Sunday, May 11, 2008

Spring Constructions

Mother's Day was a bust. But, the day before was awesome. So, I'm not complaining. Instead, I want to celebrate. Tonight, I want to celebrate children who can create magic out of a few sticks, rocks, bricks and natural bric-a-brac. I want to celebrate the act of witnessing "construction and self."

Installation One - Bench

Bench was a creation built by the newly forming "No Global Warming Club" at PALS. Between classes, a few children took it upon themselves to create a bench. They spent an inordinate amount of time using the material at hand; negotiating and implementing design. The result was a major victory in the areas of collaboration; design; architecture; and physics.

Here is Bench. Constructed of rocks, vines, sticks, and dirt - all materials found in their immediate surroundings - it held the weight!

Because our host site for classes seems less than child friendly, we had to dismantle Bench. The kids were sad, yet, cooperative. Somewhere deep inside of them is a steady pulse which beats a mantra of "leave no mark." For this, we are blessed.

Witness the end of Bench.

Installation Two - Virtues

One afternoon, Winston and his friend Pearl were having trouble connecting. So, I dug deep into my bag of theatre tricks and pulled out a story. I sent them on quest after quest to save my kingdom. Together, they had to find many wands. Time after time the "enemy" came against us." Each time they would have to seek an object which would transform the enemy into a friend.

I sent them searching for the wands of unity, compassion, understanding, justice, unity, unconditional love, courage, cooperation and a few more I can't remember. Each time I sent them out, we reviewed how these goals were achieved. (Okay - it was a basic vocabulary lesson.) Then, once the "queendom" was secure, we built a monument.

Here is our monument to Peace through the deep passageways of compassion, understanding, justice, unity, unconditional love, courage, cooperation, etc., etc.

What I found interesting is that as we constructed the monument, they remembered which stick was which. (I had long fogrotten.) And each idea leaned - somehow - appropriately upon the other.

It has since been mowed by the city.

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