Archive for September 29th, 2015


Stop and Celebrate!

September 29, 2015

Savor the moments

leafIn the fast paced world that we live in I periodically take a step back and consider the moment. I find that I don’t take the time to celebrate the accomplishments and successes – an important component of what we do as educators! Sometimes it takes an “interruption” to make that happen. This  morning it was a colleague stopping in my office to ask a question. While he stood there he noticed one orange leaf on a tree covered with green leaves out my window. At the end of the conversation we each went out with camera in hand to capture the moment!

It made me pause and consider the past week – what I’ve done, accomplished and where I’ve traveled to. Some was professional and some personal. Long days filled with learning, questioning, and fun!

teleLast week I traveled to Jackson, Mississippi to attend the Professional Development Institute for the arts education directors from each states Commissions and the Department of Educations. The two groups meet every two years with the purpose of learning and sharing information. Both of the education groups are wonderful people who share willingly. I was thrilled that the Maine Department of Education was represented by Beth Lambert, our new Visual and Performing Arts Specialist. With only three weeks on the job Beth jumped right in with both feet.

It was an outstanding opportunity to learn about what is happening in Mississippi in arts education. I will blog in the future about the Delta State University DMI Mobile Lab and their new program called Healing with a Groove; a 3-week program designed to promote racial healing among young men of color (ages 12-17). Also, I will share what I learned while at the Mississippi Museum of Art from the Director of Engagement and Learning, Daniel Johnson. He reminded me of the importance of approaching learning differently to meet the needs of young people!

busIn addition, I shared the work of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and presented the story of how MALI has arrived at where it is today. The presentation was called Flashes of Inspiration – 5 minutes, 15 slides (20 seconds each) to tell a story of collaboration, challenges and successes. It was one of the most challenging presentations I’ve ever done. (Yes, even after 39 years in education I am challenged to the point of being inside out!)  Imagine telling a 5 year+ story in 5 minutes? I volunteered after we started planning for the Biennial Arts Ed conference: The Measure of Success, scheduled for October 9 at Point Lookout Conference Center, in Northport. The morning conference schedule will include nine presentations, 5 minutes with 5-8 images. I had no idea how difficult it would be to plan for until I started the work for Mississippi. In addition to being totally relieved when it was over, I also felt that I was able to share Maine’s story and give the participants a pretty good picture of MALIs success!

IMG_0409And, personally, my older son returned to Maine after being away for several months. We went to the Common Ground Fair where I soaked up good music, gathered ideas for art, and continued thinking about my footprint on the earth. (And, of course, ate some delicious food)!

We all spent time transitioning the yard and home to fall; picking the last of the vegetables, bringing plants inside before frost, and putting the garden tools away. It was a beautiful weekend to be outside. The chilly Sunday night found us on the deck with a fire watching the amazing eclipse and counting our blessings!

I am fortunate to love my work and love my play! I hope that you’ll have a few minutes TODAY to take time to reflect on whatever brings you joy in life!



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