Monday, May 22, 2017

Memory Monday-Student Teaching

“Humans, not places, make memories.” 
― Ama Ata Aidoo
University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri
           So, here I am! Summer of 1962...ready to graduate and to begin conquering the world!!  The only class I have left to take is my Student Teaching. I had probably the worst possible teacher training in the world!  Kids in college back then were not nearly as well coached and advised as they are today!  I just knew what I had to have to graduate and somehow had left this very essential part of my education to the last.
Townsend Hall- The university's school for education attended by many of the professors' children. 
      This is where I spent my mornings that summer...I had one class of 9th graders who were taking a summer class for accelerated kids in order to earn a credit ahead. And my other class was a remedial class of about the same age of kids who had flunked the previous year and needed to retake English in order to be promoted. We met for two hours four days a week, so after my two classes from 8:00-10:00 and 10:15 to 12:00 I was free for the day!!! If I remember, one class had about six kids in it and the other maybe NOT typical of a normal classroom situation.
        I loved summer school!!  I had talked my parents into letting me live in a small basement apartment (no hours) with my girlfriend who was working on her master's that summer.  Another friend of ours who had graduated that previous spring came the first weekend of summer school and STAYED!  We were all pretty good party gals, but Beth and I had to get up and go to classes.  Joanie slept all day and was ready to go again each night so we had to curtail our partying to Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. (Joanie, by the way was the same girl who had the crush on Dick the summer before! And the friend who had the aunt and uncle in Coral Gables,Fla. where we stayed when we went to the Orange Bowl in 1960.)
      That summer our favorite hangout was The Black Knight...a pub considered to be so wild that the Stephens Girls were not allowed to go there!  It wasn't that bad, and we Mizzou coeds were ok with the "susies", as they were called, not being there!  And coincidentally, that guy (future husband) happened to be living with two of the guys who worked there!  Dick had a job at the only upscale restaurant in Columbia but as soon as he was off work, and when not working, he headed for the we kind of hooked up that summer...we kept pretty close company for about eight weeks!
     Of course, we didn't just hang out at the Knight...there was  the Stables, Andy's, the Shack, the Coronado Club and a private party lake where we spent most days.  I didn't have a car in my friends and I had to always hook a ride with who ever was heading to the lake.  Times have change so much...we had dorms for girls with hours to be in, and now there are coed dorms.  I never felt afraid to go out with guys I didn't know!  It just never occurred to any of us that it might be unsafe to jump in the car with a guy you didn't know. Date rape was really unheard least in my world.  And our drug of choice was beer.  If there were other drugs around I was not aware of them...a kinder, gentler, more naive time!
      By this age, 21, I was a quite a bit more mature than when I started school four years previously. And, even though I was still having a great time, I was much more responsible and did see to getting to my classes and doing a good job as student teaching.  I realized that my parents had sunk quite a bit into my education and that the party could not go on forever!  And, unrealistic as my student classes were, I really enjoyed my kids.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Reviews

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” 
― Lemony SnicketHorseradish

     Reading the above quote gave me a chuckle!  I inherited this trait from my mother...don't leave the house with out a book, you never know when you will have five minutes to read!  And I have passed it on to my children and to my grandchildren, especially my granddaughter who has followed this habit since she could read!

     For my Villas Bookclub this month we read "Hillbilly Elegy".  Here is a very brief description from Goodreads. " In Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hanging around your neck. The Vance family story began with hope in postwar America."  The reading of this book brought about a very good discussion at our meeting!  I do recommend reading it; it is not extremely well written, but it is very eye-opening about  a specific life style that prevails our country...and not just in the area that Vance describes.  And I have heard it is to be made into a movie...I don't quite see the appeal for that but who knows.

    Last month, April, the Villas read "The Secrets of Mary Bowser" by Lois Leveen, a historical fiction about Mary Bowser, a freed slave who worked with the Spymistress, Elizabeth Van Lew, a book by Jennifer Chiaverini and where we first met Mary Bowser.  It was really interesting to read the same story with the same characters from the perspective of the exslave girl who certainly put her life in jeopardy many times serving as a spy for the North in the Civil War.

     I also belong to a book club at my UU church and last month we read "The Tiger's Wife" by Tea Obreht.  A war torn country in the Balkans, a young female doctor is giving aid to children in a poor village while also trying to find out more of her dear grandfather's recent death. The book incorporates several folklore stories and the strange thing is to of the stories within the story is The Tiger's Wife..and I have the weirdest idea that I have read this one story in some other circumstance, but I cannot think where or how!  Very good, I do recommend it.

     Then I have finished a few audio books...I download audio books from my library onto my phone and just have it running all the time while I am doing daily I can get through a book in two or three days.  Audio books I read are usually of the lighter variety...mysteries, humor, etc..  "Deliver Us From Evil", a detective mystery by David Baldacci; "Surrender, NY" by Caleb Carr, another detective story...I have read a couple others by Caleb Carr which I enjoyed more, but this was a good audio. And I have started the audio version of a book entitled "1234" by Paul Auster, and although it is very good listening, it is very long! Books downloaded from the library are for two weeks and if not "returned" by then Poof, they are automatically gone!  I will need to download it again to finish it!

