Discipline is not my strong point in after school ceramics: age 6 to 12. I don’t like to do it and I don’t do it often. Truth is I don’t mind a hectic atmosphere as long as all are busily creative. Early on the kids learn the rules, and then it’s a group studio. Kids sit next to who they want to and jabber along to each other side by side, across the table and even down the table a stretch. It can get louder and louder and louder. All in a good humored, fast paced, three ring circus sort of way.
Today, in the midst of what is now a lot of noise, suddenly two of the six fifth graders started playing their recorders together. The notes of a simple song being learned in school, sound like Japanese flute harmonies. Quickly the roar of the classroom stops. Everyone’s listening.
They were tamed by the music.
Not only do I get THE parking space in front of Kaiser (always preferable than going inside a building to park) but the old fashioned meter says “FAIL”.
I am not waiting long before the eye doctor calls me in. I have chosen him online by his name. Not really like guessing a horse for a race or being clueless in a voting booth but still relying a bit on intuition while scheduling my next visit to Kaiser. I chose him because he has the same name as a friend of mine. Never mind that I haven’t seen said friend in over a decade and last I knew he was living in Germany. Still, it’s a connection.
I have made it to the doctor this time. The other two times I made my eye appointment, when they asked for the copayment of $100. I just left surprised. Eye appointments are considered not part of one’s basic needs like Primary or OB/GYN. Hmmm. I’d take vision over sex organs but I’m not running the show so.. now, I am resigned to pay this on top of my insurance.
The doctor is my age and hip-ish, earring and all. He explains to me that my far sightedness is making me want to wear my reading glasses more. In other words, rather than just for reading, I’ll leave them on when I’m doing larger paperwork and such. Tell me something I don’t already know I’m thinking and what I want to know is do I need regular glasses. He does the normal sort of tests asking me to read small and smaller letters and its all good. I don’t really need glasses. I can keep my reading ones on for other things. I can go to the drug store and get different magnifications in different colors. He points out more than once that I can still see when I drive so there’s not much to worry about or do.
I ask him in the middle of all this non advice what I have paid my hundred dollars for but then he gets defensive so I back off and try to get something out of this appointment so I say to him (he’s got on an earring after all) “What about the Tibetan Eye Chart and eye exercises . . Do they help?”
He says, “Sure they help but whose got time for eye exercises?”
Going home, I run into a friend and tell him, “I just spent a hundred dollars to find out my eyes are fine”. He says, “That’s good. It’s better than finding out they are not fine”.
I am drawing people live at a fundraiser gala event for the International Museum of Women this Wednesday night, which is why I am practicing drawing people in cafes.
Probably only one more blog like this before real stories happen again.
So bear with me, here are more folks drawn at the cafe today, Monday, March 4, 2012
Normally, I’m all for meditation. All over it in fact, every morning.
There are “mindfulness” programs in schools, especially inner city ones where all the kids are on the free lunch program and 70% of the kids when asked will answer yes to the question, ” Do you know anyone whose been shot and killed?”
Ditto, for this program in jails. This program is very helpful and successfull. Simply put, it brings in the pause ( the old “count to ten”) before you hit someone on the playground. It’s very helpful. In schools like the ones I teach at, this program is maybe less necessary.
After school art class had been over for a while and I was cleaning up. David was hanging out while I did this. I thought he was waiting for his parent to pick him up. He is lithe and lively and bounced around in his tiny six year old body talking to me as I gathered my tools and such.
Almost done, I checked my list and saw that David was supposed to go to the schools’ after care program so I mention perhaps he should get on down there.
His bouncy body slumps into a giant C as he plunks down in a chair.
“What’s wrong? Don’t you like after care? Why not?”
“UGH! They make us Meditate.”
(Feigning indignation I say) “What!? Meditate!? You mean you don’t get to run around with a ball or something? What do they make you do, listen to a bell?” (Knowing they do this)
“Meditation is, well, (groan) it’s hard to explain.”