31 July 2014

Creativity and Original Art

Creativity takes Courage, said Henri Matisse.  It is so true.  The kind of courage that makes most people not attempt to do what is naturally inside of you, waiting to be let free.  In our new home, I have decided that the art that will be displayed will be some of our own creation.  Bob is stubbornly refusing to do any art, but I think over time I can win him over.  He once painted me a beautiful card, but I was too ignorant at the time to recognize the romantic gesture.  That's what happens in young marriages where you literally grow up together. 

Art pieces that I did.  Not sure that I am all that in love with these, but they are better than what was there before!

I am no stranger to creating art.  Most of my efforts were with clay.  As a little girl, my art teacher always had us create ceramic creatures and for all the years of my elementary career I created a cat.  I think my mom still has most of them.  One day I will ask for them, but for now I know my mom has them on her kitchen window sill.  Art is definitely in the eye of the beholder.  I also dabbled in oils and acrylics, and my mom has one of my pieces hanging over her sofa.  It is of a barn in the fall, sitting beside a lake that is reflecting the trees and sky.  When I look at it, I see flaws, but I think it is because during that time I was focused on painting reality instead of my impressions.  

I am looking forward to placing my ceramic pieces in my study.  I have a vase, a pitcher, another vase that I used golf balls to make texture, a covered candy dish and a third vase.  All were salt treated and fired in a kiln I built myself while living in Kirksville.  Several of us stoked the kiln over night.  I haven't done much with ceramics since.  I don't have access to a kiln or a potter's wheel, although Bob and I were vacationing somewhere where I got to get behind the wheel and I was able to bring up the clay and fashion a pitcher.  It was the first time Bob had seen me behind a potters wheel.  I remember him being impressed!  I am looking forward to seeing them displayed again.

Candy dish that holds thumb tacks in my office.  Salt glaze, blue slip flower

Project pitcher, braided handle, salt glaze, used my fingernails for texture and my wedding ring for texture on the bottom

My favorite piece, two glazes, used a golf ball on the inside to get the bumps.

Yellow glaze, with a mineral glaze on the bowl.  Poured ceramic into a mold.

30 July 2014

First Month on the New Job

On June 30 I officially retired from Public School...on July 1 I officially started work at the University of Missouri!  I was retired for 12 hours!

I moved to the MU campus on July 1, did a bunch of new employee things, orientation, name bag, filling out parking requests, insurance forms, etc.  I found my cubicle and there was NO desk.  Just two long tables.  Thank goodness someone stopped by to remark that a desk would be coming in two weeks.  So much easier to work at a desk v. a table.

I was introduced to the staff and it was so much fun because I knew so many of them already!  Ginny, Vicki, Michael, Dawn, Bob, Rob, Jana, and David.  Almost like a Homecoming!

I worked on putting my stuff away, then Dawn handed me a rather large notebook with many powerpoints of the material I would need to be sharing with my schools.  For nearly six days, all I did was read!

Just in time, a workshop for Collaborative Work consultants (that's me!) came and took me away from the reading.  Talking to others, seeing how the presentations work, asking questions, it was a perfect time for learning more about the grant.

You might be thinking that this was all work.  Oh, no!  My Jefferson City and California friends came through big time!  I had dinner at Ria's with Amie, Katheryn and Sarah the first full week.  We had dinner and talked for nearly three hours!  It was so much fun catching up and telling stories.  The following week I had dinner with Charlotte, Denise, Marsha, Joey, Lyndsy, Sarah, and Ashley at Arris Bistro.  Lots of details were being finalized with Lyndsy's wedding.  Always fun to hear about wedding plans!  I had dinner with Suzy at Chili's and we talked a lot about the school year and our health (heehee, like old women!) and life in general.  It was fun hearing her talk about her children.  Can't believe they are all grown up.  West Book Club met at Domenico's with Ashley, Linda B, Linda E, Pat, Kelsey and me.  We sat and talked for hours but the best part was the laughter!  We were on a roll!!  It was so fun to be with people who can visit like that and have so much fun together!  The next night Lynn, Ashley, Charlotte, Linda and I had dinner at O'Donoughues and it was so much fun.  We told Charlotte and Lynn about Book Club and we got the giggles all over again!  I had dinner with Karlene and Barb at Glenn's in Columbia and we caught up on all the kids' activities and talked about Barb's new house.  It's going to be so beautiful!  This last week I went to Karlene and Ned's house for dinner (BBQ salmon, corn on the cob, home grown tomatoes, slaw) and afterwords to BBL Book Club at the Sniders.  We had peach pie and ice cream after discussing the book The Purpose of a Dog.  Such a great read!  My last night in Jefferson City I had dinner with Charlene and Amie at Applebees.  We talked for four hours!  We left the restaurant at 9:30 and as I left, I wondered how we managed to talk for four hours!  So much fun with these ladies!

At O'Donoughues.  I didn't take photos of any of the other dinners out.
I have to give a shout out to the hostess with the mostess!  I stayed with my friend Ashley every night in July that I was working in Columbia.  I had my own bedroom and bathroom and living room!  Ashley made sure I had fresh towels and sheets and got me hooked on The Bachelorette!  We watched the last four episodes together and the three hour long finale!!  I love her furbabies and I was starting to get loving back in the form of kisses.  Loved being at her house.  Ashley's mom, Lynne, also was amazing.  I know she treated me out several times and introduced me to friends of hers where we had dinner together at Cork in Jefferson City.  Thank you both for making me feel so welcome!

I have had meetings with 4/9 principals and my fifth meeting is tomorrow in Troy.  I am scheduling meetings and workshops left and right!  I am going to be very busy in September.  I hope I can provide professional development that is timely and useful to these hard working teachers.

I have worked on my MU office in terms of decorating.  Originally I had the blanket on the wall behind my desk but I never saw it!  I moved it to the current wall that you see and now I can admire it from my desk.  I brought with me the things that make me happy when I am thinking about teachers and education.  For prosperity's sake, I am listing them here, but feel free to skip over this part if you want!

Left Upper Shelf:

Clipboard made by me with a poster made by Lynn, my secretary at Wright City
Name plate given to me by The Ladies of the Evening
Photo of my STARR teacher friends
Star crystal dish given to me by Bob and Ashley
STARR teacher plaque

Middle Upper Shelf:

Clock made for me by Jeff Adams' dad
Teacher giraffe given to me by Charlotte Dudenhoeffer
Cross stitch made by Bob's mom
Apple pencil holder given to me by JCPS when I was PD District Chair
Photograph of my doctoral cohort
Pillow made from a bag that Tracy Leonberger made for me

Top of Bookshelf:

Sock monkey given to me by my secretary at South Callaway, Dana
Fake green plant
Hoops and Yoyo nodding statue given to me by Bob
Stitching sign, Always Do Better purchased at Randolph Mercantile in Moberly

Wall hanging was given to me by Bob, after I admired it at an arts festival.  It is a Dick and Jane quilt that I love.

What you can't see:

A quote by Walt Disney
A photo of the Ladies of the Evening taken at Lyndsy's wedding this week
A Hoops and Yoyo panic button given to me by Bob
A photo of Bob and the dogs
A photo of Ashley and Eric
A photo of Mom and Tammi

I am sure other items will make it to the office in time.  For now, this is all that I have unpacked.  I love my little office at MU!