Happy September, everyone! Someone told me yesterday that September is the new January, which makes sense to me. New notebooks and pencils. New shoes. A new season on its way (hooray, Autumn!!!). And if you’re a teacher like me, new classes with new students. A fresh new start!
This past summer I also plunged into a new hobby, which I look forward to continuing as a respite from long school days, adjuncting at night, the constant research and reading required of an English teacher, as well as those mountains of papers to grade:
sketching and watercoloring.
Thanks to Mary Ann Moss, over at Dispatch from LA, I splashed around with paints and water and a bunch of different inks and pens all summer long. Each morning I enjoyed another segment of her online course “Sketchbookery,” happily sketching and coloring spoons, shells, heirloom tomatoes, marbles, trees, toes (don’t ask). Even poor Edith Piaf got a turn. Letting loose under Mary Ann’s tutelage also reaffirmed a few lessons much more important than the accuracy of my fledgling artistry:
- Playing and having fun clears the head and feeds the soul. Play and have fun daily!
- Laugh at yourself. Then laugh at yourself some more.
- It’s okay to make a mess. In fact, making a big splashy mess is quite fun.
- Color outside the lines. Unabashedly. Wildly. Frequently.
- Keep your eyes open to catch all those simple joys and beauties around you.
So off I go to begin the new school year with over 100 freshmen, sophomores, and seniors. I will be teaching a freshman course called Leadership, Honors American Literature to my sophomores, and Honors World Literature to the seniors. Lots of challenges, as well as moments to look forward to, ahead. And lots of breaks to breathe, rest, and sketch and color it all.
I hope you also make lots of time for yourself this September to rest, play, and take some time to look around.
Here’s a peek at some of my sketchbookery: