My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Best of Days... Worst of Days

Greetings. Well - I have to start out requesting a moment of silence for my newly departed kitty, Machiavelli or as we call him, "Mac". He was a geriatric kitty (~16 years old) that we had put to sleep today because of a raging infection his little body could not fight off. Needless to say, today wasn't the best of days. I'll leave it at that - any more and the flood gates will open again. I know my 5th hour class was wondering why my eyes were so red today. What we professionals won't endure to provide quality education. If you're a kitty owner - give them an extra hug & serving of tuna today.

And speaking of quality education - check out the photos below! This week is our I.A.P. week - which stands for "Independent Activity Program" week. This is a week where the School Within A School program takes a 'break' from serious academics and allows students and staff members to explore different activities. Students, staff, and members of the Anchorage community at large volunteer to teach different courses. Examples include Alaskan Native Art, Fly Fishing & Fly Tying, Archaeology (learn how to spear a Wooly Mammoth), Scrapbooking, Seminar Coaching, Yoga, Children's literature, foreign exchange, and Hip Hop dancing. I am teaching two courses: Knitting and Mask Making.

Above is a photo of students learning how to be coaches for the Socratic Seminar process. Using Socratic Seminar is an integral learning process of S.W.S.

Here is the pattern we're using: Fiber Trends Snow Country Felt Mittens. The mitten examples are a pair my dear friend & fellow knitting instructor made YEARS ago, but just can't bear to throw in the wash & felt. She used a strand of hand painted mohair & just can't bear the thought of not being able to see the beautiful detail of the yarn & its fabulous colors. It has been suggested that I steal these mittens & felt them myself. Watch out Margaret!

Here is my student T.D. working on casting on. She first tried the knitted cast on until I showed her the long tail cast on. She thought that was pretty cool.

Here are some knitting students - all newbies! One student will be attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the fall, so she could certainly use a pair of warm woolen mittens. By the end of the day her ribbing on the cuff was complete - she was bummed that academics were going to eat into her knitting time. Ahh yes - the force of knitting has struck again! Also - look closely - teenaged BOYS who are learning to knit! Yup - the force is strong here.

My good friend Margaret (of the mitten fame) helping R.G. with his mitten. Isn't this cool?

Spearing a wooly mammoth is more difficult than you might think! Here S.M. shows proper form. Many students exclaimed they would have starved 'back in the day' if we had to rely on their spear hunting skills for dinner.

Mask making 101 looks awfully like getting a facial. Of course, I had to throw in that while the plaster of paris in the gauze hardens, heat is released thus the activity is an example of an exothermic reaction. My students were not shocked how I found a way to incorporate science into this I.A.P. class. I guess academics weren't completly on hold.

I hope to visit more classes tomorrow & provide a glimpse of the cool things our students are exploring. I'll also update the progress of our new knitters, my 2nd sock, and the new sock I've started using the Magic Loop Method.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Heather ... FELT THE %(&^$ MITTENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(just a thought)

Boys knitting, they are the smart ones. On the way home from Portland we struck up a conversation with these two men who were interested in the socks that we were knitting. I told them that the greatest place to pick up women was a knitting retreat (like the one you are coming down for next February, not taking no for an answer & you can experience our tropical temps in the mid 40s). I told them if they really wanted to score to buy a ball of yarn & sticks and look confused. In minutes they would be swarmed by helpful, caring women, and any relationship there after would produce lots of socks, sweaters, etc. They asked if they could get some knit boxers? I told them no problem but that I would opt for silk yarn and stay away from the wool.