Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Craft, Crafting, and Being Crafty

So, this week, I'm juggling using the word "craft".  As you can see, the word "craft" and its many forms can fill up a day.

For example:

I am working on my CRAFT.

By Zache (edited version, orig unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This, for me, means a couple of different things.  Immediately, I think of the WRITING craft, specifically REVISION.  I haven't made a whole lot of time to write new things, because this revision, like a pile of dirty laundry is looking at me accusingly every time I pass by.  As many writers can attest, this deadly revision time is when you have your best ideas for OTHER projects.  But, I hold steady and when writing time rolls around, I revise.  Only ten chapters to go, then off to the beta readers.  Also, I am enjoying reading and commenting on the work of my fellow writers in our online critique group, The Caffeine-Driven Page.

I am also working on my TEACHING craft.  I've been trying to get some professional reading done this summer.  I am currently enjoying "Readicide" by Kelly Gallagher, "Study Driven" by Katie Wood Ray, and "The Daily Five" by Gail Boushey.  I also just attended a planning session for teaching a new computer-based enhancement/intervention class.  

Lastly, I am working on my THEATRE craft.  It was a toss-up whether or not I was going to continue as the sponsor for our drama club at school.  The program continues to grow, but my adult help continued to shrink until finally it was just me and 65 kids at a time.  It was going to half-kill me to give it up, but I was prepared to do it, unless they could find someone to split it with me.  Sure enough, one of the new teachers to our school was interested to join as a sponsor, and Voila!  Now, I can start planning with him about what we'd like to do this fall and spring.  Whew!

I have also been CRAFTING things.

I have been meeting with the other sixth grade language arts teachers, and we are currently crafting CURRICULUM PLANS for the beginning of school. We're planning all sorts of activities and pre-assessments to help us get to know our students and their skills and gaps right at the beginning of the year.  We are planning for our entire first semester, which will be a meditation on kindness, starting with the fabulous book, WONDER by RJ Palacio and our CHOOSE KIND REVOLUTION guerilla campaign.  BTW, if any of my past students want to get in on this project, let me know. We might be doing some guerilla theatre events concerning this.

I have been crafting a USEABLE ART PROJECT.  Take one beautiful handmade bench (1 of 2, but the other is serving double-duty as a community reading bench in my classroom and prop for drama club plays), made for me by a wonderful and crafty carpentry friend, Mark Levine.  Add a layer of primer.  Add the pages of a few old, about to be thrown away books. Slap on multiple coats of the wondrous Modge Podge, and you have a new and improved READING BENCH and three happy kids who have a project.  Although, you have to be pretty CRAFTY to keep CRAFTY, CURIOUS KITTIES from walking through your wet modge-podginess. 


For those of you who have been following along at home, you know about the tree that some feckless little girl named Dorothy dropped on my house 10 days ago, leaving behind 2 broken cars, a trashed deck, and a whole lotta tree.  Well, it seems that my karmic spanking was not yet over, for I got to be the victim in a two-car accident in my rental car this last Saturday. Don't worry, all is well. Everyone is fine, and the car was driveable afterwards.  Knowing that my beloved Margaret the Malibu was driving off to that great big car wash in the sky, I CRAFTILY arranged for my husband to meet me at the rental car place to drop off my injured rental, and then off to the land of Ford dealerships to welcome my brand new car, Doug the Focus, to the family.  

I am also forced to be CRAFTY in my time management this week.  With a classes and meetings in addition to my duties as SuperAuntNanny of Awesomeness, and a slew (a SLEW) of phone calls and meetings to field, make, return, etc. to insurance agents, adjustors, repair folks, etc. -- well, let's just say my phone voice is certainly getting a work out.

So, in conclusion, the word CRAFT has been a very important part of my week.  I'm off to craft!

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