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Reading materials provided by hotel.

Kansas City, Missouri.


the sun and her flowers, rupi kaur

the sun and her flowers, rupi kaur

I couldn’t put this book down. I wanted it before it came out, bought it today, and already read it cover to cover.

This is my book pull from the store.

“You are full of arty thing’s and way’s of fun”

I always try to make my lessons better or make better lessons. This week each kindergartener explored a color chosen by them, my elementary kids colored the still life they made last week with warm and cool colors, and middle school continued hatching their compositions of three unlike things. I was just about to finish up with my last class today when my principal came in and said someone was on the phone to interview me. It turns out that a reporter in Columbia wanted to know what having the Kirksville Arts Association in the city means to me an an art teacher. Last December the Kirksville Arts Association building burnt to no repair. Fortunately they were able to temporarily relocate to the building directly across the street from my school. Most classes from our school usually visit the center but since it’s across the street it has made it more accessible. This Monday the city just approved the construction of a new building in the old location. We are happy, a little sad it will take us a little longer to get there, nonetheless happy that they get to have a building back.

I’m not going to lie, some days are harder than others. Today, I was honored to be interviewed but the most rewarding part was to see my students use what I taught them and make it into their own with their creativity.



Kirksville Community Quilt. Take Root Cafe, Kirksville, Adair County, Missouri.

Owning my artwork


(Photo taken by another student in the class.)

Yesterday, I confidently took full ownership of the inspiration and content of my artwork.

I was asked this year to teach Exploratory to a group of 6 middle school students in addition to teaching art. I developed a curriculum around world art, artworlds and art inquiry by selecting parts of resources I gathered while at ASU in my Master of Education program. We started the year off with self-identity and slowly expanded into our school culture, the Kirksville artworld, the Missouri artworlds and now we are covering a unit on using and understanding art from other Artworlds. (This came directly from an art education curriculum unit called Understanding Artworlds created by Mary Erickson and Faith Clover in 1999. I highly recommend the lessons in this unit so here’s a link.)

We talked about getting visual ideas from artwork outside our own artworlds. I touched on and will continue to talk about misappropriation, stereotypes, and how someone can unintentionally or intentionally offend another. I started out with the cross, as that’s a relatable example for them and then I used the example of Halloween costumes based on cultures and ended up talking about how artists make moral decisions about using imagery and symbolism. That’s when I used my artwork as an example. I explained that I am not Native American but I married into a family with Indigenous roots and as an artist I am inspired by Lakota culture, the development of my family, and how cultures come together. I also explained that I have researched the symbols that I use and know their meanings and purposes.

I hope for more experiences like this one because I know I will be faced with opposition in the future.

Park River Indigenous History, Part 1

Park River Toolkit post – August 31, 2017

Park River Toolkit


In my continued research about the Indigenous history of the Park River and the surrounding land I have been in an email chain learning a little and then directed to others who know a little more. Thus far I have received additional information from Dr. Paul J. Grant-Costa, executive editor of The Yale Indian Papers and Dr. Katherine Hermes, Department of History Chair at Central Connecticut State University.

Here are my notes.

*The Indigenous name of the Park River is unknown.

*The Park River ran through land occupied by the Suckiog.

*Native communities such as the Podunk, Wangunk, and Tunxis used the Park River. All these communities including the Suckiog were connected through family, political and social relationships as well as clanship.

*The Hartford area was part of the Pequot War, which was a conflict between the Pequot tribe and English colonists and Native American allies. The Pequot obtained the…

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Rachel Carson: Pollution of the Groundwater means the Pollution of the Earth

Park River Toolkit post – July 7, 2017

Park River Toolkit

In 1962 Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, a book highlighting the effects of pesticides on the environment, which brought public attention to environmental concerns and synthetic pesticides. Carson, a marine biologist, was also hailed an environmentalist, ecologist, conservationist, and nature author. Chemical companies exposed by her text denied the validity of the book. When that didn’t work they denied the validity of her intellect. With her book, Silent Spring she changed the National Pesticide Policy including the development of the Clean Air and Water Acts, Earth Day, and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The book also inspired the ban on Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), a blanket pesticide used to kill insects like mosquitos and lice on soldiers and refuges then later used to kill unwanted insects and plant life.

In Chapter 4 of Silent Spring, Surface Waters and Underground Seas, Carson clarifies that water contamination comes…

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