More than a month has passed since I last posted. At that time I asked the readers to help me out by submitting ideas and suggestions for the mural project that I was working on with the Afterschool Arts Program. As is usual with this blog, I got no responses. Although I am not complaining, just stating a fact, it is a curious thing to me that with so many people in our school, that not one person was interested enough in the project to say something to me.
Since then, I decided to simply go ahead and begin painting (as my student painters also did not come up with any design ideas). The outlining is done and it draws inspiration from a variety of sources. Many people have asked about the “SILENCE=DEATH” part near the center bottom of the mural. This small area is a tribute to Keith Haring who started out as a guerilla (or graffiti) artist and channeled his talent into a productive career as a mainstream working artist. Haring began his “artistic” career in the early eighties by using chalk to draw on unused advertising space (which were often covered by black paper) in the subways of NYC. Haring gained fame and notoriety during the mid to late 80’s as he incorporated social messages (anti-Apartheid, AIDS awareness) into much of his artwork.
I hope to continue working on the mural this summer and perhaps even next year. If you happen to walk by it, stop into the library and let me know what you think (since no one comments on the blog).
It seems a little silly to post any announcements with just one school day left, but here goes anyway:
- Please double check your lockers and homes and be sure to return any books that you still have out as they tend to get lost over summer vacation. We don’t charge late fees, but we do charge for lost or damaged goods.
- The new summer reading lists have been updated on the HHS main page and are also available here through the “Reading Lists” page on this blog. Please be sure to get a jump on these assignments as they will better prepare you for success next year. I recommend that students read more than one of the books on their lists (you have plenty of time) and encourage you to always have a book with you this summer.
- Please double check your rooms for any books that belong to the library, including those you may have checked out for your students.
- Make sure to return any videotapes that you have checked out. We need to take an accurate inventory of our videotape collection so that we may improve the selection of titles available.
- We will be sending out a short survey via school e-mail that has questions regarding the LMC services, facilities and equipment. Please take two minutes to give us feedback so that we will be able to better plan for your needs.
I am an optimist by nature, a realist by training and a pessimist by experience. At different times of the year, the week, the day, any one of these can gain firm control of my spirit as I am propelled forward into the mix of the world. I don’t pretend to like any one of these forces more than the other, instead I try to stay focused on the work that must be done. No matter how I am feeling about myself and the world around me, I try to stay true to a few meaningful, but simple (some might say clichéd) rules with which to navigate. Perhaps some of you will find something useful and so, I share them with you now, as a parting summer gift:
- Know thyself. (variously attributed) Truly important if anything else is to matter.
- Do unto others … all is really one. (variously attributed) This is the golden rule of reciprocity usually attributed to Judeo-Christian philosophy, but found throughout religious and philosophic treatises. Depending on how far you want to take it, this rule alone could take a lifetime to master.
- Follow your bliss. (Joseph Campbell) This is only worthy of pursuit if you “know thyself”, for your bliss is about a higher calling to the best parts of your being.
- Just do it. (Nike advertising) Who says wisdom can’t come from commercials? The advertising industry uses everthing it can (psychology, money, sex) to get people to act in certain ways … they must know something about something. Anyway, there is one stipulation to this rule, and that is that it only applies to good ideas, that have been seriously considered, lead you towards your bliss, and further your understanding of yourself. Got that?
- Do not go gentle into that good night. (Dylan Thomas) This line of poetry is the clarion call for my every new day. We all must learn to “rage against the dying of the light” … whatever form that light may take for you (decency, respect, justice, freedom).
- D’oh. (Homer Simpson) Silly as it is, what I mean by this is to admit when you mess up … and say it out loud so others hear you.
Final Say (tricked you with the last header)
I began writing this blog in December 2007 (100 posts, 14,000 visitors)and have written continuously since then, but this marked the first time that I have written for an entire school year. I would like to especially thank everyone that stopped by this year and posted comments to provide feedback. It was very nice to hear from some readers and it inspired me to continue writing. I will try to write over the summer, perhaps biweekly, and hope that you occasionally check in to see if there is anything new, interesting or useful.
Thank you for reading and have a great SUMMER!
Oh and a Happy Father’s Day to all you true fathers out there.
Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.