Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ian Got a Job!

I just wanted to congratulate Ian on his cool new job as the G.I.S. Specialist (Geographical Information Systems a.k.a. cartography)for Granger-Hunter Improvement District. This job couldn't have come at a better time. His 2 part time jobs through the University of Utah were about to end the first week of May, he's graduating with his degree in City and Metropolitan Planning, and then there's this baby who will be here very soon. This job is actually a cool opportunity since GHID has never had a G.I.S. person before, so he will get to make the job his own in a lot of ways. He's going to have a pretty sizable office and I have vowed to get him one of those miniature putting greens, even though he doesn't want one- that's just the kind of wife I am. I'm just glad that he finally got to wear his $600.00 suit that we bought at Christmas.

Just for the record, I'm 100% sure that the above picture was not taken anywhere in the Granger-Hunter Improvement District- it just doesn't say "West Valley".

Congratulations babe!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Flowers at the Park Bldg.

I was out taking photos of the new Park building facade, and I the trees all around it were flowering. So I thought I would take a couple of pretty flower photos. These are for you Cara. Love you.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Houston, 2007

In November 2007 I went to Houston with a group of teachers from West Jordan Middle School for the National Middle School Conference. Madeline Keith, a fellow conference attendee just sent me this picture, so I thought I'd post it. It was taken outside of the Houston Museum of Fine Art. There was a terrific Photography exhibit when we were there. We also went to the Houston Science Museum and saw the very cool Lucy exhibit. It was about the culture and history of Ethiopia and concluded with Lucy, the earliest known specimen of an upright walking hominid, who's remains were found in Ethiopia.

This particular conference became national news when several attendees fell down the treacherously long, steep escalators at the conference center and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. I will always remember the unique sleeping situations we had to endure due to a booking snafu and the fact that a crazy homeless man hissed at me and tried to attack me as I was walking alone from the light rail station to the hotel.

Photo L-R: Michelle Bagley, Allison Holdaway, Me, Nedra Sproul, Missy Ames

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Outstanding Educator Award Nomination

Cara was recently nominated by her principle for the Jordan Educator Foundation's Outstanding Educator Award. She didn't win but just being one of the nominees is an honor in my opinion. I don't think she would want me to post this up here, she so modest, but I thought it might be interesting to share with all of you.
1. Qualities. Describe the qualities that set educator apart from other educators.

Cara Bailey has a sense of calm around her that emanates towards her students. Anyone spending time around her would easily deduce that she is an artist because of the beautiful effects she has on her environment. Not only does she create works of art, but she helps her students identify talents they have and magnify them. Her classes are intriguing and her student's produce fascinating projects. Cara also takes time to design her classes to be fully inclusive environments for special education students. This is particularly important because so many students with disabilities are visual, spatial learners.

2. Explain what this individual does to support and enhance student learning outside the classroom.

Cara decided that the students at West Jordan Middle School were not being exposed to enough examples of fine art work as they moved from one classroom to another throughout the day. She desired to demonstrate the ability of incorporating works of beauty into a variety of settings. Cara approached the fine arts department and together they wrote a grant to purchase enough prints to place masterpieces in each room at West Jordan Middle School. The students do not have to take a field trip to an art museum to see fine art. They are now surrounded by it.

3. Explain what this individual does to support and enhance student learning outside the classroom.

A sense of community pervades Cara's classroom. The students know that she is willing to respect their individual differences and work with them to help all students learn in her room. Students feel good about themselves because she has cultivated an accepting, caring learning environment. Allen Martin said, "Let no child ever doubt himself or his mind because we are unsure of our commitment." That does not happen in Cara Bailey's classroom. Cara is committed to making each task in her classroom valuable and relevant. It is no wonder then that her students feel that way also.

4. List the curriculum projects this nominee developed or implemented that have made a difference in the lives of students.

A recent curriculum project that Cara designed focused on the students being able to
wrap their minds around the "colors" of words. She had them choose lyrics from a song and illustrate them. It sounds simple, but when you consider that many middle school students use music for defining themselves, it becomes so much more. Some of the students produced media that was close to autobiographical. This is just one of many captivating projects that Cara has designed or implemented in her room. Many coworkers have stated that they would love to be students in her room.
I think I should also mention that Missy Ames, a friend and coworker of Cara's also helped write the grant for fine art work that is mentioned in the nomination form.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Saturday Evening Torture

I walked past my bedroom on Saturday night and happened upon this adorable scene. Grace loves to snuggle with Ian. My mind was not on such warm and cuddly thoughts, however. I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to do a sneak attack on Grace's numerous dew claws with the guillotine cutters.

Since Grace is half Great Pyrenees she has been blessed with two dew claws on each of her hind legs. She shares this trait with Norwegian Lundehunds, Icelandic Sheepdogs, and Anatolians. Many dog breeds have only one dew claw on each front leg and zero in back, so I have the fun job of cutting six dew claws on a reluctant dog every 4-6 weeks.

Another of Grace's unique features is that she only has a one clear dew claw. The rest are black and gray which make it impossible to see the quick which means I sometimes cut too high, right through a vein- ouch! Grace commonly uses her front dew claws to grip a rawhide while chewing, but her rear dew claws are essentially useless- they mostly just dangle off the insides of her rear legs like some kind of strange accessory. We could have them removed, but that's expensive and would be too much like plastic surgery- unnecessary.

Here she is looking rather incensed after the torture session had concluded. As if I get pleasure from this act. I guess the next time I do this I'll also be trimming the nails of a wiggly baby- double the fun!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

By the Power of Art!

The annual West Jordan Middle School Art Fair was held March 30- April 2, 2009. It was an incredible amount of work especially without my former partner in art with whom I am used to sharing the workload. With the exception of two panels and the table of ceramics I got everything ready pretty much on my own. Not an easy task, especially being 7 1/2 months pregnant. Special thanks to two boys in my Drawing 2 class who stapled mounted work to the panels and to geography teacher Enoch Eller who helped me set it all up in the library. Also, thanks to my mom and Ian for doing a great job with the judging.

Drama teacher, Lisa Morey had a fabulous idea this year: invite faculty and staff to submit things they have made. I submitted some photographs, which I printed and framed just for this occasion. Lisa submitted some beautiful bobbin lace. Other submissions were digital comic book style art, crocheting, more photography, Japanese ink painting, drawing, and ceramics. The kids loved seeing the faculty stuff- they are always amazed that teachers have lives outside of school.

We had a descent turn-out- not as many as the last few years, but I didn't advertise as much as in past years.

Hey look! It's me!
I just had to include a picture of one of my favorite submissions. This is from my comic book assignment where kids develop a superhero and draw a six-panel comic. After that they choose their favorite panel and enlarge it. This kid's character was an old man who's superpower has the ability to find prune juice on sale. I don't know why, but it just cracks me up. His best friend created another old man character who ran over misbehaving kids with his segway, also priceless.