Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Part 1 Why It's Been A While Since I've Posted

Don't want to disappoint you, but this won't be another serial novel, like I've been subjecting you to before.

Without letting myself have too much blog guilt, I sort of can't believe that November has been such a non-blogging month for me.

One reason is definitely that I have been in charge of the Reflections program for Eli's school. (While at the same time keeping up the rest of my life's business.) It just ended this week, and I wish I had some wisdom to share or some links in case next fall, some desperate person googles, "Help! I'm the new Reflections Chair and I am so overwhelmed!" Hey, it could happen. Just today, someone landed on my site after googling, "most disgusting assortment of rubbish imaginable grinch." Hmmmm. Interesting.

But I have come to the sad conclusion that I have no wisdom to share. Whatever I did, I copied from other peoples' suggestions in my training meeting, and I can't say it worked magic on our school.

I copied the flyers (4 pages x 1100 students!) that the National PTA gave us, then I tried some other desperate last minute promotion like a friend of mine's little girl getting on the PA during their announcements and saying how much fun Reflections is, and emailing the teachers with entry forms and asking them to to spot talented students & encourage them to enter Reflections. I put a poster in the library. But it was pretty useless. I still only got 15 kids to participate, that would have probably participated regardless of whether I did all that.

We displayed the art & photography in the library, then I had my judges pick the winners that would move on to the county level. Somehow managed to shuffle them on to where they were supposed to go without losing anything.

Then I had special invitations made for their party, emailed and snail malied them. Ordered some overpriced medals that the kids will probably lose or throw away, that they got for their awards party. We had a bunch of budget, so I threw in watercolor paints for the art kids & some Borders gift cards for everybody. Bless all their hearts. They still seemed so unimpressed. The thing I think they liked best was eating the refreshment cookies and making the thank you cards for the judges (used up a bunch of cardmaking & scrapbooking stuff that was gathering dust.) Then our stats went down even further. Only 9 of the kids showed up to the party.

Hey, I didn't get a party when I entered Reflections as a 2nd grader! I got the most boring, cheap prize ribbons. My mom intercepted a watercolor painting I did in a class & entered it, and it did pretty well. I think that painting might have gone to county or district, but what I really remember is my music composition. If you know me very well, you are probably squinting your eyes seeing if you read that right. Yes, music composition. It won STATE!! And it was created by my mom FORCING me to sit at the piano until I made up a song. I'm not kidding! I cried and cried, then I made up a little song & I'm sure not very many other kids my age entered a song, so therefore I probably had very little competition, and that thing went all the way to state! It was so embarrassing! I had to play it for my 2nd grade class, and I had to go to a luncheon with my PRINCIPAL!!!!!!!!!! I'm not sure what I got out of all of that besides a memory. And the most ironic part is that I don't even play the piano at all whatsoever now.

So the music "talent" did not stick with me, but the art did. And the memory did. So therefore I am helping with the PTA Reflections. Luckily, I did not have to force Eli to do anything. To him it was like a trip to Disneyworld to let him get out the paints and a huge canvas and paint anything he wanted. He painted this darling space painting of a Star Wars ship and some planets. Here is a bad picture of it. I hope he gets out of the experience a lack of inhabitions to use his creativity. I think creativity is undervalued at school sometimes, but it's something that can help you in all areas of your life. So I guess 15 culturally aware and creatively uninhibited kids out of 1100 is better than none!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Wow Natalie! This brought back some memories. I too entered a music composition in the Reflections contest when I was a kid. And honestly, I don't think I had even taken piano lessons. I remember all of the critique about major and minor keys made absolutely no sense to me. It was terrible and I think I won something for it because I was the only entry and I had to play it for the whole school during the awards ceremony. I seriously think I've repressed that memory until now.

It sounds like this was quite an undertaking and you made it really nice for the kids who participated. Congrats to Eli for a great spaceship painting!