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May 18, 2018 / sharoncopy

“Who is Adams?”

The sixth grade art class read from pages 4-11 in an art magazine, with pages 4-9 being about Ansel Adams. The class members answered (apparently) challenging questions based on the reading that they did. During the last five minutes of class, I asked them which of Adams’ photos they liked best. About 7 kids answered and explained their choices. But one student – who had been rather difficult all during the class period, said, “Who is Adams?”   😦

The fifth grade class was tasked with taking off one shoe and placing it on the table and drawing it. Most of them did a pretty good job. Some argued. Some needed assistance and I was happy to be able to show them how to look at it and do an inch or two at a time. We did shoes in our art classes at Henry Ford College. Two (out of about 75?) students rebelled. L. just could not understand what could possibly be the purpose of drawing something so normal as a shoe. I explained several times: still-life, contour, details, arches and curves, training your eye and your hand to work together…..Nope. So he submitted a blank paper with only his name on it.

Another boy, D., spent most of his time messing around and trying not to get caught for messing around. He didn’t ask for any help. What he drew you would call a shoe, but it obviously took little time and effort. Next to it he wrote in large letters that his picture “sucked.”  And then – on the back – he wrote, very disrespectfully, “You = (poop emoji)”. I think he was surprised that I saw it when his paper was turned in, but since SO MANY of them forget to put their names on their papers (seriously!) I check every page on both sides and I saw it. I confronted him. He tried to say that it was “ice cream”. No. I’m not that stupid. While not doing so well with a shoe, he was quite good at drawing a poop emoji. He finally admitted to it and admitted it was disrespectful. I stood there and waited. He stood there and stared at me. “What????? I’m gonna be late and miss my bus.” I waited. Finally he said, “Sorry” and walked out of the room. I left a note for the teacher.

The cool thing was that most of the kids did quite a good job on the shoes, and that I was able to help a couple who had no clue how to get started on it. I loved seeing their excellent work.

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