Sunday, November 28, 2010

Random Thoughts

1. Does anyone have formatting issues when they see the videos within the blog? I'm seeing it when I log on and need to fix it if it's a universal problem and not just mine.

2. Watching the videos we've been making and posting here are helping me to realize that I need to hit it a little harder with my workouts.  I'm going to actually check into yoga this week too.  I am! I am! I am! (That was for my benefit.  Positive intention.)

3. I got a lot accomplished in the study/clean/alone time areas yesterday and I'm grateful, but I felt a bit lonely.  It's silly how I get that way even when the sequestering is self-imposed.  I think it just has to do with the fact that I loved being with my family for Thanksgiving and when we're all together, I feel most at peace.  I miss those folks and it takes a little getting used to when we say goodbye.  I'm sure that makes me a lucky girl because it means we love each other so much. Plus, I know that I'm not going to have time over the next two and 1/2 weeks to even think about it.  School is going to dominate my life! But I'm looking forward to all that I'm going to learn and I'm grateful for the preparation that's already taken place since the beginning of the semester.

My professors are top notch.  I won't go into it too much because I don't want it to seem like I'm kissing up.  That would actually negate the quality of my work anyway.  It's just that I've learned so much and I couldn't be more thankful.  I have so far still to go, but I've noticed that the professors in the Art History department are the best kind of teachers. They incorporate a lot of what I heard at the Creativity World Forum last week.  The patiently encourage, give the resources needed, reward growth and give us the space we need to have our own ideas and work them out.  I'm thinking of a few professors in particular, but I'll wait until I graduate to list them by name.  I think that would be the most ethical thing to do.  

I watch, observe, listen and take away the most successful strategies these professors use on us and store them away in my mind and heart so that I can use them myself when I have the honor of teaching again in the future! I can't wait! The school/community center is going to be a place where I can practice all of those techniques and I am so excited to have that opportunity.

4. While I was cleaning a little this morning (because for some reason I always have to clean a little before I can write papers) I had the tv on and I could hear a sermon from one of the Methodist churches.  It was interesting because the main point of the talk was about how heavy anger can be and that we have to let it go in order to lighten our own load.  I wondered if I was carrying any anger towards anyone and really searched myself to see if I was.  The truth is, I don't really struggle with anger so much, but resentment seems to be a close cousin to that emotion and I know that I have some in me. So today, I'm going to work on letting that go.  I am focusing back on being complete in my own heart and depending on the love that I know is flowing my way from God and those around me. 

But for now, I'm going to get something yummy to eat for lunch.  Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Much to Be Thankful For and Story #3: Meals and Music!

It's Thanksgiving day so I'm not only typing this while experiencing a food overdose, but I'm also sitting on the floor listening to a few different conversations going on amongst my family members.  The topics range from my sweet new nephew, Gaius, to the new iPhone update that apparently removes all your pictures and music. (You have to plug the phone back in after the update and load the images and music back on.  Just FYI in case this can be of any help.)

We've had a great afternoon of sharing, encouraging, discussing, disagreeing, challenging, inspiring and loving...and eating. :)  It's been so fun! I think about all of the things that my parents have exposed us to and given us the opportunity to experience.  These are the things that I would like to give other people at the school and they include exposure to music, art, travel, good food, culture and ways in which to love others and yourself more fully.

So today, in honor of the music and good food (both of which we've experienced here today) here is the third (podcast) story! Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm currently in Colorado with James.  We left on Wednesday night, drove straight through the night and visited a program in Denver on Thursday morning called, Butterfly Hope.  It's located in (and around) a public elementary school and serves to teach children about the natural world around them.  Butterfly Hope integrates gardening, science, creativity and Spanish! (We want to teach Spanish in our program as well!)  I found it online the last week and thought that it might be a good model for what we are trying to do.  My Thursday class was cancelled so I thought we could take this chance to do a little research.  We're going to have to start visiting the places we admire and draw inspiration from, or at the very least set up some email contact, because a year and a half  (projected opening date) will pass quickly...especially with grad school in the mix.  I have to focus on writing some major papers when we return to Oklahoma.

Here are some pics from the visit to the elementary school which houses Butterfly Hope.  They have a great garden area with raised beds and a couple of other gardens as well.  The teachers at this school use the gardening in their lesson plans.

