Saturday, February 21, 2015

MIA 3rd Grade Field Trip!

I was able to chaperone my very first field trip this week!! Hooray! Atticus' third grade class went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The past couple weeks they have been having a parent-volunteer trained by the MIA giving the kids art-history instruction. I was totally proud of them recognizing Georgia O'Keefe, Vincent Van Gogh, and a number of other artists older and newer that they knew the artist or knew whether it was realistic or impressionistic or abstract. The kids answered questions about perspective (of the artist) and other observations about why artists would use a certain style to communicate what they believed about life or beauty. It was kinda crazy and chaotic, but I met some really neat moms who had their youngest kid in Atticus' class -- one mom had 5 kids and one 6. Even though I only have four, I somehow got to be in the over-two-kids club, and learned a lot about being a mom trying to organize and keep track of multiple school-aged kids. Maybe I am not doing too much wrong -- it's just really hard. It was wonderful to see Atticus so happy for me to be there. What an affectionate and enthusiastic kid I have! (And Thea Belle was a rock star -- best-behaved 4-year-old ever!)

All of my boys want a falcon for a pet. This is one of their favorite sculptures at the MIA.

Twenty kids were all lying on the carpet looking at this...

A kinetic visual installation of meteoroid-like rocks flinging into space on a cupola three stories above the floor.

Hangin' with the GISE...

Atticus is in a two-day-a-week after school Lego Robotics group called GISE (for the boys) and GEMS (for the girls). A week or so ago (time is all blurry for me), they had their first competition/demonstration. There were volunteers from the middle school and high school programs. The boys were broken into teams of four who built their bot and then learned how to program them to reach certain set objectives. For this first competition, the Lego tables were set up with 12 different obstacles. Each team's bot was to accomplish between 1 and 3 tasks on the table. Atticus' team was succesful with their two tasks. Then they had a logic challenge -- given a stack of index cards and a length of tape to build the tallest structure they could manage. That didn't go so well, but they boys had good teamwork and communicated well with each other during the task and were very good-humored about their fail. Then they demonstrated their bot for a teacher evaluator who asked questions to find out how much they understood about what they had done so far. The boys did great on that part. At the end of the 2 hours, the girls' team from the middle school demonstrated their bot's skills and told about their experience placing 2nd in the statewide middle-school competition. I had the three younger kids with me and our neighbor boy friend too. But thankfully, the competition was in the school library and all the kids are readers so it went well.  Good job, Atticus and Company!




A couple weekends ago I was able to visit a local art museum, The Museum of Russian Art,  I have been curious about for quite awhile. And I was able to go with my friend Shannon. Just two photos of the beautiful needlework on display.

Close up of Russian window  lovely.

I found this neat line-up of a number of different Russian carved windows. Yay!

The only thing I bought was a postcard of this wonderful painting (from a previous recent exhibit: Women in Soviet Art) by Nicolai Nikolaevich Baskakov. Isn't it fun!

Thea Belle's Fancy Day

One thing Thea Belle asked for at Christmas-time was to go on a date with her Dad to the Children's Theater. So Brad bought her tickets to see Little House in the Big Woods. They both dressed up and afterwards Brad took her to dinner. Earlier on the same day she was invited to her neighbor and friend's Keira's birthday tea party. So she got to dress up twice in one day. Of course, she asked to have her hair curled and wanted pictures.




Grandma Nancy was able to come up for a day to visit!

Happy 29th, Little Sister!

Brace Yourself...


Thursday, February 19, 2015

From Ira Glass:
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, and I really wish somebody had told this to me.
All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there is this gap. For the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good. It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not that good.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase. They quit.
Everybody I know who does interesting, creative work they went through years where they had really good taste and they could tell that what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. Everybody goes through that.
And if you are just starting out or if you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you’re going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.
I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It takes awhile. It’s gonna take you a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just have to fight your way through that.
—Ira Glass