my week: my summer (part one)

It's been a minute, hasn't it? Last time I wrapped up my "week", summer had just begun. Now we've passed the halfway point (last weekend), with just four weeks and change until the first day of a new school year which, for my son, will be at a new school. Interesting timing, too, since Oakland-based Design Mom just posted this thorough explanation of why she doesn't stress about school choice. Her younger kids actually attend the same school my son attended for Kindergarten and 1st grade. And it's a great school in a lot of ways (I liked it; I never loved it as so many do), but the final straw that motivated me to spend a lunch break at the student assignment office a few weeks ago was the lack of after-school options. Kids get out of school at 3 p.m. most days, 1:20 on Wednesdays and all other "minimum days". But I don't wrap up work until between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Dilemma! So, yeah, it's easy to not stress about school choice when you have the flexibility to get your "work" done, whatever your "work" may be, during the school day. If you need supervision before and/or after the school day, your thought process about schools in light of your child's overall day might change just a bit. And the school my son will be going to is that much closer to home, meaning just a smidgen more time each morning and evening.

Other than schools and after-school programs and extended day enrichment classes, here are a few things I've been thinking about over the past six weeks.


I recently got to meet one of my favorite artists, Allison Smith. She teaches at the college where I work and just happened to be sitting next to me at an office birthday thing - an unofficial perk of working at an art school, you could say.

MoMA acquired the rainbow flag as a design icon.

Also via Brainpickings, I was introduced to the work of Oliver Jeffers. He's a visual artist who works across various media, including children's books. I'm particularly smitten with this project and immediately snatched up this book to read with my kids.

Speaking of kids, I love, love, love this article about creativity and age in The Atlantic, about how "Everyone Was an Artist in Kindergarten". This line in particular has really stuck with me since reading it: "Creativity is contingent on willingness to be judged." So true.

Speaking of a more, how shall we say, mature demographic, I finally watched Noah Baumbach's While We're Young. It's no Kicking and Screaming but pretty good. Best line in the film: "What's the opposite of 'the world is your oyster'?"

I just got my print in the mail yesterday! Jaime Rovenstine partners with Design Milk and Sebastian Foster to offer affordable, high quality art prints. I love the print I got but I'm also really digging her paintings with darker, space-like backgrounds.

Take me back to Boston so I can see Amanda Parer's giant, illuminated rabbits!

CRAFT (and design and stuff)

I planned a Pokemon-themed party for my 7 year old. It was the first time I've made his party invites in three years, creating a 5x7 inch invitation in the style of a Pokemon trading card with the help of Beagle Cakes on the anime style illustration of my son as the centerpiece (I loved it so much I'm having her make one for my daughter, too). Unfortunately, I just don't have the time to get too crafty with these sorts of shenanigans these days, but I did transform the gatorade into energy bevvies:

...and Costco pizza into pokeball pizza!

Kids really dig gatorade, by the way. They had a lot of energy by the end of that party.

Oakland and CCA, where I work, both get a nice mention in this article in American Craft Magazine. If you're from here you probably remember when CCA (California College of the Arts) was CCAC (California College of Arts and Crafts). The college has actually changed its name 3 times in its 100+ year history.

DANCE (and all the other stuff)

Misty Copeland is the first African American woman promoted to principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. Did you know she didn't start ballet lessons until she was 13?! Her life story so far is quite the read.

Speaking of SYTYCD (Copeland was a guest judge a couple of seasons ago), are you watching? Do you love it? Are you #teamstage or #teamstreet? While I'm not a huge fan of the revised format of the show, I'm "Team Street" all the way and happy to see the distinction isn't a huge deal, after all, with dancers from both teams not only dancing together but in all the usual styles. I'm not sure how I feel about the threesomes, though. Officially dance crushin' on both Jaja and Yorelis.

By the way, tomorrow is National Dance Day. Have you learned the choreo yet? There's still time!

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