Lately I have been distracted with current events and not focused on new blog posts. I use to feel like blogging was an extension of my artistic development. It represented another venue where I could share my creative process which helped me to develop and grow as an artist, and possibly help my blog followers too. I have not been able to focus on making new art these past few weeks...
Yesterday I was a substitute teacher for social studies at the high school and it happened to be the same day there was a special school assembly regarding the new chemical health policy for the student body. Students were disturbed at the concept that their "extra curricular" activities away from the school would be a factor as to whether they could participate in school sports and clubs. The new policy states no student shall be caught either using or present while other students are using illegal drugs or alcohol from the time they complete middle school until the time they complete high school, 365 days a year. There have been a stream of 17 tragic deaths in the past four years, all were graduates of the high school, all were alcohol or drug related that started at some point when these students were in the public schools. I guess for me as a parent and teacher, it was upsetting to see so many students having issue with the new policy. My biggest concern was that any illegal activity no matter what time of day or night it occurs, is still illegal. Why were students so outraged? Substitute teachers usually are given a simple lesson plan which students usually don't take seriously and I have to admit, being a substitute can feel more like babysitting for the day. I was encouraged that I could discuss with my students the new school policy and felt like we really did accomplish some "social studies", but at the same time I was saddened by their negative reaction.
Last night the parents were also required to attend another assembly so that they could sign off on agreeing to the new policy, and this was the school principal's way of forcing parents to be involved. Some of the parents resented the policy and were angered by the school's need to watch over our children 365 days a year. Police were present, and there was a media circus being restrained outside the school property. Why?
The other current event that tied into my classroom topics from yesterday was the tragedy of the shootings in Arizona and congresswoman Gabby Giffords. It feels to me like a sign of the times, both on a local and national level, reflecting the depressed condition of our great nation. Politics has never been something I have felt connected to following and I admit my artwork has always been the tool that allowed me to detach from the craziness around me, leading me to a place of peacefulness and serenity. When will I be ready to reconnect to my art making? maybe tomorrow when we get a foot or two of snow!
Why do you blog? and why do you make art?