What do you get when you crowd 10 kids between the ages of 8 and 14 in a 15 x 25 ft studio space with brown paper, bits of art glass, pencils, and tracings of animals and 2 adults?
Those of you that know me in real life know that despite my nursey-science geek background I also have a creative side. My lecture notes usually had doodles and ideas for larger sketches alongside dry microbiology and pathology factoids. This artistic vein has largely been nurtured by my multi-media artist mother. Unfortunately, even artists must do certain things to make a living--in this case, my mom is one of several artists in the Mukilteo area teaching classes for a multi-media art camp. Fortunately, she likes working with kids, and she's quite good with them, I just think she'd rather be making her own art!
I was my mom's appointed 'helper' of the day...In the not too distant past, I envisioned myself as a pediatric nurse. I volunteered in the pediatric ward at Swedish Medical Center throughout my college years and even took a senior practicum in the recovery room at Children's Hospital. Needless to say, I eventually figured out that while I enjoyed kids, I didn't want the heartache of working with very sick children. So since this time, and my brief stint as a 'computer camp' summer teacher where I met and fell for a certain 'internet teacher', while I've been around toddlers and friends' tiny babies, I haven't been around young kids. You may be amused to know that the 'internet teacher' (aka Andrew) still has endless amounts of important computer-related things to try and teach this perpetual (!) student.
How could I forget how much energy and oodles of questions and plain silliness exist with young kids? And it seems that to 'teach' art is very different--it's surprising how much encouragement and direction some of these kids need. While some of them were much more independent, *all* endlessly inventive; but some required help with things that surprised me, like cutting zig-zaggy lines on paper (Don't they let kids start cutting paper in kindergarten? I think I probably did all right in cutting, what about you?)
In any cause, it's a good thing I didn't become a school teacher because I don't think I've got the patience!
The mission of the day:
1) Create a large (at least 12inch x 12 inch) paper outline of animal of choice.
2) Create a 'template' for you animal by using markers to outline details you want to highlight--such as wire for your butterfly anttenae, or crazy lines for your terminator-2 inspired frog.
3) Cut along the LINES. The LINES people. The LINES that you drew. Don't get all crazy on me.
4) Have fun picking through and selecting cool glass thingamabobs to later be glued on your wooden animal piece. (Neat picture, huh? I took that myself, y'know!)
5) Tonite my dear old Dad will use said paper outlines as template to saw out a flat piece of wood in shape of said animal. (One was a flying squirrel, bet that one will be Dad's favorite. He must wonder after all these years, how exactly it is that a firefighter has somehow become involved with all these art projects!)
6) Tomorrow you get to sand down the edges of your wooden animal, and then paint on the background colour. (Sounds like fun, huh? 10 kids sanding away, and then painting. Good thing I won't be there.)
I'll have to bribe my Mom to get some photos of the finished masterpieces. And from this point on, admire ANYONE who deals with kids on a teaching basis, day in and day out! =)