Blog Your Blessings: Finding the Train

"So where did the train go?" I asked my daughter when she told me about a devastatingly dull art class, the focus of which was the vanishing point--that imaginary point on the horizon where things seem to disappear. The art teacher had my daughter's fifth-grade class use pencils only to draw train tracks that seemed to converge until they disappeared on the horizon. They used pencils only to draw the detail that vanished in the distance, too.

No color. This was a big part of the problem. The other problem? She kept explaining the vanishing point as if they didn't get it the first time. Duh. The tracks seem to come together until they disappear because you can't see anymore. Got it.

No magic, no color, no life. No story. A concept and a pencil. Might as well be math class.


"But where did the train go?"


"She didn't say."


"Let's find the train. Teach me the way you'd want the class taught and we'll find the train on the other side."


So my daughter got out the paints and pastels, the markers and pens and crayons. The Crayola people fed our need for color; Dell brought her train into a bright new world--a mere puff of smoke on the horizon, to be sure--but step aside, because here it comes!


PS Having satisfied that need for color and freedom, she went on to draw the life-cycle of the snowman. You'll notice the game's up when the kid heads to school.



This week's blessing: Finding the train.

Blog Your Blessings

Comments

  1. I like your daughter's cartoon of life cycle of snowman. Very witty and funny.

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  2. Adorable and also quite intelligent.

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  3. we need more creative artists to teach or guide our young ones with their art...they naturally know how to draw.

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  4. Sandy, you are an excellent teacher and you handled that situation beautifully! My hats off to you.

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  5. I am looking for those flowers to be bloomin soon. Well, soon if you think spring will be here soon.

    Your daughter is lucky to have a backup teacher. One that is more intelligent and able to teach without rote.

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  6. Loved this posting! Great artwork! Great ideas!

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  7. Find the train applies in every life situation. You hit the nail on the head, Sandy.

    All the best for the new year. Am slowly getting back to normal after our trip to the west coast!

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  8. "the game's up when the kid heads to school."
    Wonderful lesson, Sandy. And once you primed the pump you got the wonderful snow-man series. I loved it. Whimsical, stiring memories of happy days playing "outside." Aloha-

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  9. Your daughter is amazing! I can see that you don't trust her education to the teachers at school -- and that's a good thing.

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  10. Anonymous12:40 AM

    I see the sun as the symbol for our source of energy and where we metaphorically come from and the train tracks are coming from the source and also going back to the source. Coming from the sun on a train, we leave the train and build a story, a life, and then we take the train back to the sun to end our specialized experience. ?

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  11. you've had a great time sandy. kids brings joy in many ways.

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  12. That was a good illustration, Sandy..
    both finding the train in words; and the snowman one :)

    Yours is an interesting blog :)

    wishes,
    devika

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  13. Hello SDandy
    I called by to see your Sky Watch... and was not disapointed... but this grabbed my attention... loved the pictures and the reasoning behind them.. and the Life of the Snowman will keep popping up in my head... I'll show Jane this later when she gets home... she will love to.

    All the very best to you and yours..
    Tom

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  14. This reminds me of an art story in reverse in a way. My son, when he was about age 10, was required to create a title page, and like your daughter was full of creativity, and so spent hours drawing in intricate details. The reverse part of the story was that he had chosen to use pencil and did not want to use any colour. When he showed me the finished project I praised the work, but then warned him, "You will loose marks if it isn't in colour.", and his reply, based upon previous experiences with this rigid teacher was, "I know, but I like it like this". And yes, he lost marks, but stayed true to his own achievement. And as an art teacher, I, his mother, understood and accepted his choice.

    The life cycle of a snowman is wonderful!

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  15. Seems your daughter is quite the teacher-the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as they say!

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  16. She has expressed herself wonderfully!

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  17. I love what your daughter did with her train tracks! Is that a sunrise or set? I sure do like it there. The snowman story is creative,too.

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  18. i LOVE THE DRAWINGS!

    (the caps were by accident but I left them because I feel shouting in enthusiam here is absolutely appropriate)

    I really like the snowman cartoon. The train too. Why do they call it a vanishing point, it might also be an appearing point!

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  19. So creative! I love the puff of smoke on the horizon. Now if only her art teacher had thought of that. And the life cycle of a snowman is a brilliant idea. I'd like to borrow that idea and try it on something other than a snowman.

    I came to you from Mrs. Nesbitt. I will add your name to my list of blogs to visit if you don't mind. You have an interesting blog

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  20. What a great teacher you are, Sandy. You are inspiring, and that's what every mind needs, young or old. Loved this lesson.
    Sandi

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  21. that is a very good perspective drawing! The snowman life cycle is very cool too! Lots of thought went into both of these drawings!

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  22. I understand how color adds to a picture but I have seen some great black and white ones also. Perhaps the art teacher wanted to concentrate on the track perspective without details. . . did you talk to her/him? Once the idea of perspective is taught, the additional things can be added in perspective too.

    That said, I do like your daughter's pictures with the color and additional things added. I love the snowman story. . . but that is a bit rushing it to have a flower bloom (signifying spring) after one snowman melts. I LOVE WINTER so I don't want that to happen quite yet! Ü

    I guess I better go load my BYB post now. . .

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  23. Hmmm... figuring out perspective... using imagination... being creative... sharing all of these with a loved one... Yup! A great bunch of blessings to be sure!

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  24. Anonymous9:57 AM

    A wonderful blessing, and thank you for sharing it Sandy :)

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  25. I love the life cycle of the snowman. The teacher should be shot. Many people do not learn by drawing. I guess it would not occur to the teacher to take them outside to show them a real example.

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  26. I like the tiny puff of smoke, glad you guys found the train. :) And color! Definitely need color in this world! :)

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  27. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Yup ... it all starts with an open-ended question and really listening for an answer doesn't it. Wonderful blessing for your daughter, and for the rest of us too ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

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  28. What a touching story...and the blessings for all of us readers are too many to count.

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  29. Hey,

    It is a difficult job teaching the kids. They have a wild imagination, and we often err by thinking that they are not smart enough to handle the truth, and we feed them with many lies and stories.

    I think this makes the job of a teacher not only tough, but very challenging too.

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  30. Anonymous6:10 AM

    Bright girl your daughter, but then she has a fantastic teacher in you.

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  31. Anonymous11:56 AM

    How lucky that your daughter comes home to a mother like you! :-)

    Congratulations on David's "Post of the Day" award!

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  32. Pretty sharp kid!
    Congratulations on your teaching skills and your POTD nomination at David's! Well earned.

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