Sunday, November 30, 2014

Be Present

Recently I visited my son’s high school for parent-teacher conferences. As I walked through the halls greeting parents whom I knew and avoiding collisions with others, I saw a sign hanging above an arch in the main hallway.  The sign read, “Be Present.”

“How amazing,” I thought.  “They are teaching mindfulness to high school students.”  I was very excited to imagine all the lessons on living in the present, rather than focusing on the past or the future.  What good skills these students would gain from the discussions about meditation, relaxation, and enjoying every moment as they experience it.

Then I read the very small line of print below the “Be Present.”  It stated, “Know when to unplug and connect with people.”

So the message was not exactly what I interpreted. Students are being encouraged to look up from their technology, divert their attention away from their virtual friends, in order to connect with the real people around them.  This is a message that will resonate with young people much better than meditation and relaxation.  I hope the students are listening… and connecting with the people around them.

- christina

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Drawing Class Part 2 - Charcoal

Although I look forward to my drawing class each week, it’s also something I have a hard time actually getting to on time.  During this second session, I missed the first class (minor emotional crisis related to work), was an hour and a half late to the second class (had to work late due to parent-teacher conferences), and was 15 minutes late to the third class (unanticipated phone call from long lost friend).  The teacher has been very patient with me and I have high hope for the upcoming fourth class.
My first drawing was rushed. I finished in about
an hour and had to leave out a few lemons.

In spite of my unreliable attendance record, I have learned a lot about drawing with charcoal so far.  The most surprising thing is that I like it!  Since I am not a person who enjoys getting my fingers dirty, I thought I would dislike charcoal, but the results of my efforts have been so exciting that I don’t mind the mess at all.

For the second class we had to choose from 3 photos.
I'm pretty sure this is Gregory Peck.

I think I made Gregory look a little younger
than he actually was in the photo.
He would probably appreciate that.

Next week we are going to draw a still life by removing the charcoal.  My eraser may not survive the experience.  My son said to me yesterday, “You may have found your medium.”  He may be right!

- christina