Natural by Design
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. – Thomas Merton
We are excited as we head to campus for our first full day of projects. We will share the projects from all three sections from St. Andrew’s School. These 7th graders created large t-shirt designs with colorful messages about caring for the environment and the importance of conserving energy; others drew inspiration from the role each student plays in the web of life. The t-shirt designs, and their messages about nature, are bold, beautiful, and bright.
We begin with Elizabeth’s P5A class. We tape up photos of the EP classes and those from St. Andrew’s, along with some of the brighter t-shirt examples from the students. We have moved the desks aside, and begin with our opening circle and then keep the students in the circle seated for the discussion. We share the lesson, but it is the large paper with beautiful water colors that they are eager to get to. Each student gets a small photocopy of the art and photo from their paired friend in Savannah, Georgia, while the larger originals are hung on chalkboards, around the room, and lay, on display, in the middle of the circle. Art inspiring art.
We move onto Doris’s and Richard’s classes for the same flow. Laughter abounds as we share Sara’s t-shirt; the students here have a German teacher assisting named Sara and they are excited to recognize the name. At the end of each class, students take their own small sheets to look at the larger class photo and identify their friends.
The SCAD graduate film students, Carter and Trey, begin interviewing for our new video also in production this exchange. Rashida is first up from the P6 class to be interviewed. She is a stand out student, and formally part of the leaders group we facilitated in our first 4 years. We learn that she recently represented her school in the national spelling bee in Accra. After her interview, she returns and sits huddled, sharing with the rest of the chosen ones, mostly leaders group participants, about what to expect and how best to prepare.
We visit with teachers and friends and learn of Eyram’s progress and her participation in a reading group, a new innovation in this classroom. Eryam proudly shares that she is learning… and this means, much to our excitement, that we can now communicate with a little more ease. Two of the teachers, Susan and Doris, share they still have Anna Grace’s birth announcement in their purses. Amy's heart is touched, and we joke that Anna Grace is already traveling around Ghana. This is another beautiful reminder, like passing students on the street who pull out old letters, that what we bring and the connections we make are lasting. They stay with us, and we carry them around in our hearts… and sometimes even our bags.