Sunday, July 25, 2010

Film Projects

This weekend was so much fun and it's still going. Yay for Sundays!!! Friday night, my friend K Edward Van Osdol and I went down to my family's cabin and land to get some film shots of my grandfather. Kyle has been asked to create a music video for band out of Stillwater and I am so excited that Paw-Paw got to be a part of it. Heck, I'm excited that I get to be a part of it!

I'm not going to give away all of Kyle's ideas here, but this is the teaser he's created:

People, People PROMO from K. Edward Van Osdol on Vimeo.

I'm so impressed with Kyle and his passion for film. He's always researching and studying ways to learn new approaches to what he's doing. If he doesn't know how to do something, he looks it up! That drive is key to becoming better at what you do.

Plus, working with my grandfather was so much fun. He did everything that was asked of him and I think he had a good time too. We had a lot of laughs and more than anything, it was just great to share this creative collaboration with him. It's an experience that I will never forget.

Here are some still shots from the day...

Field Shots

Kyle Was So Kind To Paw-Paw. They Worked Really Well Together.

A Very Interesting News Story Is On the Tube!

First Shot of the Day

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oklahoma A+ Schools

Today has been crazy. I'm on that emotional roller coaster again and it's something that I'm not proud of, but I'm sharing it because there was a light in my day today. I sat in my office and cried this morning because it's exactly two weeks from today that I will leave the Museum. As the day gets closer, my fear, anxiety and sadness grows. I am fighting something that will ultimately be really great for me. Why do I do this to myself? I can't seem to help it.

But one of the things that I loved about today is the fact that Chandra and I got to observe an afternoon of conference sessions with the Oklahoma A+ Schools. I've talked about them before and how much I admire them, but today took it to a whole new level. Watching the facilitators give new tools to teachers was awesome, but the best part was sitting in the classroom, watching people learn. I had forgotten exactly how much I love to be a part of that. We were just observers today, but I did get to create something in one of the sessions and I definitely took away some great lesson plan ideas for integrating art with writing and literacy. It took about two seconds for me to remember why I was doing what I am getting ready to do. Even the smell of the school where it was held brought back memories of being at Lakeview. I miss teaching.

So I was feeling much better after we left the conference and went back to the Museum...and then I backed into someone in a parking lot tonight. I thought it might have been the culmination of all of my negativity and a big wake up call to turn my attitude around. So I'm going to give it another shot tomorrow.

I hate fear and what it can do to you. I'm going to have to dig deep to find the strength I need to fight it, but I'll find it. I know I can do this!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


When I was teaching elementary school music, I used to take the choir on a nursing home tour every Christmas and we would sing at the veterans' hospital on Veteran's Day. Those were some great memories...and not just because I loved the kids and seeing them do something good for someone else. I loved those awesome seniors that we were visiting too.

I grew up visiting my grandparents every week, usually on Sunday, and I can remember standing in our kitchen one Sunday when we were getting ready to make the drive to Durant. I was a teenager and was wanting to stay behind so I could hang out with my friends. My dad said something so profound, but of course I wouldn't fully understand until I was much older. He said, "One day you'll appreciate all of this time you're spending with your grandparents...and you'll wish you had more." Boy was he right. I miss my grandmother like no one else. When she left us, I felt like a part of me went with her. But I wouldn't trade one minute that I have spent with any of my grandparents and I know that it has shaped me into who I am today. I've been so lucky...and I still have my sweet Paw Paw (who I'm visiting this weekend! I can't wait!)

I have thought about how much I appreciate the time that I've had with all of my grandparents and realize that not every person has that luxury. Knowing how much it helped me makes me wish that I could give it to others. Now I'm not saying that I'm going to share my Paw Paw, but I think it would be great if we could plan some programs that incorporate seniors and kids working together on projects at the school. I know it would be good for the kids and I know it would be good for the seniors.

My friend Chandra has been so kind as to listen to all of my ideas and then shares things she finds online to support them. She told me about a nursing home in Jenks, Grace Living Center, that has put Kindergarten (and I think a Pre-K class too!) in their facility. State of Creativity on OETA had a spot about it last week, but I missed it. (So sad) I'm doing some research right now to find out about the results. I'm sure that it benefits both the kids and the seniors. It has to!

The EPA even has a page on their website that lists the benefits of intergenerational work. Check it out!

Finally, to support what I have been thinking all along, there is a TED talk that Genevieve sent James a while back and I thought that I would post it here. It's about people who live longer and their shared characteristics. I think it's brilliant. One of the things that it presents is the idea that people who not only live into old age, but that are happy, have significant connections with those in their families that are older and younger. I think they're on to something.

More than anything, I want people to remember that they are relevant and important and that they have something to contribute to this world at any age.


A couple of my friends have posted an article, All Joy and No Fun: Why parents hate parenting, on their Facebook pages recently and I took the time to read it this morning because it talks about the happiness levels of parents and if they are really happier than people who are not parents. Of course, I am definitely interested in this because, like most women my age, I would love to have a family. I also have a wonderful sister who is getting ready to have our family's first grandchild and that has honestly got me thinking about it more and pondering what is going to happen. I'll be turning the big 4-0 in October and while I still think I've got at least five more good years left in which to have a child, it's on my mind.

Then I look at my friends who do have children and observe the stress that they are under, but I have to admit that I never saw it as a deterrent. I just always assumed that like with everything else in life, you take the good with the bad.

What I took away from reading this article that could be applied to what I want to do with the school follows below. I think about these things because I may not ever get the chance to be a mom. And if that's so, then I want to do whatever I can to help parents...because ultimately, it will help the kids and that's my goal.

Ideas for classes:

1. After school homework tutoring – Get it all done before dinner!
2. Parent’s Night Out – Fun time for kids of parents who promise to go on a date!
3. Parenting classes: Basic tools to cut down on the constant conflicts in the house, gain control and ways in which to quit comparing yourselves to other parents.

Other ideas:

1. No watching videos at the school unless they are produced and created by the kids/teachers or unless they are completely related to what we are doing.
2. Days/Nights when parents come to the classes and spend time with their children are good if they can get away from work because they will feel as if they are not missing so much.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I've been thinking about the classroom spaces and even the outdoor spaces at the building and of how they will invite students to do certain things. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about reading and how fun it would be to have a fort somewhere inside and a big tree outside that the kids could sit underneath. Perhaps there could be reading with camping headlights under the tree if it gets too dark. :)

James is off seeing our wonderful country (Happy 4th of July everyone) with his friend, Genevieve Santos, and sent me a pic yesterday of an awesome fort that he saw in a kids' store in California.

I think it looks pretty awesome! This had me doing a little more research and found that there was even a "Where the Wild Things Are Fort Contest." Check out the awesome entries and winners here.

My thinking is that if we have a reading tree outside, we'll definitely have to take care of providing that one, but I think the kids should have a part in making the reading forts inside. Maybe we should have a monthly fort contest of our own at the school where the kids get to design and create these magical spaces. That's most of the fun anyway!!!

Oh this is going to be so much fun!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010


During my morning ritual of surfing online, I have seen this verse twice. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Have I not commanded you? Be stong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

I feel like I am being given everything I need in order to do what I'm called to do and that support and encouragement are coming from all sides. I've decided that I'm going to absorb it all and let it flow through me so that I can give it to others too.