At SelfDesign I have a number of hats that I wear each day. One of my favorite spaces to be is on the SelfDesign Minecraft Servers as the SD MC Monitor, along with my husband, Michael. In that space I get to play and enjoy learners as they create and visit with one another on a daily basis. Recently I had the opportunity to learn some more things about myself. The kids teach me so much!
So often, educators have concluded that directed instruction (with expected and specific learning outcomes) is the only way that children can really learn, and that it can only be achieved if a teacher is the one leading the learning opportunity. I have seen just the opposite take place. In SelfDesign, we tend to think that a child's inner motivation to learn is naturally there from the moment they are born, and is the very thing that compels real learning, and that this real learning can only take place when love and acceptance is present.
I hope the learners in the SelfDesign Minecraft program know how much I appreciate them.
I hope they know that when I see their creations I don't just see a building made up of blocks. I see that usually more than one person has come together as a team to decide just how a building is going to be created. I see their discussions, and how they rationalize and use logic for finding answers that suit both builders. And, in the midst of that they are learning to understand one another and be real friends with each other. They are discussing trade, politics, using maths to help with the building projects, language to help with expressing what they need and want from one another (and some who didn't like to keyboard are faster than their parents now, I've heard!), and science as well. There are puzzles being created within pyramids from Egypt, a Colosseum from Rome, a fantasy project for Easter and park-our jumps that defy gravity. (And yes, gravity has been discussed as well). They have shared their opinions on being told they can't express themselves the way they might like to, because it's a school server. They have debated with each other the ins and outs of needing private areas of creating, verses always doing things together, and some have asked for direction while others request freedom of form in order to learn in their own unique way. There are autistic tendencies in children on the game and they are also working through their own struggles socially. Some of these children can't be with others face to face as it's too much stimulation for them, and they, too, have found success in having friends who are like-minded, and understanding.
These kids are amazing to me, and I am thrilled that I get to see the patterns of kindness moving into their play time. They value their space together, and even when it gets difficult, as most social processes of groups do at times, they stick together. They value self care, they value family time and they value the work everyone does together on the servers. They are sweet kids and I love them! I feel truly fortunate to be learning from this group of young human beings. They really are the best teachers!
So here I am rethinking my Peace Tangles, and taking the time to truly enjoy the idea that I have left my 6 favourite large art pieces in the hands of my wonderful family in Virginia.
Michael, Amy, and I travelled for hours (it seemed) to get to mom and dad's place and then on to a Bender reunion where we auctioned off one of my pieces there for fun. :) And, then I left the other pieces in my book behind to share. I don't think I've ever felt comfortable leaving my art in other people's hands like this in the past. For some weird reason I'm truly attached to it!
The bird above is one of the cardinals (the hen) that visits mom and dad's front yard feeder. The boy looks like this.. isn't he just pretty??
This year is not the first year I have tried this project out. My children and I started out with a few caterpillars from a friend in Victoria in 2009, and gave them as many thistles as we could possibly find.. we had 4 out of 11 live and fly away. Although the mortality rate was fairly upsetting for my children, we were happy to see a few of them fly into the sunshine. I will never forget the feeling that day.
We took a year off and then decided to work with butterflies from a wonderful lady in Langley BC. Her name is Kim Sutton, and she has butterfly larvae kits for sale through her site.. Flutterbuys .We used her artificial diet, which the little guys consumed big time! All of the butterflies lived and flew away happily and we were so thrilled! So.. we did that again this year as well, and again, all of the caterpillars grew and happily flew off into the warm light.
