Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week 21 of 52

The month of May has been challenging for me. I have not been able to remember dates, appointment times or remember to put items in my calendar. I didn't remember to pay bills, send invoices or that I got paid. That's bad! I'm glad there's only a few more days to the month. Photography has also taken a backseat in trying to keep up with things, but I've made this commitment to myself and I'm following through. The MCP Project 52 theme for Week 21 was 'The Need for Speed' and my theme is Structure. Again, I remembered the shoot deadline when leaving late from work on Friday, I took a route home that would allow me to pass by the construction of the new Metro line.

The Metro Line is not finished but the claims are that you can get downtown in 20 minutes 'The Need for Speed'. That a pretty good claim in L.A. The Structure is the day-to-day commuters that will use this Line to get to and from work.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 20 of 52

I'm glad that I found the MCP Project 52 because it is keeping me going. It is so easy not to follow through with a goal you've set during stressful times that having the commitment to completing the project keeps me, at least anchored to submitting something every week. This is shot was taken around 10:00 p.m. Friday night, the last day to shoot. I pulled out my iPhone and took the shot.

This does not represent either of the themes for this week or this year. This is a desperate attempt to shoot something before it's too late. So I did.

This is not representative of my main goal to improve my photographic eye but it is a side effect of it. It is honoring a commitment. I believe that commitment maybe a lost concept. I also believe that I can help show what it means and its benefits. This is now a tangential thought to photography but it does relate to my past weeks and commitment. I will continue this thought in the next entry.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week 19 of 52

This is the time of year that it gets crazy. Just this past week, the Testing Season began, we had Open House, a Star Party and End-of-the-Year preparations. I'm not as young as I used to be and I need my beauty rest more than in the past. This past week has taken a toll and everyone, even the young at heart. Even amongst the madness, it is weeks like this that reminded me why I'm in public education.

Testing is always stressful with the affidavits, proctors, schedules, keeping materials under lock and key, make-up tests, attendance accounting. It's a good thing it only comes once a year. And the results, which are not available until August, determine how our entire school rates within the state of California with and API and an AYP. A little stress inducing, maybe? Testing is the obligatory part of every public school. Sort of like leeching in the Dark Ages. Do you see the similarities? We do this because it is required.

Open House is also required but the premise is for all of the students to share what they have been doing since the beginning of the school year. I is a happy time. Parents and family get to see how much their children have learned and students get to share how much more they know. At our Open House we have be having our Academic Challenge Science Super Quiz. This is my baby, based loosely on the Academic Decathlon in High School and I love it. Briefly, teams of students in grades 3 - 5 get together to earn individual and team medals in a public jeopardy-style game and the audience applauds all of their hard work. Well, seeing the students, teachers, coaches and families cheer, applaud, console and encourage these students. I remember why I work in public education. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face.

Two days later was the Star Party. This was, again another reason I love working in public education. A group of amateur astronomers bring their telescopes, their enthusiasm and their passion. This was a BLAST! I saw Saturn and it's rings along with the mountains of the moon. Truly awesome. That was exciting, but I also enjoyed the look on the faces of the families, and the amateur astronomers. It was joy of seeing something precious. It was exciting seeing everyone realize how rare a opportunity it was and that fact that we all shared it together. Wow! This is another event that reminds me why I'm in public education. The joy of learning. The joy of learning in community. Priceless. I hope you enjoy this photo I took at dusk of one of the astronomers who hooked his telescope up to a monitor and was able to show a group what they were looking at and did a little Q&A.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Week 18 of 52

The weeks after Spring Break have been brimstone and treacle. I have been taking the time to rest because this is the stressful season, the State Testing Season. This is means high stakes for schools. So you'd think I'd spend more time shooting. But I've been spending more time vegging not recreating. I have rekindled and old habit, Morning Meditation, Bible reading and prayer. With the nebulous future of my passion and work, public education, I have the need to center myself. I have returned to my morning ritual of Bible reading and prayer.

This story falls into place because the MCP 52 Project theme is First Thing in the Morning. So much of what I do in the morning is mechanical that it was hard to think of anything that could be shot. Morning is one of those times that comes in quietly and is gone before you know it. Breakfast becomes brunch at different times for different people. So, by the time I thought about it it was late morning and lighting was not always the best. I remembered Friday evening about my revived routine. The lighting of dusk is similar to that of dawn. The context is my First Thing in the Morning. I now have to wear my glasses, which I am trying to delay the need to do for as long as possible, and begin my morning meditation, my morning structure. So the placed them in the photo. They make a nice addition to the composition. I whipped out my iPhone and took the shot. This also fulfills my photographic theme of Structure for 2011. I hope you enjoy the photo and a time of meditation.