This was the assignment that Julia “could not do.” It is not an incredible piece of work but we had to have a conversation about how long it took to go from Thursday’s bad mood to Friday’s fetching materials to applying paint and ink to today’s making the actual piece. I wish she had a teacher who would really critique and offer some direction to her. And then, have her use the medium on some of her favorite anime characters.
Morning before 8. I’ve gotten up, dressed, set up breakfast, taken out garbage cans, said hello to the guy across the street who is returning from food shopping—Ah, the wonder of senior hours. I wish I had opened a window last night to wake up to the birds. There is a lot of bird song this morning; the street, this tiny enclave, is quiet. Julia is still asleep—classes begin at 10, so no need to rush her up. I have my fresh, hot coffee and I put myself on the front porch to tap on this machine of see what comes to life.
It has been another challenging week although the challenges have been different. Julia did most of her school work, with even a bit of help from me; however, we’ve had trouble getting her linked into the zoom calls. I’ve asked the school IT for help—re-boot and reinstall—and then no way to connect. I was enormously frustrated yesterday. No way to get in, no way to get immediate help for class after class. Reboot and reinstall. I am almost sure it is my fault. I am probably doing some part of the set up wrong which makes me feel quite inadequate especially when I manage to sit Julia in front of her chrome book for class after class and she is utterly frustrated when it fails to connect. I wonder why I am not willing to just give her a pass, give us both a pass, duck out of school and go for a walk. Continue reading
And it is only Thursday. Now, Friday.
Like dominos. Like those elaborate domino runs that are impossible to look away from. Got to watch them to the end. All week, I compulsively check NYTimes.com. COVID19 and the stock market.
Two weeks ago, a group of high school students from Newton returned from Italy and went into quarantine. There were two emails from the school about that and more emails about possibilities and procedures if necessary. On Sunday, there was an email about a Newton resident with a student in middle school who was diagnosed with a presumptive case of COVID-19. The child, without symptoms, was following the quarantine protocol. Continue reading
Last week, I asked one of Julia’s art teachers for an update on how she was doing in class. Learning Adobe Illustrator is not second nature to Julia (or me, I might add). The answer was that she is doing okay but not getting any of the larger art concepts. Oh, how I wish she was. But I am not surprised. That is Julia in all her classes. She doesn’t take history because she is awful at time and although she is okay at memorizing dates, people and the causes of any war, she doesn’t get any bigger pictures.
But I’ve held onto much more hope for art. She has probably drawn more pictures and made more clay figures than any ten kids put together. That counts for something, right? Continue reading
News Flash! Three years ago it was a Dancin’ Dino. This year it’s a Sax playin’ Dino! Visit http://www.papercloudsapparel.com to order shirts, hats, bags, etc. in adult and child sizes emblazened with Julia’s newest design. Also, for those who missed the chance to order their own Dancin’ Dino, check this out: Dancin’ Dino stuff. Paper Clouds Apparel is a great organization! They sell t-shirts, hats and totes featuring artwork designed by individuals with special needs; they hire individuals with special needs to package all the clothing and 50% of the net proceeds from the sale of all merchandise go to a special cause. Proceeds from Julia’s Sax playin’ Dino will go to SOS Children’s Villages which builds loving, stable families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children in 135countries, including the United States.
It has taken the entire summer to get Julia journaling on paper. Previously and for a number of years, she journaled during the school year on her iPad. My aim for this summer was to get her to write and draw on a page and although there was a lot to write about and draw during our Australian travels, she was not always very happy about doing any of it. Finally, finally, finally, this week writing and drawing have been done with minimal reminders. Sometimes it is even choice work. Continue reading