Friday, February 19, 2010

What Can We Do To Make Your Stay More Comfortable?

Today the students at my school filled out an anonymous survey about how they feel about different aspects of the school, their teachers, and their education. It was a multiple choice style survey with a couple questions at the end that had a place to write in an answer.

I enjoyed glancing at their written-in answers to the question:

What do you wish were different about your school?

About half the kids wished for air conditioning. I can't blame them, I wish for it every year too.

Here are my favorite answers:

I wish there was less work and I didn't get in trouble as much (The second half of that sounds like a personal problem)

I wish I didn't get lunch detention because I cut in line at lunch (Again with the personal problems . . .)

I wish the people in it were different (I'm sorry we don't live up to your standards)

I wish the food was better- throw it away after a week (Do they think there are leftovers after feeding almost 1,000 people a day?)

How could you not love these kids? Or is the question: how COULD you love these kids?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back in the Saddle

After a 3 year hiatus from skiing due at first to sore knees and then to pregnancy I decided to give it another go. Ian and I went skiing at Brighton on Valentines Day. We met up with some friends about halfway through the morning and had a blast. The mountain welcomed us with great snow and a beautiful sunny day- it's good to be back.

At the top of Great Western

Ian right before heading down a slope too steep for me- he's way more adventurous (i.e. reckless) than I am.

An absolutely beautiful view of Heber Valley from the top of Snake Creek. I love the low hanging clouds.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Aven Makes a Finnish Friend

L-R: Missy, Addie, Lisa, Lauren, me, Aven

Last night I got the opportunity to go out to dinner with Missy, a friend and former co-worker with whom I shared my first three years of teaching art. We were joined by fellow fine arts friends Lauren and Lisa and by our beautiful babies.

Missy moved to Finland almost 2 years ago so that her husband could attend graduate school and is in town visiting family and friends. We have kept in touch and I often miss sharing the visual arts program at my school with someone so hardworking and dedicated. I don't know that I've ever gelled better with a co-worker.

It was really great to be able to meet her baby, Adelaide, who is about 3 1/2 months younger than Aven and has the cutest chubby cheeks I have ever seen. Since she was born in Finland she gets the benefit of dual citizenship- how cool is that?

Thanks for carving out some time to spend with us Missy! Maybe next time our cute babies will be old enough to play together. Good luck on the 25 hour return trip- you are much braver than I!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Aven's First Art Opening

We recently had the opportunity to attend the opening of Jamie Wyeth's "Seven Deadly Sins" at the Salt Lake Art Center. The Brandywine River Museum describes this series as "a major exhibition of new works inspired by a traditional concept of human transgressions. With characteristic imagination, Wyeth has depicted the Seven Deadly Sins in a series of paintings with raucous, scavenging seabirds as emblems of human failings." I loved the concept and thought the paintings were beautifully done.

This picture of Jamie Wyeth standing amid his exhibition at the Salt Lake Art Center was published in the Deseret News. I read an article about Jamie Wyeth in an art magazine about 10 years ago and was really intrigued by his method of really getting to know his subject and completing many studies before beginning a final work. When he was commissioned to paint a portrait of JFK after his death he watched hundreds of hours of video, interviewed his closest friends and family, and did drawing after drawing of his brothers in order to get to know JFK good enough to be able to paint a portrait he felt represented his subject. After researching Jamie Wyeth I learned about his father, Andrew Wyeth, who was a famous American painter, and his grandfather, N.C. Wyeth, a famous illustrator. I have been a fan of this family of artists ever since.

Aven and I standing in front of "Inferno", the painting that first inspired the "Seven Deadly Sins" series.

Listening to the artist speak. Aven was a great little audience member, even though it was past her bedtime.

It was very cool seeing the artist in person. he had great stories and was very funny.