Friday, May 28, 2010

The show must go on

Ana has left the building and is over at the Lower School for the annual sleepover. It just so happens she was told earlier this week that the school was built on top of old burial grounds and thus the building is haunted. This seems to be the prevailing story at every school I’ve ever worked at.

The past couple of weeks have been brutal as far as putting in the hours at work. My former principal Dr. Carrillo once told me that teaching is a profession and as a professional the workday never ends at the said time. True, if you are passionate about something, you do whatever it takes to get the job done not only because it’s your duty, but also because you love what you do. I worked hard back in Atlanta, just slightly above minimal effort in San Diego, and off the charts here. Maybe the karma bill has arrived for the lost hours of all the times I raced out of the parking lot at my former school.

You can almost hear the song and smell the hair product.

Had a beard for one week.

We will miss Frank and Jane

The music teacher Dr. Greg and I have been working feverishly with our students on our production of Bye Bye Birdie and today during after school rehearsals I did the unthinkable, I showed the students where I tied my goat; something my mentor never told me to do. I can’t take back my sentiments and a couple of them might not ever look at me in the same way. It was a bittersweet confrontation of laying the down the law especially with the musical one week away. The songs continually replay my head and it would an accurate statement to say: I eat, sleep, and s**t BBB. Two students insisted on adding an extra song at the end of the play from the 1963 version of the movie where Ann-Margaret sings “Bye Bye Birdie” which was never part of the original Broadway musical. Granted we have taken a couple of minor artistic liberties with our production but not to the extent of patching in another song. Dr. Greg commented that metaphorically it would be similar to taking an artist’s painting and cutting out part of it and replacing it with your own square of canvas. Basically the integrity of the play would be compromised and with respect to the writers it was something we were unwilling to do.

The Jewelry Museum has re-opened and it is fab. 

BTW-you have to wear slippers in the museum.

Home is sounding scary, maybe I have been spending too much time on Craig’s List Rants and Raves reading up on Arizona’s new law to help curb illegal immigration. There are a couple intelligent arguments posted by both sides of the debate but it is far in between all the hate that is being circulated. Illegal boarder crossing isn’t much of an issue here in Egypt other than people leaving for places like United Arab Emirates to find work. Hell, take a look at us; we left the states and sacrificed our family and friends to wait-out an ailing economy. Like it or not immigration-the legal brand or not is here to stay.

 Students vs. Workers match.

Students 10 Workers 0

Conrad Birdie

Ana and I have had some funky stuff happen to our bodies since moving here, I suppose we are being exposed to different virus strains. Last week was no exception; one of my boys grew to the size to a tangerine coupled with a mild fever just in time for our school’s annual fundraiser at the Four Seasons. The event was a hit as we sat on the sidelines watching people dance the night away. Thankfully the swelling went down as the doctor predicted. The pharmaceuticals over here are slightly more potent than the ones back home and side effects are an added bonus.

Ana with archeologist Dr. Kathleen Martinez at the Taporsiris Magna dig site.

Dr. Martinez is thinking that Mark Anthony and Cleopatra are buried here.
They are under the guise of Osiris and Isis.

Coins with image of Cleopatra.

Mummies once covered in gold.

Taporsiris Magna is the largest cemetery discovered in Egypt. To learn more visit our friends Seth and Kristal's blog HERE

I was telling Huck Finn tonight that I finally found a barber that I’ve been to twice, call it a steady. I reassure him that there was “no hanky panky “ at this establishment. Then after a short pause we realized the implications of my statement and laughed. People back home just don’t understand. This was soon followed by a conversation with the dean of students that homosexuality is illegal here and doesn’t exist, but sexual relations, happening, moments, or whatever you want to call it between two men is not uncommon.   

On a positive note, I’m going to take a stand and state the best-roasted peanuts we’ve ever had are right here in Alex! Tomorrow night Ana and I are chaperons for the Upper School prom and on Sunday the student council is taking the teachers out to dinner.  

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Taxis, women, and the call to prayer.

The art making experience in Egypt wasn't what I hoped it to be. I did manage to crank out some pieces throughout the year, the most prolific time period being before winter break. Below is a sample of my output. Name a price and it can be yours. 

Taxi Number 2 mixed media 18" x 24" 2010

Taxi Ride mixed media 22" x 24" 2009

Covered Women oil on water color paper 16" x 24" 2009

Covered Woman oil on water color paper 16" x 24" 2009

Girl Waiting linocut edition of 13 6" x 9" 2009

After the Call To Prayer linocut edition of  7" x 7" 2010

Red Call to Prayer 18" x 18" mixed media 2009

Light Blue Call to Prayer mixed media 24" x 24" 2009

Orange Call to Prayer mixed media 24" x 24" 2009 

Rude Awakening pencil on paper "20 x 20" 2009

Coming From All Sides charcoal on paper 18" x 18" 2009

Allah Reaching Out To You pencil/charcoal on paper 20" x 20" 2009

The Sound Finds You Between Buildings charcoal on paper 20" x 20" 2009

Listening To the Call On the Corniche pencil/charcoal on paper 18" x 24" 2009

Monday, May 10, 2010

Student Artwork

A posting dedicated to showing a sample of my student's artwork (grades 9-12). I noted the name of the artist. Feel free to post comments as they will be following along. Enjoy.

Nahla is a master of showing up to class with these types of drawings.

Adam's "how save the earth" poster

Yasine's still life

Another one of Nahla's weekend inspired paintings.

Hana hopes to be a fashion designer in the near future. Her sketchbook is filled with amazing ideas.

Some of Hana's designs from the fall collection.

Marina has the color pencil thing down.

Marina takes a stab at block printing

Hana is trying something new.

Marina can also use oil pastels.

Nahla's political assignment.

Brandon's rooster

Nahla's inner world

Raya likes Bollywood monochromatic style.

Nathaniel has created more than a dozen drawings, prints, paintings, and ceramic pieces of his bird. He on his way to becoming an outsider artist.

Amina likes her block print and I do too.

Amina wants Muslims and Christians to get along.

Amina's ink wash-one of my favorites of hers.

Farida's flower.

Farida got the idea from a photograph she took on our field trip.

This was the first major assignments of the year and since I was barely getting to know the strengths of my students, I was blown away when Marina turned in her donkey drawing. 

Marina took a photo of this lady during our field trip and wanted to recreate the image using charcoal.

Nourhan political painting. It was her first attempt using oil paints.

Soha's nightmare, it is a large drawing that took her over a month to complete.

Soha's drawing based off a photo she took.

Hana goes R Rated new wave with her fashion designs.

9th grade Raya showing off her painting skills.

If Yasine doesn't make it as a basketball star he can always fall back on his talents of Egyptian landscape paintings. 

I need to tell Noureen to take the date off of her photos, it ruins a picture.

Dina's photo

Another Dina photo

Amina's bike

Nathaniel's quick shot

Cameron took many nice photos and this was one of them. 

Nahla's Cameron through the broken glass.