cold Glances

Down my back I feel the chill
Of your glance as you sit behind me.
Those eyes that watch always,
In sleep or in light, looking
For the chance to cut
Through to what you want. You know
The stillness of an empty stare,
And the fear of a broken word.
And you touch me, hoping
To regain what you lost, to catch
What flew from your grasp.
I feel the chill on my shoulder
Now, and then my face, but you
Won't look at me--just at whatever
Is just over my shoulder
There in the dark. It's your fear
Of telling me the truth -

Julie Howard 4/1/97

Friday, October 07, 2005

Illustration Friday - Lost

This week's topic immediately reminded me of the Biblical parable of the shepherd who went to seek his one lost sheep, leaving the ninety-nine behind. So I drew a shepherdess, reaching for her sheep (because, I am after all, a girl!), to remind myself of the purpose of my life.
After I drew it, I was reminded of the verse: "...and of some, having compassion..." Imagine the compassion to leave ninety-nine sheep who are safe and warm at home, and go out into the wilderness just to find one sheep, who you may or may not be able to rescue. To spend your time seeking, with no promise of success.
It's much like life - you spend your time dealing with people you may or may not be able to help. (Much like teaching too!) It takes compassion to make us leave the comforts of home, the familiarity of the "ninety-nine," and search the cold night for just one...never knowing quite where to look, or where you may be of help, but just "being available" when there is a need.
But, of course... there was One who went looking for us too... when we needed it - so it's only right to follow in His steps.

On a technical note... I only have my 89 cent Ocean State Job Lot set of 12 colored pencils, and I didn't know what color to make the sheep, so I picked purple. And I'm not very good at drawing "in the lines...." Mostly I just like to draw the curly hair - it's the most fun part of the illustration! (and the easiest). If anybody knows how to pick the right colors, let me know! :) I was thinking I'd like to try drawing with chalk sometime... it seems like it would be more forgiving than colored pencils! Sorry if the picture is too small to see also... And I need to work on getting the scanner going, b/c taking a digital photo of the artwork and uploading it creates a lot of shadows and a beige hue to the page. Oh well - technicalities, I suppose!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

After Apple Picking

I always did like that poem by Robert Frost...
Here's a photo of Matthew & I at Lyman Orchards - we're in the Looong line to buy our apples! (15 lbs!). They sure are delicious - juicy, crispy fresh! Mmmm.
Also a photo of Brie & me - she joined us in the picking spree! Wasn't it a gorgeous autumn day!

Illustration Friday - Float

Feels like less than gravity -
Lifting, I spin, lightly tilt -
Open like autumn-fringed twirlygigs,
Arms over the air, fingers out - tiny on
Tiptoes and finally free!

Another prompt from Illoannounce: This time, I wrote a poem using the word. I played around with both words that evoke the feeling of floating, and having the letters of the word "float" around the poem.

I also, at Carla's encouragement, attempted to illustrate it! Ha! Here's my virgin voyage into the world of illustration. Don't say I didn't warn you - it's pretty shabby - a stick figure! :) haha! But it WAS fun!


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