Monday, February 01, 2016

Pictures And Thousands Of Words

Cielo came to see me one afternoon this past week. Actually, she came to see me twice after school on the same day. Cielo (her name is pronounced C-L-O) is one of my favorite students ever. She is commencing to paint the third ceiling tile in my classroom with a story from the life of Jesus. The idea came from my hometown newspaper in Nebraska. The art department in my old high school teamed with local businesses by having the kids paint scenes on tiles and displaying them in local stores. One of my previous, and also favorite students, Katherine Elizabeth Harper, painted two, based on The Last Supper and The Transfiguration. In her visit, Cielo showed me sketches of her two proposals- I think she will go with Jesus turning water into wine. A few minutes later, Cielo returned with a yard stick- measurement time! I climbed up on a step ladder to make sure her sketches will be true to scale. (Did you know the standard dimension of a US ceiling tile is 2' x 4'?) She has quite a bit of work ahead of her. The tile has to be coated with a sealer to form a solid surface over the porous tile and the painting is actually on the sealant. I have no doubt it will be a masterpiece- Cielo just has a gift. 

There are students in all of my classes who daily pen a prayer request on their quizzes or memory verses. It might center around a family member who is sick or an upcoming test/ballgame/project. I also have a number of kids who simply write a little note- several weeks ago I wrote about Annaliza who always adds Favorite Filipino Teacher! to all of her assignments. (That's me in case you're wondering!) In Cielo's 8th period, eighth grade Bible class, about half the youngsters leave a prayer request or message. Sometimes the note is for me and sometimes for my wonderful teacher's aide, My Ngo. (My favorite is the title Vy, a girl from Vietnam, has given me: Coach Lingo, after the LDS classic film we watch, Johnny Lingo.) Cielo leaves a daily note, too, but hers is different. Each afternoon, she draws a picture for me and My. I have no idea how she does it so quickly but invariably, there it is when I collect the papers and My alphabetizes them. Like all artists, Cielo has a style that is easily recognizable as her own. I should be saving them; no doubt they will fetch millions one day!

We all express ourselves in manners unique to ourselves. I can't draw a stick man but I can appreciate those with talent. Cielo, who is also a terrific student and charming teenager, chooses to communicate with My and me in a way unlike any other child in all my years of teaching. And I'm grateful. From the beginning of the scriptures, we see how people have used the talents and abilities God has given them to make a difference in a sometimes dreary world. The Lord painted sunsets and rainbows and meadows and blue skies and oceans for us to enjoy. And He gave some of His children the gift of being able to make His Creation enjoyable on a ceiling tile or maybe even a Bible quiz. A true artist can make almost anything a workable canvas, even a piece of 8 1/2'' by 11'' sheet of paper originating from Staples with fifteen Bible questions as the backdrop. Like I said, it's a gift. 

Applicable quote of the day:
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
Edgar Degas

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

Razgriz said...

Saw the artwork. That is really neat stuff! Give her my compliments. And I'm glad you guys are still watching Johnny Lingo! Although I am LDS I never saw Johnny Lingo until I was in your class. Hope all is well!