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Monday, April 25, 2016

Poignant brushwork portraits

I just told someone that I didn't paint people- and here I am finishing a series of portraits!
 This group was filled with personalities, all so different. Outside of the advisory they were not the best of friends with each other, but inside the room, they had each other's backs, they respected each other and ... we all learned from each other.
 I am grateful to my job for giving me the opportunity to get to know these kids, and through our Mosaic program we studied, discussed and learned about our ethnicity, our privilege, our inherent biases, our understanding of gender preferences and identification, as well as how to change a tire on a car, cook with an iron, balance a check book and make a monthly budget. We explored the UN's sustainable development goals and found the ones we were passionate about and made a plan, we painted murals, served dinner to the homeless, traveled to Universal studios, and spent a day on South Beach. I saw them elected homecoming king, Mr. Falcon, and into honor societies. We won contests for our decorations, our posters, scavenger hunts and more. I admired their work as editors of the yearbook, as creator of films, as Agents of Change, as soccer stars, as football running-back-record-breakers, as directors and actors, as potters, as poets, as musicians, and as painters.
  I also grieved as they were suspended, disciplined, failed, rejected and heartbroken. I applaud their courage and curiosities. I truly love these guys and will really miss them during fire drills next fall.
 I don't remember many of my own high school teachers. I know I had some good ones, but they've faded, and I never looked back.

These kids ARE my teachers and I must now buck up and look forward.


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