Now, I had to make sure they all came out of their chrysalises and so it took a good four days of waiting before we decided to set them free.. drinking Gatorade, eating mushy banana and moving their wings up and down in the veiled light at the window. During that time some of them got busy creating new life, and so.. well.. I added plants. :)) The eggs were abundant! Tomorrow I will write more :)
I was on the Zentangle (put the little circle with the R in it right here) site recently and am quite upset over the legal portion page. The arrogance is appalling.. I am going to start taking out the words of 'zen' and 'tangle' out of my art as it's embarrassing to be associated in any way with a couple of people who want to own phrases and artwork that has been around for years and years before us. The patterns of zenny, peaceful, and passionate responses from brains to paper have embodied some of the most amazing ancient artists in the world. Picasso used lines and strings to make his art.. he used patterns within his paint.. he was not so concerned with maintaining his need to be remembered, but was motivated by his internal desire to share his inspiration and his love for art to the masses around him. I can't imagine what he would say to these people today.. shame on you. Art is art and you don't own it.. you may own the tiles that you sell... but for me my art has been around since I was a little girl and the internet hadn't existed with your site. My mother (and my mom in law) who worked the the very same art in her living room would laugh at you and say "that's just plain silly." You are silly.. Owning intellectual property is just plain unzenny IMO.
UPDATE August 22/2011: after writing to theraggededge I see a new perspective. The resource of the Zentangles(big letter R.. how does one make a Registered symbol anyways?) site has helped others to start the art form many of us are already familiar with. It is a great name for something that is so catching as this art seems to be. As she hadn't found this artform until she saw their website, it carries a large weight of loyalty to the beginnings of something so wonderful for her. The emotional response I felt probably has more to do with the honor and loyalty I would like to give to the memory of my mom instead of to others.That makes sense to me. Let's give honor to those who we feel deeply about. :)
I'm excited to start selling my Peace Tangles.. Here are a few to start with as cards.. Purchase page soon to come..
I got back into my tangling this past week or so.. Here are a couple to look at.
Why flying? Well..in my mind the tangles were tossed in the air and then landed where they wanted to.. so I tangled them in that manner that was in my head at the time. I hope that it intrigues you as you look at them. I even found a flower in there that I love in the shape of a heart.. you know that one.. Hmm.. What's it's name again? Cala Lily.. yes.. that's the one.
Wow I didn't realize that when I finished this one I was creating a dragon. My thoughts as I worked on this piece was all about water and the fish that swim below the surface.. I was excited about the swishes and swirls around the S shapes.. I truly enjoyed creating this piece.
Window into Nature Upside Down..
I had liked it the other way around and then today I decided it really showed my thoughts about tangling when I turned it around upside down. So there ya go.. sometimes nature and natural learning takes place in a way we least expect it!
There has been so much going on in my life.. I guess I had to think about the distance ed program starting up again in Sept. 2010 with my kids, the work I was getting moving on, and a whole lot of other things to my life.
I haven't been Zentangling much up until lately.. soooo. I shall start posting again! :)
Happy Valentine's Day!!
Just a few hearts within this one to spread a few
thoughts of love and kindness around!
Recently we have had a bit of a bug in the house.. not so fun with cold symptoms and such plaguing our heads.. poor Amy has had to deal with a bit more.. xrays, asthmatic reaction to the bronchitis she's dealt with for at least a month now. I was happy to get out and go for a walk, pick blackberries, look at shells on the beach down here by our home and spend time doing other things like book binding and such.
As well, I get to be an Intern Learning Consultant for Self Design in their Global Program! I am sooo excited about that. :) There is so much to learn and I'm thrilled to be a part of this. This means that I can work with students/learners from around the world who do distance education and want to spend time Self Designing their lives and education around their own interests.
Here are a few pics of us enjoying our summer time :)
This is Michael playing his guitar on the balcony.. he is such a great musician.. I love to listen to him strum and play...
Blackberries abundant! We love this part of summer on Vancouver Island :))
A kitty cat we saw lounging in the sun.. this kitty was sooo happy to sleep .. oh to be a cat!
Leaf bug I saw on the patio :)
Wonderful seaweed on the floor of the shore all dried up and pretty.
I have made a few more things in the past couple of weeks. Here are a few samples..
This is Oracle.. it reminds me of a shell on the beach.. love it!!
The bugs are playing in the garden :))
Another Bug playground..
I like this one alot :) Why? Because the there are love hearts everywhere :)
This is Michael's hat that he drew.. it's one of my most favorite tangles .. he has a few more that he keeps at his desk, but I keep this one near mine :) Hehe