Team East: NAEA Awardees!

This year’s National Art Education Association’s national convention was canceled due to the Coronavirus, so I am posting a video and pdf program of what would have been seen at the convention. Featured is Delaware’s Art Educator of the Year for 2020! Congratulations to all winners. (I am also listed by name in the program since I am Secondary Director-Elect for NAEA. Quite an accomplishment for our small state…)

Video presentation:


Pandemic Art

Untitled, Mixed media, 12×9

Since I have a little bit more time on my hands and it keeps my two daughters occupied, I have been creating art. Being an art teacher, many think I create my own art all the time, but that is so not true. I teach others how to create. I walk around, give advice, grade work, take attendance, make phone calls, etc. I only create as a demonstration of new concepts. The art of creation takes time and thought. You have to be in that mindset to let yourself go and create something from nothing. You really do not need a lot, I am actually using my daughters paints and supplies on nice paper so they do not use my more permanent supplies that make more of a mess. It’s been nice. I need to figure out how to make creating a more permanent part of my life when things go back to normal.

Untitled, Mixed Media, 8.5×11

Just some information about my work in general. I love to create work that create is puzzling, confusing, questionable; in the sense that you don’t know what I did last. I add layer on layer, linking each layer together with line, texture, and color. I usually start with a light background and than add to that.

These pieces and my art in general represent my life journey. My life started out pretty simple and typical of my friends, but then life takes it twists and turns where past meets future, future rewinds and turns into the past. Events repeat and new beginnings are around every bend. Life is exciting, confusing, and there is always something to learn, to see, to enjoy. I will post more when I create them!

An experiment in digital learning

In my last post, I talked about choices, decisions, mistakes. We will all see what happens. Good or bad, I am here to see what the futures brings. I got this! And you do you! What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger!

I am curious to how this experiment in digital learning will go. I had my first Zoom meeting with my AP students last week. It was interesting seeing my students in their spaces and me in mine. I got my teacher clothes on, makeup, did my hair. My male students were themselves, but my female students would not share their video. It is interesting that they were very cautious of their spaces not wanting anyone to see something not quite right or them not completely school ready. You would think they would not care, but they did. Good in my mind. There is hope for the future and privacy isn’t lost forever. I do hope they will share their faces this week. I want to see them. To know they are good and that I am here if they need me. It’s different, but still the same. My students are curious to how they will be graded, what they need to do, and there is me… my three children running around, in my home. I reassure them, explain what I know, and wing the rest. This is a new world, a new normal for teachers and students. It will be curious to see if students will still create and perform at advanced levels. How will these portfolios turn out?

I think my students will be fine, an AP art teacher is more of a guide than a teacher. I advise, I suggest, but the student is the artist. I am there for guidance, so I don’t believe there will be a lot of issues overall. Time will tell. This is a true test of student time management, an experiment in how digital learning can really work in public high schools.

I will be fine. My students will be fine. we use technology a lot and I make students do most things on their own. The only issue I see is materials, but my AP students have their own, so we are good.

Now, when we move to my other classes, it will get trickier, but I think it will be fine too. I got this!

A big mistake…

Time to wake up…

I am not a big numbers person or into finance and all that, but with the current virus situation going on, numbers seem to be all I hear and see these days.  Each day I check Delaware’s website to see how many people have the virus in our state and which county they are in.  I heard on a live Facebook feed that we have three people in the hospital in critical condition right now.  I feel for those people and hope they pull through.

In 2018, Delaware had a population of 967,171 people, today there is probably a little bit more.  Currently, we have closed down all restaurants, bars, and nonessential stores and starting in two days citizens can only live their houses to go to the grocery store, doctors, pharmacy, gas, and get the essentials.  The Governor sent out a list of which occupations would be closed down, 20% of the jobs offered in Delaware.  Now this doesn’t account for how many people work in each of these occupations.  I can’t guarantee, but I estimate that close to half of our state population or more will not be at work in 2 days.

We are doing all this so a virus doesn’t spread and infect more people.  Doctors estimate that the morality rate of Covid-19 is about 3-5%. Many would get sick, but few would be hospitalized and very few would die.  Delaware has three in critical condition and thatis good compared to other states, but at what cost…

Our state has been turned upside down.  Our national economy and employment is going to places it didn’t even go during the Great Depression.   All to save a few lives, at the expense of everyone else.

I guess you can’t put a price on a life, but the virus is killing older people more.  Older people who have had their chance at a full life.  Both my parents have already died, so I look at this from a different point of view, but regardless, it will take years and years and years to recover from what appears is going to happen.  If we cannot leave home to work, travel, and enjoy life, we are looking at times that have not been seen by Americans ever.  Very few remember the Great Depression and it seems that things will be worse than what people went through in the 1920s-1940s.

I hope this is not the biggest mistake that I will see the United States make.  That I see Delaware make.  That I will see my elders, people who should know more than me and people who should take care of me and my children make.

I am a fixer by nature.  I can take a bad situation and make it better, but I am getting tired of fixing what the Baby Boomers broke.  My parents were baby boomers and I was left to be the executrix of their estates and fix the problems they left behind!  My dad took over a business my grandfather founded and destroyed it.  I am fixing it.  It is taking me a lot of time, stress, and effort, to make this business work, but I will fix it.  It is what I do, but I will be lucky to be left with much because of the decisions of my parents, two baby boomers.  I have heard a few say this virus is the Baby Boomer remover since it seems to be targeting older generations.  It’s targeting the Baby Boomers.

Our leaders are Baby Boomers… Are they trying to save themselves at the expense of the rest of us?  I am a millennial.  I have heard in articles that I am a part of the lost generation.  The generation of college debt, low job prospects, not getting married, not have kids, the beginning of the tech age, but not super integrated users. I see myself as a fixer, unfortunately, a member of the generation left to pick up the pieces.

I want to leave my children better off than I am when I die.  I want them to have a better life than I had.  I don’t want they to clean up my messes!  That use to be the way our country worked, but it seems that my parents and their generation took more than they gave back.  They have had their chance to make a life, don’t ruin my chance. Leaders, please don’t make the biggest mistake of modern history and leave a problem that cannot be fixed.