Sunday, August 29, 2010

Life, Art, Kid's Books and Other Wonders

Life continues to be full of wonder and joy. Reading (actually listening to CDs of) The Children's Book by A.S. Byat. It has stories within stories within stories about Victorian/Edwardian England, the Fabians, Socialists and Anarchists of the time, English bohemian life, Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, Emma Goldman, Grimm's fairy tales, bohemian life in Munich (yes Munich), puppetry, the origins of English children's books, writing children's books, Lalique and so much more woven in with stories about class, morality and so much more. Here's a link if you want to find out more. It's a wonderful read but not for the faint of heart. It is not a warm and fuzzy book and could have used one last edit as it's quite epic and could be a wee bit shorter (22 CDs).

Unfortunately, if you don't live in Midtown or East Sac, Sacramento is pretty much a car town with massive freeways to get from one part of it's flat sprawl to another. So, listening to books on CDs make this driving much more pleasant. Despite the freeways and ubiquitous malls, I like living here because of all the trees, the beautiful American River which is very accessible, and some lovely parks (Upper Sunrise and Ancil Hoffman are my faves and they are right on the American River). There are also some very lovely people here and it is truly diverse. Although it gets really hot in summer and quite chilly in winter, unlike San Francisco it acknowledges that fact and the homes have AC and central heat. Also unlike Illinois, the weather is not so extreme that it feels Biblical or like it wants to kill you (just kidding but wow that weather was hard to take).

Tomorrow I start teaching a course for general education majors on art education. Am really looking forward to it. It's a blended course (half online, half in-person), which will be interesting. Research says it's a very effective way to teach but I'm unsure because of the lessened amount of time for hands-on in-class art making. The woman who designed the course is lovely and all the different campuses profs teaching this course will be collaborating on creating a best practices approach to blended teaching. Will let you know how it goes. I'm excited about it but have to learn Wimba today.

I've been busy creating curriculum materials for teaching art to seniors (yay seniors), making a brochure for my TAP seniors program, and teaching a children's picture book intensive (yesterday) which was an absolute delight. I love my students and am grateful that I get such bright ones. Three of my students (who had recently taken my course) actually completed their stories  and they are good, two finished their publisher's cover letter, one new student began thumbnails and saw how much text she could edit out with pictures, and one got a really good start on a delightful story about learning sign language. Those endorphins were flowing. Will leave you with this wonderful and inspirational video that I found via the lovely Jacqueline about what else - the value of art. Here's the YouTube link and here's the video


Megan Frances said...

Bravo, Mira! You are doing so many interesting things. Sweet video!

jacqueline said...

Dearest Mira, there so many exciting and intesting things going on over at your side!! :) Thanks so much for speading the love and sharing this inspiring video! Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!

Mira Reisberg said...

Thank you both for these lovely and loving comments : )