       And my last book that I finished recently is "Good Harbor" by Anita Diamant.  If you are a fan of  Diamant, you will enjoy this book too.  I have read several of hers, "The Red Tent", "The Last Days of Dogtown", and "Day After Night" and have loved them all!  In fact, I read "Day After Night" a few years ago, and liked it so well I have chosen it for my turn to review for both the Villas and UU book clubs.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Memory Monday

There ain't nothing that breaks up homes, country, and nations like somebody publishing their memoirs. 
Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist and actor.

     Several years ago I wrote a regular, every Monday  blog entitled "Memory Monday".  I started with my first year of memory and had gotten as far as my Junior year in college....then I kind of had a lapse and quit writing that particular theme.  I've decided to renew my memories, picking up with my college years!  Now for those of you who have just been following me for the past year, and if you are really bored and in need of something to read, and are curious about me, you can click on a link to the left on a year and should be able to find past memories.

The Columns
     I attended the University of Missouri; these are the columns which were part of the first buildings of the original college built in 1840.  They have become a symbol for the to it if that is something you would like to know more about.  I am writing about the summer of 1961, the summer between my Junior and Senior year.  I was living in the dorms...still with hours (times we had to be in at night).  I had a couple of girl friends who had an apartment off campus so I would frequently sign out to stay with them if I wanted to stay out later than allowed.
     The most memorable thing that happened that summer was meeting my future husband!  At the time, I was dating another guy who was a friend of his so we were often thrown together in the group.  One of my girl friends had a big crush on Dick (future husband ) so every night when I would get back to the dorm, I would have to call her and report on what he was doing!  He was dating a girl from Stephens College, an elite girl's school also in Columbia.

     On to fall of Senior Year!!! Again, I am living in the dorm. I have by now taken all my required courses and am concentrating on my majors...English and Art in the school of Education.  I actually hadn't planned on majoring in art because I had never had a single art class until I went to college, but I loved it and had accumulated enough hours that I could count it as a major too.
      By now future husband is not in the picture; I am not dating his friend and my girl friend has also moved on to greener pastures. Football is still taking front and center in fall activities...Mizzou had been to the Orange Bowl the two previous years and was doing pretty well this year too. (I went to the Orange Bowl with some friends in 1960 and wrote about it in a memory Monday). I am now dating a guy who worked at the Italian Village, a favorite hangout ...Italian food and cold beer.
The Italian Village
      A great second semester...light classes...not much pressure...looking to the future.  I had gone to a job fair with people from all over the US interviewing potential teachers.  One guy I interviewed with was from California...LA I think.  When he asked me about my background, I told him all about my little Illinois town of 4000 and my experience with travel etc. to  date (none!)   He kindly told me he didn't think teaching in inner-city LA would be something that would make me happy!  Well, I thought that was pretty nervy of him!  I believed  living in sunny California would be a dream come true!  Now with many years of experience under my belt, not just teaching but traveling and exposure to many cultures I believe he had given me the best advice possible!  And....I forgive him!!!
     I still had my student teaching to do which I did in summer school previous to my August, 1962 graduation....fodder for next Memory Monday!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May Meeting

"Have no fear of perfection; you'll never reach it." Salvador Dali

     Yesterday my art buddies and I met at my house.  The first thing we did was to show our challenges given to us by Kay last meeting.  This is a very appropriate challenge because the Kimbell is hosting an exhibit of Louis Kahn's work until June sometime.
A picture of the Kimbell Art Gallery of Fort Worth
Our challenges are to be inspired by the work either by color or some element to design.  This one screams out to something in neutrals with strong perspective.

Step one of my challenge
I am inspired by a picture I took last week of windows at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum that I visited in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

On my design wall
Making more sections
Back to the "drawing board" as they say!
My final with the picture that I took
I still have some hand stitching to do...turn the binding over and sew down and a bit more on the art itself.

Here are the challenges that others made.


Then we spent the rest of the day making a small art quilt collage using a technique inspired by Deborah Boschert who has a book out about many other techniques for Art Quilt Collages.  

Deborah's Book
     We first painted the edges of our 4 X 4 canvases (an example of one of the painted canvases is the the top of the picture). Then we created our backgrounds and added to it, using fused fabric which we ironed on. Then we began doing some embellishments with hand stitching.  Here are the ones we worked on....none of them are of our "assignments" for our next meeting is to bring them back, finished. When all the stitching is done, they will be glued to the canvases then can be hung up using just a straight pin.

