on truth, progress, and stepping down

…feeling rather dramatic today, several sentences crafted in the ‘woe is he of little faith’ biblical tone. I found a paper with a Buddhist song about karma in the drawer of my new desk in my new office. Perhaps a sign? Seeking organic opportunities for community building and career advancement.  Looking towards bright spots on the horizon. Seeking truth and fairness. Understanding that I do not control the actions of the world. Understanding that time is temporary and trials are teachable moments. Hoping for progress. Thankful for good health, family and true friends.

Yesterday I resigned from my work managing the Coastal Communities Youth Arts Project and assisting in grant writing for the Houma Regional Arts Council. I am thankful for the opportunities the organization has afforded me over the years, especially the opportunities that allowed me to have a hand in bringing arts experiences to underserved youth in South Louisiana. I’ve grown and will continue to grow from the valuable professional development lessons, and am grateful for the organization’s fiscal sponsorship of Art of the Bayou. I will continue to produce and manage this documentary, and hope only for the best (with all things) moving forward….

DCIM100GOPRO

strawberry fields day

Art. After art comes the art of business. Is it wrong to mix the two? People build somewhat sustainable careers from this marriage. I think I can do that. However…to more effectively do that I need to make some changes….

Feeling more introverted the last few days, not the same as the weeks before when I was so eager to talk to more humans about new things other than the current things discouraging the human I am and the humans I know. I’m almost constantly thinking about and almost constantly discussing the strangeseriousangering situation unfolding.  I couldn’t possibly have predicted this. We couldn’t possibly have known. That isn’t it. I wish that was it. I fall to being dangerously empathetic and forget myself and my family. I remember my family and the gears start to move. Yesterday we spoke of almost nothing but the levee vs. oil & gas industry suit. I become empowered and went inward to think it over. I’ve emerged with a plan. The alignment of my immediate misfortune and the actions moving forward to battle the larger misfortune of my beloved Louisiana (what it represents to me, at least) are sparking inspiration.  I know what to do and where to get the answers. All its going to take is me going and doing.

So many mountain drives. We are small and it is amazing. The vastness of the planet and the fortune of freedom of mobility in it is conjuring some wonderful art output.  My editing techniques are sharpening and I’m able to make incredible progress in shorter amounts of time. Still, slow moving because of all the trying to figure out the strangeseriousangering. But the thing remains, and practice makes perfect.

And apparently I say “like” a lot during interviews. Like, I really don’t recall saying that I, like, really want people to just love my movies. I mean, like, maybe I do, but like, why would a person ever admit that?

Whatever it is people are going to think about people, they’ve probably already decided. Probably decided when they first heard that thing about that thing you did or maybe did. Or they decided way back in childhood. Or when you stepped into the room or they saw you at that place. Whatever it is I think they’re going to think, I’m going to not worry.

We are above and beneath the rocks. Stand clear.

opportunity for all

I began composing this post prior to the May 4th vote on school tax in Terrebonne parish.  After serval trashed versions, here are my thoughts on the results of the vote and the state of public education in Louisiana.

You don’t own a home in Terrebonne, so your vote isn’t valid.

My family works and lives here, so my vote is.

You attended private school, so what do you know about public education?

I taught art in public schools (five schools in four years) and have administered arts education programming in schools for  about five years. I’ve seen the conditions of the schools (awful. buildings falling apart, murky paint, dim rooms, broken windows, rusted fences, no greenery, etc.) and the attitudes of the teachers (dedicated, inspired). A group of black third grade students once asked me, in the most serious way,  if “I own slaves” or if “I’m rich because I’m white”. I’ve seen tough little boys calm down and tear up while drawing (a breaking heart). I’ve met caring kids and caring parents.

Yes, some parents could care less about their child’s education, but when you consider the history (BROWN V. BOARD: Timeline of School Integration in the U.S.) and quality of Louisiana’s public education system, why would the majority of public school- parents/grandparents/great-grandparents value education? Obviously, some families care, but when so many have been the recipients of sub-standard education resources how do you expect them to value education in the same way as a person who has experienced quality education?

Consider the quality of the learning environment. Do k-12 learning facilities affect education outcomes? (of course they do.)

Consider what “we” expect from teachers. It seems that in so many places “we” expect them to excel and inspire students to excel using only the bare minimum of resources and public support.

The Effects of School Facility Quality on Teacher Retention in Urban School Districts

Consider that maybe the future would be brighter for EVERYONE in our region if we gave a little more support to those who need it most (disadvantaged CHILDREN).

I just don’t know anymore…