It was a very productive visit because we got to speak to Maureen.  She is the programming director and gave us some great advice! In fact, we might be returning because there is another program she told us about, Nine10Arts, that we need to visit.  It looks like they are doing some very similar things to what we'd like to see happen at 612 NW 29th Street when we get our doors open.  Then there is Denver Urban Gardens.  They have helped establish about 23 gardens on school properties in the city. Great idea!

I'm not surprised to find so many wonderful sustainable living/creativity opportunities being offered in Colorado.  The same goes for California or Portland, Oregon.  But we have so many positive things going on in Oklahoma too.  Check out this link for articles detailing the ways that the Oklahoma Food Coop is leading the way! Also, when I was working at the Museum, some of my wonderful docents were Master Gardeners.  This program is affiliated with OSU/OKC and I know they do some amazing things.  I can already tell that it's going to be really important to balance my research between what's happening in Oklahoma and in other states, but aren't we lucky that there are people who want encourage a change all over the country?

In other update news...

1. The custom windows and doors we ordered for the building are about halfway finished!
2. We're so close to getting our structural report, which means we can then get our building permit.  Everything is in place and ready to go with the loan, the materials we need to renovate the outside of the building and more.  We're just waiting on that report! The reason it's taking so long is that we've found some wonderful engineers that will do it for less than what they usually charge, so we can't be too pushy about getting it.  We have to be grateful! And we are.  We're so, so grateful for everything that people have done to encourage us and help us move down this sweet road we're on.
3. Oh and I just FINALLY ordered some temporary business cards.  It's about time! They aren't permanent because we haven't gotten the non-profit established and I want to make sure that everything with our name will go through.  We've found some snags because there are other places called "The Young School."  So we're considering the The Young Lab. I like it. We'll see what happens!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today Is the Day!

The Creativity World Forum is finally here!  Oklahoma City is hosting the Forum and I am more than grateful.  I can't wait to hear what world leaders in creativity have to say.  I know that James and I will leave the event, both Tuesday and Wednesday, feeling inspired and encouraged to work even harder to make our dreams come true for the school.

I think that I have written about this before, but I want to write it here just in case I didn't. This is important to the story of our project in the Paseo.  The Education Symposium related to the Creativity World Forum was held at UCO last September (2009) and I was lucky enough to attend. What happened there was magical.  It was during the symposium that I began to realize just how much I really wanted to open the school because it will be a center for creativity.

In fact, when the representatives from The Blue School in New York City began to speak, it was as if the switch was turned on and there would be no turning it off.  They even let me visit and observe last spring when I was there.   The result has been enthusiasm, motivation, inspiration and more! Our goal is to provide Oklahoma City with an education center completely based on creativity.

I am really looking forward to what Sir Ken Robinson and all of the other presenters have to say today because I know that it will provide more of what I found at the Education Symposium. I can't wait to get there! And if you can't make it yourself, you can follow along here! It's going to be a great day!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Podcasts...I mean "Stories"

Well, our goal was to release podcasts (we've decided to call then stories, since that's what I named my blog.) every two weeks but as you can see, I haven't even posted a blog entry since the last one and today's podcast is delayed due to some AWESOME work that Kyle and James have taken on.  They're creating the videos for The Paseo Art Association's Oklahoma Artists Awards.  Have I mentioned that they have their own film/video business called Home Base Studios? Check them out! These creative fellows have some great projects under their belts!

It has been a great honor to work on these awards because we have such talent and passion in the state of Oklahoma! We have to show our gratitude for these amazing people who work diligently to create and educate all of us.

So we're a little behind in our own schedule, but it's all in the name of giving and also getting my homework done for school.  That time of the semester when everyone starts to dig in a little deeper and to stress because they might not get it all done has hit, so I've neglected writing things here.

Coming soon, though, are podcasts about "Meals and Music" and a very special gift I received at my birthday party in the form of a performance piece by Molly O'Connor...I mean Emily Kzany.  I was so touched by what she did that I have to share it.  She's another one of those people who give an incredible amount of herself to this community and I'm so honored to call her a friend.

Thanks everyone and have a great Monday!!!