Distillation

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In drawing and painting, I am cultivating “my style.” I am definitely not someone who likes (or can) make realistic faces and people. In elementary school, I excelled at stick figures with faces of tiny dots for eyes, no nose and semi-circle mouths.

But this was a fun and relatively easy portrait painting that I learned from August Wren on Creativebug.com. I like the bold colors and rough frame.

Outside vs. Inside

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The opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear.
Each day, you choose between love and fear.

One morning, Day 6 of our Walkout, one of my teenage daughters told me she was going out to breakfast with her boyfriend. She’d been out a lot that week: There were pre-prom activities, “The Prom,” and then post-prom outings.

As a recovering Tiger Mom, I’ve bitten my tongue when I want to ask about tell her to do her schoolwork. I’ve backed off (been over a year now), because I wanted to go from Tiger (ferocious and unforgiving) to Owl (wise and patient).

Since my own transformation, her grades have improved dramatically (4.1 GPA), she’s obtained her driving permit license, played violin at All-State and she’s noticeably happier.

But that morning, I voiced concern about her responsibilities.  Inwardly, I judged her social calendar. She’s going out too much. She’s not working hard enough. How will she get a college scholarship?

Do you hear the fear?

Her smiling face turned dark. “I’m communicating to you my plans. Why do you want to pick a fight?”

And I answered confessed, “I am struggling inwardly. I know I should not say this. You know what? I trust that you know what you need to do and that you will do it.” Ah! Good catch!

And we were fine.

I chose love over fear.

People (who are “people” anyway?) might argue: “You are her parent. It’s your job to get on her about her responsibilities.  You can’t let her run all over you like that.” But she’s not running all over me. She’s living her life. She is her own person and she knows what she’s doing. She’s not putting herself in danger. She’s not putting others in danger.  I would say (and do) something if that was the case.

Too many Tiger Parents make the same mistakes over and over again. They communicate to their children that the outside is more important than the inside: grades, colleges and achievements are more important than knowing who you really are…more important than having fun with friends and learning how to navigate social waters.  I’ve had several 5th and 6th grade students cry and tell me that they are receiving oppressive pressure at home.

Thus,  I continue to choose love over fear. It’s challenging at times. Fear can look like caring, or “good parenting” or “discipline.” But it doesn’t feel quite right. Love always feels true.

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

Hedgehog

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Daily Painting Practice with August Wren (#13)

She goes about her business

and will tighten into a ball if you harass her

Her spines fall out under extreme stress

but she’s resilient (!) – they grow back

 

she’s vocal, nocturnal,

and has a natural immunity against snake venom

(through years of evolution?)

omniverous and vociferous

 

the badger can’t stay away

 

 

 

{Reading up on the hedgehog, it reminded me of the #metoo movement}

 

 

 

 

Toucan

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The toucan can!

Did you know that their beaks are “honeycomb-like” (lightweight) and virtually useless as a weapon? But the other animals don’t know that! 

 

Tip of the Day (from personal experience):

Start your day with something that is hard to do physically…something that requires you to push yourself. Achieving it first thing in the day will give you a sense of accomplishment and vigor for the next 15 to 18 hours. 

 

 

Self-Advocate

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Daily Painting Challenge (#10)

Listening to Oprah’s podcast with will.i.am, I was profoundly impressed with him not only as a musician, but as an education proponent. His i.am.angel foundation brings STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs to under-served communities. This foundation has also awarded over $800k in scholarships and 97% of these students are the first in their families to go to college.

Will echoes Milton Berle’s sage advice:

If a door closes, build a new door.

This reminds me of something that happened a few weeks ago, when I was reading the Red4Ed message board. A school bus driver wrote: “Are you guys (teachers) demanding a raise and better benefits for us classified staff?” 

I see way too much self-medicating and not enough self-advocating these days. Don’t ever assume someone is looking out for you. You’ve got to do the heavy lifting yourself. Exercise your rights. Vote. Do something with what you have.

If you go by the usual quote, “When one door closes, another opens,” it assumes you will just wait for another one to open. When you build your own, it won’t ever close.

will.i.am