I recently finished teaching a 4-week children’s photo-workshop for the Milwaukee Rec Dept. The main push of the workshop was to encourage a higher level of visual mindfulness in the students -to get them to see more thoughtfully, when it comes to making photos. Each day we would look at photos, make more photos, then import them to the computers at the school and do some basic editing with Google’s Picasa.
I strongly believe though, that no creative venture exists in a vacuum, and the more varied ways a person expresses their creativity, the more their creativity will grow. To that end, I also had the students go through some guided meditations (I read from Thich Nhat Hanh), do some drawing, and write some haikus.
For some students, the form of the haiku was a challenge, but I tried to “course correct” them, and encourage them to see how they could express their thoughts in just 17 syllables. Before they edited their thoughts down though, some of the students >did< come up with some good poems. So, here are some of the haikus and non-haiku poems the students wrote (on this particular day, we were also working on “texture photos”)…
Also, many of the students looooooooved making selfies, but had a more challenging time allowing other students to photograph them. Rather than tell them they >couldn’t< make selfies, I decided to make that a project of its own. One day, students had to choose their favorite selfie … and then draw it with colorful markers, and then make another selfie, but this time with their drawing replacing their face! The emphasis was on just trying their best – as I would often hear “I can’t draw” or “I’m bad at drawing”. I would not accept that – and just told them “It’s not about whether or not it’s accurate”, “just do your best”, “everyone can make a mark – make yours”, “don’t worry – just go for it”.
Briunna is beautiful and sweet
and is wonderful to meet.
She is smart and funny
and is as soft as a bunny.
The texture is rough.
It’s very rough.
It’s orange/red but it’s
always laying down
in its bed
She is so friendly.
She is really wonderful.
That’s why she’s my friend.
It is really rough
now can you guess what it is?
it is the rocks.
has a rough texture
you can build houses with it
has many colors
She’s a funny girl
She is crafty and a dancer
She is my cousin
THE SNAKE SHOE
This shoe has certain texture and image.
It is also certain brand and this is Adidas
and it has bright red color,
it is a color that cannot be wore with everything
eight and half hours
left my apartment,
feeling the temperature
change as I climbed up
OK, I let myself get behind on my “book reports”. Time to catch up! This first half of the year has seen me read a lot of comicbooks (MKE Comicbook), a lot of online news and interest stories, and a few novels – here’s what I’ve gotten through!
I started the year with “Colorworld”, by Rachel E. Kelly, a “real world fantasy” novel – as in, it’s set in the “real world”, but things do occur, people have unexplainable powers. The narrative follows a young woman who develops a dangerous ability (in addition to already having a “emodar”, where she has as an unusual “in-tune-ness” to other people’s emotions). The young woman, through the course of the book, tries get a handle on these new abilities, uncover the underlying motives behind those who are helping her figure them out, and navigate her big feelings for a fellow she meets.
It was an interesting read for me, as while I’m used to reading stories with female protagonists, it was a different experience to read one from a first-person perspective. And especially a first-person perspective from a woman who’s really in touch with her feelings. Took a lil getting used to for me, but ultimately was alright and, I figured, was a neat way to give me a different perspective on things. I learned of this book through Twitter, where I came across Rachel’s tweets, and after really enjoying her presence online, decided to order some of her books!
“Colorworld” is the first in a series, and I have also gotten “Teleworld”, the second book – that’ll get read later this year.
At a networking event, at Boswell Books, I got a copy of “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. I’d often heard of this book, and was real eager to read it, but hadn’t gotten around to visiting the Milwaukee Public Library, or Boswell to buy a copy, until now! This book’s premise was intriguing right off the bat – “imagine The Jungle Book, but set in a graveyard.” Holy cow, I was hooked right away.
The story is simply written, but doesn’t feel like a reader is being “written down” to. It’s a fast read, a fun read, and full of compelling mental images.
Early in this summer, after seeing the movie “Gone Girl”, my friend, Emily, said I >had< to read the book that inspired the film. So, kind person that she is, she mailed her copy of “Gone Girl” to me, and I set right to reading it!
The story follows the story of a man who may or may not have murdered his wife. As that tale unfolds, it is contrasted against diary entries from the now-missing wife… Everyone has something to hide, it’s hard to know who’s telling the truth – or just part of the truth. The movie and the book are both really gripping.