Friday, October 2, 2009

Ok, I'm In

Alright, I'll bring the pink and purple pool to the studio sale. However, I really would like some additional effects to be added since I'm not going to be rushed out there like the grocery store debacle. I'm thinking of maybe a bag of sand and some floating rubber toys or something. Maybe even a few of those water floating candles? That might look pretty cool.

Anyway, for the time being, I've decided to go back to basics. I think the SOS thing was a bit overboard (ha ha no pun intended), and therefore I'm going to kick it down a notch and send messages the old fashioned way: via balloons! It's stupid and overdone, I know. But think about this. I can get at least 30 or 40 kids to volunteer for the event. Just like your peace rock, Jenn. It was way too inspirational, and I saw my daughter's face light up when you pulled a rock from the little bag to give to her. She painted all the rocks in my walkway for crying out loud! Anyway, I can use all the messages I already made and create a few more. Then, I will buy two bags of balloons. I'm thinking the fifty per pack bag of balloons. I'll stuff all the envelopes with a single balloon, a hopeful message, and a pre-formed note about the mission. Then, I am going to rent a helium tank (I've got a good friend in the food industry; Will, you know, big Tommy from Mona Lisa), and he is going to hook us up with the air. I will then proceed to assemble all the kids at Frenchtown School and give them each one balloon to release! We'll have some kind of formal count down and let em' rip.

Now, on each envelope I will label the state of CT. When it eventually lands, hopefully someone will find the note and fill the provided unused balloon inside. They will package a new message, provide one balloon, and repeat mission. How many states do you think this can cover? Are balloons really bad for the environment? Will people just throw them out? And what do we have to do to get kids involved with the situation other than "I don't want to get rid of the balloon" and having fights ensue?

On another note, Will sent me some Taylor Mali video "stuff" a while back. I've been following Taylor Mali for some time now and actually read at a Dodge Festival several years ago when Taylor was the featured reader. Anyhow, I wrote a piece a year or two ago and really haven't done much with it or to it, but it is a "retaliation" of sorts to the poem by "I quit teaching turned poet" Mali. I really do like his work...very much. I was in one of those moods that just....well...felt like telling my side of the story. I could use some feedback or help because it isn't where it needs to be and may never be for that matter, but I'm going to post it anyway because I've had one of those weeks at school......

What Teachers Really Make:
The New Translation of Taylor Mali’s Poem What Teachers Make

I make coffee
Before the crows
Even think about tearing open the curbside garbage.

I make enemies
Because I care
To make a difference
And eat lunch
With a bunch
Of screw-ups
Who show up
To talk
Instead of work.

I make enemies
Because I don’t
Give a rat’s ass
The paycheck
Unlike most
Who wear them
Like pocket protectors,
Every other Friday,
As if
It’s going to put a dent
In the oil bill or mortgage or credit card debt.

I make enemies
I don’t promise parents
Because the autistic child
Will always be autistic
And the alcoholic father
Will always be more of an influence
Than me.
Because I admit
That I will never
Music or drugs or sex.
I make enemies
Because I teach.

I mean
I really teach.

I pick up the pieces of
A shattered weekend
Every Monday
And put it back together
By 8:25 a.m.
And begin reading.

I read their faces
Their eyes
Their laughter
And cries.

I take time to stop
The out of control
From running all over their precious

I make enemies
All of those

I make enemies
With all of those
Who know nothing
About their lives.

I make it a point
To know
What kind
Of bike they ride,
What movies they love
And what they’re going to eat for lunch.

I make
More than a difference.


  1. i really like your balloon idea... i would love to be there for the even if i can (if it's on a friday before noon - I am free) not so sure if balloons are good for the environment - but painting my kitchen with toxic paint probably isn't either... your ideas are beautiful and i think both of them will work. btw, i will provide the floaty candles for the pool! so we are on for the studio sale!!! i may just have to put on the invite that there will be an "UMATKU" happening or event during it to peek some people's curiosity:)

    how about letting the kids come up with the message to put inside the balloon? with an adult to help write it? the prompt could be, "write something positive on this piece of paper that will make someone smile" you could give a couple of examples on your card explaining about the project? just some thoughts...


  2. ps. that poem is GREAT the way it is... i may just have to write my own rebuttal as well. the art teacher version.