Thursday, June 9, 2011



A container typically constructed with four sides perpendicular to the base and often having a lid or cover.
The amount or quantity that such a container can hold.
I am surrounded by artistically decorated "art" boxes that my students created for their final art history project. The boxes originally contained gifts that were "given" to a master artist from history that each student had chosen to study. The boxes, pieces of art themselves, represent the lives of artists and the impressions they left on both my students and history.

Now, instead, these boxes carry the contents of THIS artist's life. The contents of these boxes hold my career. The last nine years of my life's journey. Inspirations. Gifts students have given. Pictures made by my "own" children and my "art" children. The contents are my memories of who I was entering this place and who I have become as my boxes travel to a new destination.

The contents of one of these boxes holds the tools I have used to leave my "impression" on thousands of young artists. These boxes hold posters, handouts, directions, and rubrics. Papers. Papers that days earlier could be found strewn across what appeared to be a desk in the art room, now, neatly enveloped in student created art boxes ready for their journey. A journey to a new desk in a new art room in a new school. A new journey to inspire and help a whole new community of young people learn to create art with passion and personal meaning.

There are many people that I'd like to put in my boxes and carry along with me to open up when I need them. Unfortunately, they don't fit. Their journey is not mine. Their boxes are not ready for travel. So, I will take what I've learned from the gift of their "presents" in my life and give it freely to others I will work with, teach, and love.

These boxes contain my journey. I have taught in this school district for the last four years, and in that time I have experienced the deepest of life's sorrows and greatest of God's blessings. I have changed. Changed names. Changed perspectives. Changed my life for the better. I have grown both in knowledge and wisdom. There is no box that contains these items. I am the container for this. I wouldn't contain these items if I could. I share them. They are the "impressions" I leave like master artists before me, not in actual brushstrokes on canvas, but on the lives of people. My history, their history, our artwork. Gifts given through teaching, and love to the boxes that have been my students, my colleagues, my friends.

The boxes are moving. They will open. They will close. They can never contain the whole journey, and I wouldn't want them to. I am leaving pieces of me. I am taking pieces of them. I am blessed for the gift of having been in this place. I load my boxes. The journey continues...

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Indelible marks have been made. Not on canvas. The indelibility I speak of is the etching of my students' souls. It is the voice of empathy and common sense that screams from deep within themselves, "LIVE! Live the life you've imagined. You CREATE your life so create well."