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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Boys will be be boys

Let's go ahead and add Art to the list of classes I shouldn't be allowed to teach.

The lesson plan is about pointillism, showing examples of Seurat's work before teaching the kids how to make nametags using this technique. As cliché as it is, Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte is my all-time favorite painting. There's an amazing an abundance of detail to keep the eyes captivated for hours.

Just call me Cameron Frye:

With higher-level students, this is probably a fantastic lesson. But all of the kids today spoke zero English. Asking simply, "How are you?" led to a roomful of blank stares. It was hard enough getting through attendance; teaching a class on pointillism seemed a bit out of reach.

I relaxed the rules and, while emphasizing this dot technique, said they could draw anything they wanted. Most students drew pictures of Mickey Mouse, Keroro and Tamama, or colorful landscapes.

But when I noticed two seven-year-old boys giggling in that fiendish way little boys do, I migrated over to their table to find a stack of drawings like this:

Oh, boy.

Even after I confiscated the drawings and used an elaborate game of Charades to explain that they could draw absolutely anything EXCEPT that, they continued to make those pictures. Why?!

Happily, that's my last class for the week. The scheduled Wednesday-to-Friday students canceled over swine flu fears, resulting in two days of lesson plan writing before a mandatory vacation day Friday.

I'm going to Busan for a day trip -- any recommendations while I'm down there? Decided against a full weekend when I realized it's only 3.5 hours each way and the only things on my agenda are to eat some fish and lie on the beach. We used to go a longer distance to New York for the day, so why not do the same here?