Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Thoughts about my Italian vacation have already found their way into my travel journal and I have not yet decided which stories to share here, if any.

However, I would like to share a select spattering of pictures that, taken as a whole, reflect the essence of my 17 day holiday in Italy.

Once I settle in I will write a good and proper post.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Andato a Italia

I hope that means 'Gone to Italy' because I have departed for a much needed and much deserved Italian vacation.  I will be visiting my friends Ashley and Jason who followed their bliss to open up La Tavola Marche an agriturismo and cooking school in Tuscany.

I will share more about the trip upon my return.

For now, Ciao!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tips From My Mom #10

I envy my older brother because he is fortunate to live within a five minute drive from my parents home. They share the day to day happenings without stopping to think when they'll see one another again or counting the days until they must say good-bye.

I live 891 miles from my mom & dad. The time I have with them is limited and special.

It never fails that at some point during every visit my mom and I find ourselves deeply engaged in conversation. At times these talks center around helping one another understand and accept those things about us that are foreign to the other. Experiences, desires, addictions, struggles, conflict, love, religion, memories, attraction, hopes, regret, shame, strength, passion and the essence of who we are is brought to light. She helps me understand myself because I am certainly my mother's son.

Last week the family got together to celebrate my niece Heather's HS graduation. In the midst of all the hubbub I found time to talk with Ma about her innate (or learned) need to try to please everyone. Her tendency to not rock the boat, to be the one who takes the world upon her shoulders, to make life easier for everyone around her, to be accepting and quiet, to give and give even when she has nothing left and how as the years have passed she has found the strength of spirit to stand up for herself.

It is ironic that I have been a force in helping her find her voice. Just as she has at times been shown the joy that comes from being true to yourself through my example, I have been plagued with the same dilemma of wanting to please everyone, to make those I love happy, to be liked and to keep the peace.

But, mom has shown me that it is impossible to be all things to all people without paying a price. Eventually the stress of striving for perfection takes it toll and comes back to bite you in the ass.

In the book Eat, Love, Pray (I only read the Eat section) author Elizabeth Gilbert writes about wanting to get out of her marriage even though it was not particularly unhappy, it was simply not the life she wanted. And how continuing to proceed along the path of marriage, children, play dates, etc would eventually result in cancer or other malady. Our bodies, our minds, know when we are living an unauthentic existence and resist. The rebellion causes disease.

The bright example of my mom in my life is to be true to yourself. To find a happiness that is balanced between giving and holding onto what you most treasure at your core. It is a struggle to remember. It is a struggle to forgive yourself when you hurt others unintentionally. She has found this balance, this healing, this strength, this truth.

I'm working on it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Children's Museum of the Arts

At the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year we began a partnership with the Children's Museum of the Arts which brought a talented, dedicated artist, Agatha Gliksman (Agee), into our classrooms. Never before have our students been so energized, motivated and inspired by an art curriculum. Agee was simply amazing. She never stressed about the mess, the energy or the chaos that accompanies the creative process in young children. The kids adored her!

Agee guided our students through an exploration of color, line and perspective. She introduced them to the works of Alexander Calder and Gustav Klimt. We blended in Greek Mythology by creating Cyclops and Medusa masks as well as working in plaster to build our own Trojan horse representations (see Children's Artwork on the sidebar for pictures).  

We attended a Calder exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art which inspired the students to create their own pieces in the 'style of' this unique artist (see right). 

They learned how to work with wire and tell a story with their designs. This blended seamlessly with our literature investigations of story elements as each students told of character, setting and plot through their creations. For example the piece pictured is a beach scene. Others depicted a forest, an ice rink, a wrestling match, etc.  

Sadly, the program ended due to budgetary issues. It was with much complaint that we bid Agee farewell - a group of unhappy children is hard to ignore. However, the good news is that the Children's Museum of the Arts (182 Lafayette Street, NYC) is currently housing a public display of selected works.

A blurb from their press release reads "CMA celebrates its partnerships with New York City public schools in an exhibition of works created throughout the 2008-2009 school year. CMA School Partnerships reach over 1,000 children annually and provide an enriching creative approach to classroom learning. This exhibition includes multi-media works from PS347 American Sign Language School, PS124, PS130, The Renaissance Charter School and Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School."

It runs from June 11 - September 6, 2009.

Top artwork is a Van Gogh study of Starry Night by our Pre-K students.


Related Posts with Thumbnails