Wednesday, February 22, 2012

spelling test

A few months back, I enthusiastically signed up for the Sketchbook Project. Not just "the" Sketchbook Project, like the normal everyday, open-to-all project, but a limited edition version (fancy, I know). This, after failing to complete the first (normal everyday) project I signed up for back in 2010.

Would you like to see this year's progress?

Yep, that's right: A whole lot of nothing. 

Well, OK, to be fair, I did take the staples out of my book in order to eventually rebind it.

But other than that . . . nada.

Of course, I signed up thinking to myself, This time will be different! This time I will own this project! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

And then of course the book stayed in its shipping envelope until last week, when my trembling hands decided it was time to face those white blank pages. 


I've done nothing but pace around them since, waiting for a moment of genius to hit before those pages tear me to shreds. (Interesting little role reversal there, no? Ha.)

The theme I chose for my sketchbook is "How to Spell and Other Things to Learn," and I brainstormed numerous connected ideas -- I wanted to incorporate learning Arabic, as well as learning how a culture communicates other than language. I wanted to examine rule-following (as in spelling) versus rule-breaking (as in a life well lived). And hopefully I still will.

There is still time. There is plenty of time. But I need to start.

At this point, it's clear that the what I most need to learn is the very thing that comes so naturally to my students: How to emphasize the process, rather than the product.

That, and how to start. Just. Start.

I don't know why this is so incredibly difficult, but I know that if I can push through the literal pain of facing those pages, I will be a better person for it. I need to unlearn . . . to relearn . . . As per usual: Fingers crossed.


UPDATE: Annnnnd cue breakthrough! (HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY!) After publishing this post, I got down to doodling while letting my mind wander. Instead of staring at the pages, I put a pencil in my hand and let it do what it wanted. Mostly that involved jotting down lots of little words and phrases, as opposed to visuals (I tend to be a pretty verbal person, if you haven't noticed). And then suddenly . . . BOOM! Everything came into crystal clear focus. I mean, forget Polaroids -- my mind was on it like a top-notch SLR. And now I have the perfect framework for my project, a structure to follow in order to more effectively push my boundaries . . . I'm so happy I could cry. Welcome back, enthusiasm. It's been a while.