Form-filler’s Lament

I am many things: Art-maker, Story-teller, Cart-pusher, Butt-wiper, Pen-stealer, Tea-lover, Tantrum-soother, List-writer, Number-cruncher, Library-loiterer, Pot-scrubber, Cookie-monster, Lesson-planner, and Head-honcho, to name just a few.

If it is labels you are after, then I could go on and on. Some labels are more desirable than others; Story-telling and Library-loitering are two of my happiest activities. However, over the past week  I have been stuck with a most undesirable label…


On my sliding scale of great to terrible labels, Form-filler falls just below Butt-wiper (but slightly above Tantrum-soother). I do not like forms, I do not enjoy poking around looking for lost details about my life and work, and I am incapable of remembering dates and numbers.

Well actually that last part is not completely true. I am actually really good at remembering dates and numbers, just not ones that are actually useful when filling out a form. For example, I know when the Locarno treaty was signed after the Great War (October 1925), and I know that the Munich Putsch happened in 1923, I know that Nirvana released Nevermind in 1991, and I can still remember my British National Insurance number, but I can’t remember my Social Security Number…. ever.

I’m just not a Form-filler.
Nonetheless, January and February are form filling time, especially for me. February is when I apply to take part in all those lovely Craft fairs that happen in Summer and Fall. Somewhat perversely, it is also the time when I start enrollment for my Spring and Summer camps, and send other people forms to fill out (Noctiluna forms are mercifully short, and do not include questions such as “Why do you think, you would be a valuable member of this camp?“).

As you can imagine, Form-filling uses up a lot of valuable Art-making time, so I have no images of fresh artwork to show you today. However, this morning the forms will be done (well, almost) and I am planning to get started on designing new shirts. I look forward to posting pictures next time!

Elementary, my dear…

Unfortunately, today’s blog will not be about my favorite TV series, Sherlock, or the splendid Mr Cumberbatch, I just like a good play on words.

I have mentioned before that I am a trained middle and high school teacher. Teaching middle and high school Art is something I adore doing. I especially revel in the glorious messiness that is middle school teaching (believe it or not, it is a rare thing to like, you know?). In turn, the job of teaching middle school  has somewhat affected my level of maturity (my family would know!).
I thought I had found my place; middle school and I, we are a match made in heaven, and when I started my business, I thought I would specialize in middle and high school Art…

…but life has a funny way of making you push that reset button over and over again!

Being the parent of a 2nd grader means that you know more parents of elementary school kids, than any other demographic. So, it follows naturally that, I have a lot of students from lower elementary grades. Back to the books for me then.

It has been an enlightening experience, and one that I am really enjoying. There is much more to elementary school Art than meets the eye. I teach a little drawing class on Wednesdays, that has been a learning experience for me as well as my students, and we all know that the best kind of teaching involves learning!

Also, there are clear advantages to teaching this age group:

1. I know them. Do not underestimate the advantages of being the parent of a 2nd grader, when it comes to teaching their peers.

2. They have great imaginations. It takes much less needling to make them to break loose with their ideas.

3. They love magic. Yep, dragons, unicorns, castles, huge ice-cream sundaes, what’s not to like?

4. My 3 year old looks up to them. They are not too big to intimidate him, and he often toddles into the room, grabs a pencils and makes a drawing alongside them. Not something he would ordinarily do. Bliss.