Thursday, July 19, 2012

If only life could always be the summer

Overall, I am really enjoying my moments. There are days where there is a ton to do and I feel overwhelmed but then there are other days where I can relax a little and enjoy my time. Most days its a good busy, not a stressful busy. Working from home in the morning is wonderful. I don't have to get up at 6:00am. I can stay in my PJs. I don't have to navigate LA traffic in the morning. I have much more energy for my afternoon job. I get to eat meals at a table instead of in a car.

When Justice and Peace Kiss is a real source of joy for me as well. I love collaborating with other artist. I have loved leading the LAUP team and get to be apart of their journey as they discover how to use their art for the kingdom of God. It has been great this year to see how the youth have improved over the years and matured spiritually and as artist. I am excited for our performance, its going to be rockin'.

Its a short summer this year because LAUSD schools start back Aug 14th. Less than a month away, ick! I very much fear going back to my crazy 2 job schedule but trying to enjoy the time that I do have.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"You're are sooo skinny, don't you eat?"

Some food for thought from a skinny person
Now, not all skinny people are skinny for the same reason. But there are a good number of us out there who are skinny because that is how God created our body type to be. It's not that we don't like desserts, starve ourselves, make ourselves throw up, or exercise an excessive amount. We are just thin because our genes are that way. Fortunately or unfortunately, we did not choose this body type.

A lot of times people come up to us and say something like, "You are sooooo thin, don't you eat anything?"
Here are some reason why we don't take that as a compliment but in fact an insult.
1) It doesn't make us feel beautiful for being thin. It in fact makes us feel abnormal, freakish and weird.
2) There is an implication in that statement that we don't eat. And we do. A lot times I feel like I have to prove that I eat a lot. Although I like salad, I feel like if I just order a salad people will think I am on a diet or say something to the effect of, "That's alllll your going to eat? You need to eat more than that." I feel pressured to eat dessert or continue eating when I am full to prove that I am not anorexic.
3) There is an implication that if we eat more, we will not be thin anymore. Again, fortunately/unfortunately, that is not usually the case. Even when we do eat a lot, we do not put on weight. Don't you think we have tried? Don't you think that we are sick of people telling us that we look too thin and need to eat more? But eating more does not always equal gaining more weight.
4) A lot times people think that only overweight people have problems with self esteem and body image, but we do too. Being too fat OR too thin is seen as unattractive. When people make comments to us they are usually not saying, "Look at you, you thin sexy thing." But more along the lines of "What's wrong with you? Why are you so skinny?"

So the next time you run into your really thin friend, remember affirm their beauty in the same way as you would anyone else. Reminding us of just how thin we are doesn't make us feel better. Thank you.

Lastly, I am sorry if this offends anyone, but I really like this monologue. I relate in a lot these struggles as a skinny person. 

By Monica Hesse

MONICA: Some people try to use nice words to describe skinny people. They call us "petite," "slender," and (my personal favorite) "small boned." But to me, that's like calling people with big feet "good ground packers." It might sound nice, but it doesn't change the fact that their shoes are often mistaken for Noah's Ark. 
Other people think that my small stature is both useful and entertaining. Whenever a ring or
other piece of jewelry has fallen through a small hole, like a drain, or behind the couch, or down a rat-infested sewer, I, with my small hands and tiny wrists, am called upon to fish it out. 
I am also quite popular in dance class: "Monica, we'd like to try picking up someone up by their earlobe, spinning them around at 9000 miles an hour, and then releasing them in the direction of the ceiling, thereby propelling them toward the high speed, jet powered fan. You're Skinny, can we try it on you?" 
You don't get much sympathy being thin, either. My mother treats it like it's some mysterious illness ("Monica can't come out and play, she's Skinny today"). During family gatherings, she occasionally tries to pass me off as an Ethiopian refugee who hasn't eaten for sixteen days. 
Otherwise, my relatives might notice my lack of mass and accuse her of "not feeding me 
properly." This is a touchy subject with my mother, who always fears that there is a direct 
correlation between her bad cooking and my fast metabolism. 
One week, in an attempt to "fatten me up," she only cooked meals with more fat content than Luciano Pavarotti. This plan backfired when she and my stepfather gained ten pounds and I lost two. We spent the next week eating only seaweed and bean sprouts.

Buying underwear is another problem. There are simply no bras in my size. I'm forced to shop in the junior's department where all of the brassieres sport embarrassing pictures and slogans like, "Little Miss Inverted Chest," and "You're on Your Way to Becoming a Woman Training Bra." Training bras were a concept I could never understand. Training for what, God only knows. Certainly not the Breast Olympics, mine would never make it past the time trials. 
Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining too much here. After all, I'm nearly 18 and I'm still 
admitted with children's fare at the movies. However, just once in my life, I wouldn't mind being able to wear a halter-style top without worrying about the strength of the elastic. I would love to be able to fill a bikini with my curvaceous hips and womanly figure, and stand around with all of my other well-endowed friends as we gawk at all the passerby. "Don't you just hate that girl," we would whisper viciously, "She's so Skinny!"  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shadow Puppet Theatre

This is a very late post but I wanted to still share. One of my favorite things that I did with my students this year was a shadow puppet show. I wanted them to be involved in the process of creating their own play. Kids have more ownership and feel more excited to perform something that they created. I went through setting, characters, problem and solution, and the basic plot outline with them. The decided all of these things. I did this activity the previous year but found that kinders don't last very long on stage without some sort of song or dance to hold their attention. Instead of a regular play, I decided to create a shadow puppet play based off the ideas that they gave me. I knew that all the students would not be able to be the puppeteers so I created a chorus of song effects for the show. I put in repeated words that would trigger a sound effect and movement. I hoped that this would keep them engaged throughout the story.
They created puppets for the performance. They were not as detailed as the picture above. In fact you were lucky if you could tell what the puppet was. But they were proud of what they had made, and that is what is important to me. I brought in a sheet, lamp, and created a little shadow puppet stage for them.

Here was our story: There was a pizza man who made very special and unique pizzas. But one day every time he put them in the oven, they would disappear. He called on some super heroes to help him solve the mystery: Super Kid, Super Bunny, and Super Cat. Super Cat was able to use his might vision to catch the criminal.It turned out that Rocky, who was the pet dinosaur of Mrs. Sabrina, had been sneaking in and eating all the pizzas.

The sound effects when a little like this.
Narrator: The pizza man rolled out the dough for the pizza
All: ch, ch (they make a motion like they are rolling out dough)
Narrator: Spread on the special sauce
All: Mmmmmmm
Narrator: And carefully put on the crazy topping
All: plop plop
Narrator: All put the pizza in the oven.
All: (Motions wiping hand to get flour off)
Narrator: The timer went off
All: Ding
Narrator: But when the pizza man opened the oven the pizza was gone.
All: Oh no!

I think the sound effects helped them stay engaged but it was still a struggle to keep them focused to rehearse.

No usually I would narrate something like this but I had one student who was a fantastic reader. Way above kindergarten level. She was able to read anything I gave her and narrated the entire show. I also let other students who were not the puppeteers do the voices of the different characters.

We performed it for the parents. I thought it went pretty well, I was most excited to do something different and unique with them.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Rust Cleaned

Rusting, rocking boat
Dive in, splash, swim fast toward shore
Heavy guilt; seen, cleaned