Saturday, July 10, 2010

[late] anniversary post

A little over a year ago I started this blog while at a job completely unrelated to museums or children. A lot has changed in a year and while I haven't been the best at updating consistently I would like to do a quick general run down of the year and where I'm at now with the (probably unrealistic) idea that I will write more frequently.

I have started graduate school which I love. The school reflects the museum education field in that it is 99.99999% women. I also no longer have many male friends. To counterbalance this general lack of testosterone I have moved in with my boyfriend which more than compensates.

I student taught in the first and the fifth grades. The classes were both insane in unique and wonderful ways that I wish I better documented. Bottom line is: kids do say the darndest's true.

I was interning and then hired to lead school group tours at a museum that specializes in contemporary art as well as New York City history. I don't want to get more specific then that (Let's just call it Museum 1) but I think I can safely say that it is not The American Museum of Natural History.
And Yet... When I ask the school groups what they are expecting to see on their trip when they come to visit 7 times out of 10 someone will say: "DINOSAURS!"
Damn you AMNH for cornering the definition of museum.

I have also started referring to museums in short hand (I say A EM EN H when I am talking about the museum of natural history. I am that inside.

On Monday I begin work for family programs at a museum-mile art museum (extremely creative pseudonym: Museum 2) which I am very excited about but alas there are no dinosaurs there either so I will continue to perpetually let down children.

That's my update!
I am in a much better position now to write about children and art in a more meaningful way than I was a year here's hoping I actually do it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


It's summer session again in graduate school. That means a semester of work crammed into 4 weeks of classes.
I just picked up a 5 pack of Hanes underwear so I could put off laundry until the weekend.

I know I haven't updated in a while but I promise I will try to more. I usually do most of my blog writing when procrastinating doing mountains of work. I have the mountains of work so the blogging cannot be far behind!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crazy Craft Lady

It's a new semester.
This means a few things: I had a break, my school work load is lighter (for now) than at the end of last semester and I am interning at an art museum instead of student teaching. I actually really miss teaching, even the fifth graders who I ended up really coming to like just in time to leave them. Working in an office again has brought back some of those old restless feelings. That extra energy coupled with not having to plan lessons and face 24 children everyday has led me to take up a drastic habit...

extremely random crafts!

It started on break with popsicle sticks. My boyfriend had a box of them that were deemed important enough to make the move with us. In the few elmer's glue soaked weeks that I was "sticking" (as I believe it is called on the streets) I made a bunch of pencil holders which now litter our apartment. However, my popsicle masterpiece is Horace the Owl. Horace had an accident a little while ago in which he fell off a high shelf and had one of his eyes unraveled by the cat so forgive his slightly gimpy appearance:

I love him. The End.

I then moved onto pop-up paper sculptures. I am still making these somewhat compulsively. Here are some:

love and alcohol

hard at work

and an ode to Newman the cat
OK...the workload should kick in soon. Hopefully before these overrun the apartment.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Two of my final projects are due this coming week and I have a ton of work to do so, as usual, I feel compelled to blog instead.

I am a few weeks into my 5th grade placement and I am not so into 5th graders. They are growing on me more and more but I really do miss being in the 1st grade. I feel bad calling 10 and 11 year olds jerks but as a clump they are kind of jerks. One on one I can see that they will mostly probably grow into pretty good people but right now I have very little desire to be around them.

People who like teaching older kids over the itty-bittys say they like it because you can talk to them like adults. I talk to adults all day. Adults on the whole are pretty lame. I think I am finding out that I would much rather hang out with small people who are assholes by accident instead of on purpose to see how much they can piss you off which seems to be the default mode of operation for 5th grade.

The fact that I am not such a fan of 5th grade (I leave frequently with a splitting headache) coupled with my grad school semester ending and all my final projects being due has brought out a bit of my grouchy side. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank my boyfriend for putting up with my short temper and crying jags. Love you! Ok now I feel like I'm off the hook next time I bite your head off for something like switching our pillows or walking too loud.

Alright...back to work...or back to watching Ghostbusters II.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stop looking at me, Swan!

This is my last week with the first grade :(
Next week I begin with the fifth grade!

My (awesome) boyfriend woke me up in the middle of the night to point the following out to me:
It's like you're going from being Miss Lippy to Ms. Veronica Vaughn.

I like it...but I will miss smearing paste on my face.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

warping tiny (and possibly not so tiny) little minds

I am loving the first grade. My research group (and I along with them) is learning where rubber comes from (Trees! how did I make it to 25 without knowing that?). We built an awesome (if I do say so myself) rubber tree in the classroom. I will post pictures when I find my camera (did I get jacked by a 5 year old?)

I have also learned that deadpan humor is at best lost on children and at worst might warp their mind. This was an exchange I had at the end of the day yesterday:

Cute-Little-Wided-Eyed-Girl-Who-Trusts-Her-Teacher-As-A-Source-of-Truth-And-As-Someone-Who-Would Never-Ever-Mislead-Her (not her real name): Who invented the backpack?

Me: John C. Backpack the Third.


I had to explain that I was joking and she had a few followup questions including a bunch on why I chose the name John for which I had no answers and eventually I just told her she needed to find her line partner and get ready to go downstairs and then I ran away.

So I have stopped having panic attacks about going into school and genuinely enjoying the classroom I am in and the first grade in general just in time for it all to end at the end of the month. In November I am getting a new placement and it looks like it's going to be in the 5th grade.

5th grade!

They are giants and almost hormonal and nowhere near as adorably trusting as first graders. I have begun to talk in the overly enthusiastic cheesy way that first graders eat up with a spoon but I have a feeling won't fly with 5th graders. Plus the NYCBOE are much more up your ass about hitting standards for testing in upper grades so possibly no more building rubber trees :(

OK memory lane: 5th grade:
we got binders and assignment books and had to start keeping track of multiple subjects and writing essays.
On that essay writing note: I had a mental breakdown writing a science essay on magnets on my birthday and my dad and mom helped me write it and we STILL got a C. Which was the first time (but by FAR not the last) I heard my dad call a teacher a "petty tyrant."
I think girls began wearing bras ... I got boobs that year.
Periods? I think some of us got them.
I began wearing jeans instead of leggings
I had a HUGE crush on Harry
I think I became obsessed with Ace of Base
I secretly listened to LoveLine (A call in sex question show) at night. I understood about a quarter of what was said but thought most of it was hilarious.
Help me out...what do you all remember?

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Tuck" internal combustion.

The first grade classroom I am in uses the inquiry method of learning for social studies. The children choose a topic and spend the semester investigating it in smaller research groups. I was put in charge of a group interested in investigating "vehicles". Today was our first meeting where we had to narrow that topic down. For some reason I wanted to try to persuade my group to investigate sanitation vehicles (I am still not sure why... I became momentary fascinated with street sweepers).
They did not go for it.
Instead they want to know how engines work, something I know less than NOTHING about. So I am now frantically reading about spark plugs and pistons and trying to figure out how to translate that for 6 year olds. I am planning of buying myself some time and starting with bikes but it turns out I know nothing about them either. Though, thanks to a very nice bike shop on the upper east side, I have a bike chain and two sprockets which I shall attempt to base a lesson around.

Also, today a reminder of how 6 year olds minds may be in the toilet (poop is a huge theme) but they are not yet in the gutter:
Today while learning about the sounds certain letter combos make the teacher asked this question:
"Who can tell me another word that rhymes with 'duck' that your parents do when you go to bed"

Every child in the class immediately knew the answer is 'Tuck (you into bed)'.
you dirty pervs.