Our mini art collages...4" x 4"

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

SAQA Conference 2017

Asking an art quilter to mend is like asking Michelangelo to paint your garage. 
~Author Unknown

Last week, Thursday,  my daughter Andrea and I went to the annual Studio Art Quilts Associates (SAQA) Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska.  We flew into Omaha and rented a hour drive from direct flights into Lincoln. We got to our hotel about 4:30...ate a bite then hit the vendors who were only going to be open until 6:00. And, of course, we did find a couple of pieces of fabric that we just had to have!

Friday morning we met in the large room of the Hilton...the conference began with Lightening Talks...each speaker had 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to talk about their art.  This technique was started last year and was so successful, it will be continued for other conferences. Lunch, break out sessions....just so much information and inspiration filling my head.

Saturday we were bussed to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum where we were given an extensive tour of several of the collections, archives, and a very good lunch.

IQSCM Building
A Sculpture outside the IQSCM building
It is a beautiful building..interesting architecture and we decided this sculpture looked like a wad of thread taken out of a  sewing machine!  We were divided up into four groups and had tours all day with the same group.  Our group first took another bus over to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln to the School of Textiles, Merchandising, and Fashion Design. There we had a fascinating tour of the School...a great experience for me as I had no idea about the workings of a Design School.  And Michael James, a fiber artist, is an instructor there; I have been such an admirer of him and his work for longer than I have been doing fiber arts myself!

Michael James was our first tour guide explaining about the designs..

The wall behind him is a slide show that constantly changes showing student designs for fabric. This particular display is a show of a competition among the students. Then we saw other classrooms where the students learned to make designs and patterns, etc..We saw the archives where they have a collection of clothes from the nineteenth century to modern times. And were bussed back to the Center where we had three more tours.

     One of  the tours was to see the Japanese quilt installation which held some beautiful is one of my favorites.

The feathers are embroidered on.
a close up
Then we went to the archives where they keep quilts from all ages and all styles. It was really interesting to hear all about how they care for the quilts and restore them.

An early Nancy Crow quilt
An early Michael James archived
A recent  Michael James archived
An archived quilt made entirely of buttons!
One of many archival storage rooms
     Then our last tour was of a quilt display by a current quilter, Luke Haynes, who had an unusual installation of his Log Cabin Quilts.
A poster of all Haynes' Log Cabin Quilts

These are just three of over fifty quilts of his
Saturday night we had our banquet where the silent auction of donated quilts was also held.
My quilt, one of 120+ is on the back row, center.
The last day of the Conference, we had our keynote speaker who happened to be Michael James!  It was so  great to hear about how he developed his style and how his career grew and changed through the years.

Introductory slide
His early works
His more current work.

     After the conference ended, Andrea and I drove back to Omaha to fly home the next day.  We were staying in a Best Western, and when I pulled out the receipt to put the directions into our GPS, the address was for a Best Western in Iowa!  I panicked!  I thought I had really messed up, so I called and our motel was in Iowa but I didn't realize until I talked to them that Omaha is on the Nebraska/Iowa line!! As it turned out, it was a very nice motel.  See what met us!
The cruises have nothing on BW in Carter Lake, Iowa!
As we had a little time to kill before going to the airport on Monday, we checked out Omaha and discovered a Lewis and Clark National Historical Park there. 

Lewis and Clark National Historical Trail
The Missouri River at the Lewis and Clark Trail

     A great trip!  And next year the conference will be in San Antonio so we will be sure to be there!!!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Inspired by Klee and Cezanne

"Don't be an art critic, but paint, there lies salvation.” Paul Cezanne 
Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see. Paul Klee

      Last week my art buddies met at one of our houses...we first did our showing of what we had been doing since the last meeting. Our challenge this month was two paintings for inspiration.  The added challenge was to "marry" the color or design or both.
"Fire at Full Moon" by Paul Klee

                                    "Le Golfe de Marseille by Paul Cezanne

My first take on our challenge  was to print one of the pictures on fabric; then superimposing the other on by reprinting on the same fabric...a good way to marry them...NOT...Just came out a muddy mess.  So I then printed each separately and placed one on top of the other then sliced them up into equal parts, placed them on my design wall in alternating sections...Klee, Cezanne, Klee, and so on. And placed compatible colored strips between each section.

Stage I

Stage 2
Stage 3
Then I did some more slashing and adding of horizontal and vertical strips; created a stamp the shape of the bright orange figure on the Klee; sewed it all together; did some stamping and hand stitching then faced it and.....done.  I enjoy doing hand stitching in the evenings...if I'm not doing something like that, I doze off!!

My finished challenge
     The neat thing about our challenges is to see how everyone creates something different.  We are beginning to develop our own styles!  Here are a few of the others...I didn't get pictures of all of them, but my last picture here is a shot of all of them spread out.

All of them laid out together...all sizes, all designs!
    We also did some dyeing...trying using different resists...that will be for another blog! Oh, and I don't know if I ever told you, you can click on the pictures to see them enlarged.  Sometimes that helps you to see details better.