i had the great opportunity to tour an old, gigantic building in pueblo, co yesterday. a group is well on their way to restoration and sales. it is a typical approach, multi use, high end condos, stores, coffee shops, etc. all with stunning views and crazy architecture... but this 250,000 sqft brick, concrete and metal building was special. i would love to have the means to go after a project with so much space for creative outcomes. cant wait to see it finished, or maybe not?
This week I wrote and delivered what proved to be the hardest of the 3 letters of resignation I have written in the last 5 years. (don't worry it is not for sexual assault:)
In August I felt very betrayed by the superintendent of our school and was basically accused of wrong doing with my "school bus" project,..after which I was told I could no longer fund my program with creative projects and would have a $900 budget yearly. This was not acceptable. I quickly tried to engage in a discussion of how we could truly fund such a program. 3 months and 3 emails later (last email Nov 20th), and after laying out my plan and need for commitment of better funding strategies, I got no reply and/or no attempt by my administration to address this issue.
In October, again there was a betrayal and lack of loyalty to Carey (my assistant coach, fellow teacher) and myself in a very trying football season, after which we both resigned.. This time it was by my Principal and AD, who in the following three months have made no attempt to amend, apologize or explain their actions. This proved to be the final nail in the coffin for me.
I moved here after my dad was admitted into a nursing home, July 2015. This inspired me tremendously not to waste anytime in this precious life, charging me to do something meaningful and creative. I was graced with the opportunity to work with the kids of this community, to share my experiences and creativity with them and I jumped on it. My students have been my joy and purpose for what will be 2.5 years at the end of the year. They have made this decision very hard... the above mentioned has made it easy.
Today, my father is still in the nursing home and has had a few bad months. I also had a very close friend die this year in September, an event that shook me to the bone. Again I was reminded to cherish my time and not waste a second of it. Incidentally, yet unfortunately, at the same time my job situation and our educational community, was revealing itself to mediocre at best (students not included:). I have no room for mediocracy unless I have created it myself:) Today I aspire to get back to doing something excellent for this community something more authentically me.
So now it is on to something new, and transition always welcomes me, gets my creative juices rolling. I want to bring more food to this community, continue to introduce art and beauty to my little slice of this town. I have big deas of bikes, kites and boat rentals on the side, as well as funding a free bike program for the community kids. My life will be a combination of all of these things and more, with an intention to enrich the Walsenburg experience and help this town come alive again.
I appreciate all of you who have been supportive of my teaching endeavors, and for your consistent encouragement. I hope to make you proud, and make you smile with my next creative expression. Most of all I'm thankful to my students, who almost immediately accepted me as their teacher, their comrade and fellow Wallyburger:) Great kids who gave me a purpose and strength to be my best self.
a quick shout out to all the groovy people i have met along the way, on this wonderful, gypsy journey.... here is to more of all of you in 2018. Happy New Years.
this is not the way i had hoped my walsenburg football experience would have ended, I was thinking more like 5 or 6 years and a playoff game or two... but its over. after a challenging 0=5 start, with discipline issues, injuries, a roster that ended up at 11, we eventually had to forfeit the last 3 games,
on wednesday it became known that our AD and principal were not supportive in the direction my assistant and i were headed with the program. we both asked not to have our contracts renewed on thursday and now will dust off and get back to teaching.
shorter than most of my relationships:), similarly this was a great learning experience, albeit very disappointing. it's been a crazy few months of learning to let go and being reminded how precious time is... and never to compromise it.
here's to the 2017 panthers and tough life lessons, even when you are 50+.
It is interesting to me, especially as an artist and photographer that after 5 weeks with this team and two weeks into the season, that it took this type of documentation and or visual to really make me see what is happening in the moment. To gain a true perspective.
My players see me as a hard ass, I push them intensely and I don't miss many of their imperfections as players. I want them to be the best they can be, I want them to be a part of a special team. So as I look at these pictures I realize, as I always have as a teacher, that these are truly incredible kids and that I care for them tremendously.... win or lose.
So we press on to week 2, under prepared, under established but restless to be better. We are very eager to experience life and all of its obstacles and opportunities. This is my team, we are all very proud people, we are all imperfect, we are the Walsenburg Panthers, 2017.
one month of work on the inside of the loft... and i increased my finished, usable space by about 600 sqft. now instead of my guest having to sleep in my previous paint studio, i have a clean, usable spare bedroom. the room has a evolving wall painting that i will encourage guest to participate in. you can check out my previous post to see the new painting studio i created this month as well. onto the outside of the building for two weeks, and then rest.
$50 of paint... $200 student labor and i have a big, new, rustic studio. the hardest thing was scrap drywall and having a half bucket of mud:) i will fine tune things as i use the space and decide, long term, whether or not to keep the middle room in the building or take it up to the rafters as well? that might be an easier decision once i get a wood stove in the back.
Got back to New Orleans this year and stayed with my great hostess and host, Deven and Jurgen. Groovy people watching, sweet bikes rides in the rain with a bit of music peppered in and of course the food and drinks:) Too much fun.
On the way to Deven's I got to see a cousin of mine I hadn't seen in 10 years, along with his wife and his cute 3 girls, who Red loved. After NOLA I picked up my brother John in Houston and then headed to the Galveston Island... bikes, beer and more, lots more:)
Joined by my sister Heather, we next headed to Austin to spend some time with two of her kids... again more beer and food. The Finale was my parents 60th anniversary dinner in Ft. Worth with family, after which I was ready to retreat back to the mountains and Detox!
getting up close on some of the natural habitats of lathrop state park... always with colorado's big, beautiful sky as the back drop. it is a weekend ritual for me and rubyred, she loves the water and i love considering the mountain views, while watching her enjoy nature. and oh, there is the cool southern colorado air...good stuff so close to home.
I had the chance to do a couple of logos this week and always appreciate the chance to collaborate on these things. From Dance to Orthopedic services, fun range:)