Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Accomplishments, Milestones, and Improvements

James worked really hard over the past few weeks to get part two of the national tax credit application finished and turned in and I am really proud of him. I loved watching the architect at the state office look over his work and say, "Good job," or "Way to go." It did look amazing. You could see the hours of work he put into drawings and plans.

I have to admit that over the past few weeks I've been having little melt downs of worry because I'm leaving a job where I get to see and work with people every day that I love and admire. So it made me feel good to know that I could always depend on James to get the job done and to do it well. And this application is so important, so I'm a little ashamed of myself for letting my worry take me over on such an exciting occasion.

I know that the issues I've had have been induced by fear and I don't know why I let that happen. It seems to sneak up on me and infiltrate my mind and then before I know it, I've wasted so much time being paralyzed and have probably driven some of my friends a little crazy in the meantime.

I've given in to the fear that over the next year, I will be irrelevant or insignificant because I'll be taking instead of giving. I will be living my life for the pursuit of my masters degree and will not contribute to the betterment of anyone's life through work. I've also succumbed to the fear that my friends will forget about me if I'm not around all the time. Silliness. All I have to do is think about the good that I will be a vehicle for when we get to open the school. All of the work, worry and stress that I've encountered over the past few years while working and going to school at the same time will have been worthwhile. And if my friends will put up with me while I'm gaining confidence in myself, the meltdowns will even be worth it too.

So tonight I was eating at Thai Kitchen and reading The Oklahoma Gazette. Now I don't know how much weight you place on horoscopes, but I thought it was kind of freaky. This is what it said...


Have you been doing a lot of sweating and grunting from sheer exertion in 2010? Have you thrown yourself conscientiously into the hardest, smartest labor you've ever enjoyed? I hope so, because that would suggest you're in rapt alignment with this year's cosmic rhythms. It would mean that you have been cashing in on the rather sublime opportunities you're being offered to diligently prove how much you love your life. The next six months will provide you with even more and better prods, Libra, so please find even deeper reserves of determination. Intensify your commitment to mastering the work you came to this planet to do.


I think I'm turning this little pity party around. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Great Idea From James

James sent me a link to a great idea today! Because we have the next year to plan for this school, I think we can definitely figure out a way to have waste-free lunches and snacks at the school. Read here to find out more...

p.s. Great idea James!!! Thank you! :)

I will miss the Museum

Lately, I've been feeling so many things all at once that it's hard to process everything. I am finding myself struggling with the thought of leaving the Museum. I love the people I work with and for. The people I work with in the office are beautiful, creative, hilarious and kind. The docents are the same and all have sharpened me and made me stronger.

I have always wanted to open a school for kids but I don't think I found the confidence to do it until sometime in the past few years...maybe even until just last year. When I started working at the Museum, I wasn't ready for my job, but Carolyn and Chandra believed in me. They gave me time and were patient with me while I was learning and making a lot of mistakes. So were the docents. I still can't believe how lucky I am to have found such wonderful and nurturing people. I am becoming someone who can do things I never dreamt possible because of all of the encouragement and inspiration they have provided.

I'm a little scared and sad about leaving because I know that I love these people and I have a big hill to climb, but I know it's my calling to go.

A while back, I found a short film on Vimeo that perfectly captures what I'm feeling. I posted it on my facebook, but I think I'll post it again here. It's about a girl who discovers a different world and loves it, like when I moved to OKC and took the job at the Museum. When this girl's new experience is gone, she's sad, but then has a new realization. There is hope found in a new and different future...and this future brings so many new experiences.

Trichrome Blue from Lois van Baarle on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

deadCENTER Fun!

This past week and weekend, OKC held another incredible deadCENTER Film Festival! It really is a wonderful experience for people who love film. When James and I decided to do this project of ours, I decided that we needed to document all of the changes in the building and all of my ideas for the school. That's why I started this blog. I also bought a new camera to film the progress and we're making a documentary about it.

When the camera came in, we had about two weeks to create a film before the deadline for the dC film festial. We decided to go for it and we did! And then it was accepted!!! I'm a little biased, but I think that the director, (Kyle) K Edward Van Osdol, and everyone invovled did a great job! I had so much fun making it and being a part of it, Here is the trailer/teaser for our film:

Ostium Teaser from K. Edward Van Osdol on Vimeo.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Catching up! (Thanks to the Rain)

It is raining so much outside that we can't get into work. So I thought I would post a quick catch up on what has been going on since we returned from the trip TWO MONTHS AGO! I can't believe I've been so lax on writing, but I am ready to get everything down so that I can let everyone know. Brace yourself, this is a long entry, but the rest of my posts are more brief.

I made this blog public last week because I was finally able to tell the people that I needed to know about my plans. I didn't want anyone to hear it from anyone but me. we go!

I've already written about the Blue School and how great it was, but I didn't post any pictures. I don't know their policy about that and honestly, I admire them so much that I think I'm going to refrain. I wouldn't want to do anything that could potentially ruin their good will towards us. I'll just say that we found some wonderful ideas for the building and for the way I want to run the pre-school part of our community space. I knew when I was sitting in the classroom of 4 year olds that I could do that. I know, without any doubt, that we could offer a wonderful place for children of OKC to learn and grow.

And it won't just be for will be for adults too! I want to offer a place and experience to people that will help them to find their passions...a place that will help them to find within themselves something that will spark an excitement and self-confidence that will change them for the better. Creativity can do that. It's one of the reasons that I love art and music so much!

After we left NYC, we went to Baltimore for the National Art Education Association National Conference. Wow! I learned so much about Senior Outreach, Art Therapy, creating art and connecting with others from all over the world that have the same interests. It was great to establish relationships and to share ideas. I found that people from all over the world were excited about what we want to do. Maybe even more importantly, I found reassurance in my hopes and dreams because I realize that what we want to do is something people want everywhere. There is a new form of education that's headed our way, and somehow I feel like our school will be a part of helping it to grow here in Oklahoma.

There was one day that James and I took off from the conference and went to Washington D.C.. We went to the National Museum of the American Indian. I had been studying it and reading about it for the past two semesters in class, so I needed to go. I was so glad that I did because I realized that this is also a place that is incorporating new ideas and ways of presenting information to people. It seemed confusing to people at first because nothing is really presented in the way that museums have traditionally presented pieces and info. I actually love that.

I had read that people would get frustrated when approaching the exhibits and while that frustration can hinder people in their appreciation of what the Museum is trying to do, it can also challenge people to think in new ways. What I LOVE about the Museum is that the curators and administrators actually consulted with many, many tribes from North America and had community curators amongst each tribe. They asked the community to be involved in the way that they were represented. That honor and respect is what we want to give people too! And we obviously need a new way of thinking because our education system can sometime overload teachers with so many requirements that they don't have time to teach, let alone incorporate creativity into everything they do. Our teachers need support and understanding and there are some amazing ones out there. We just need to support them. I think that Oklahoma A+ Schools is doing a great job of giving teachers what they need to do this. I really, really admire them. In fact, I would really like to take their trainings and classes. I know that they would be worth their weight in GOLD!

While we were in DC, we also went up to Chevy Chase, Maryland. This is where James spent the first five years of his life. We visited his old school, the tree he used to climb, the house he lived in and walked through the neighborhood where he used to walk and ride his bike. It was special to see where James was first experiencing life and forming his ideas of what he liked. I was honored to be there.

I should mention here that James carried my bag for me for quite a while that day. :)

I love this picture. It's in the tree James used to sit in. We both sat in it for a while and it was fun to imagine James
sitting there as a little boy.

The day we returned, we attended the AIA Central Oklahoma Chapter Architecture tour. It was amazing! We even saw Wayne and Michelle Coyne's know, of the Flaming Lips??? So cool! I want their bathroom!!! It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Talk about a house of creativity. Wish I had pics to post, but photography wasn't allowed. I can just say that if I ever get to build a house, I'm calling Larry Pickering because he is a genius at what he does. And I know it's not just Larry that was involved in all of that, but he's the one I know that had a part in the renovation of that space. I'd like to get him to work on our building...we'll see what happens with that! One of my favorite parts about the architecture tour was that so many people from OKC were out on a rainy day, supporting the arts...yet again!!! I'm hoping that we can get our building on next year's tour.

Have I mentioned how much I love OKC? It's a great community and I love how we are growing all of the time. It helps that it's so close to my family, but mainly, I just love the forward motion in our drive to improve and enrich our city! The people are kind and generous to each other too. So if you're reading this and you are one that has thought that Oklahoma is "behind the times," or not someplace that you'd want to live, then you don't know OKC. And that's ok. You'll figure it out soon enough. :)

There are three more things that I want to include before ending this epic entry. First, we submitted the first part of three in our application for the National Tax Credit and we were accepted! This means we need to submit the second part soon, letting the people in the national office know about what our exact plans are. It will be helpful if we can get that approved because the state legislature has passed a bill to put a moratorium on the state tax credits for historic preservation. I bet we can do it!

Secondly, we had our Historic Preservation hearing a couple of weeks ago and the board didn't exactly like the windows that we proposed for our building, so we'll go back to present again in August. I know we can do it! We can figure this out. That's the best part about working with James. We're both positive people and feel that every experience is worthwhile. We are learning as we go, but we are both committed to this so I know it's all going to work out. Every lesson is worth the time that it's taking to get our project to the place it needs to be. We need to know these things so we can do it again!

Ok, I think that's enough for this post...except to say that I turned my resignation in at work and my last day at the Museum will be August 3rd. I'm scared and excited all at the same time. I'm going to return to OU in the fall to finish my masters over the next year and then the following fall (Fall 2011), if everything goes according to plans, we will be opening the school. I feel like life just keeps getting better and better. I can't believe how blessed we are, but I'm grateful.