Saturday, January 15, 2011

Field Trips

Amongst the chaos that was my day, I had just a little touch of brightness that erased all my stresses and frustrations.

Today my co-worker and I took our class of elementary students to the Frist Center to look at the Impressionism show that is currently there on loan from the Musee d'Orsay. Let me set this situation up for you a little bit: as much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE art and love to talk to my students about it, they really have little to no interest. Today was the free day at the museum so when we showed up with 21 reluctant kids who would have rather been playing basketball and we encountered a line around the building just to get in, I was ready to turn back. After waiting in line forever Murphy and I split up the kids to look through the galleries. It started off pretty well and I think that they all noticed how much I loved all the things we were seeing. I taught them how to read the labels to see when each work had been painted and who it was painted by and they were super excited when they recognized names from other galleries. We also talked about the difference between portraits, landscapes and still lives and by the end of our tour they could all pick out examples of each. Sounds pretty good right? Well, the museum was extremely packed the whole time, and I had to just get over the fact that 11 kids talking about art was going to be a little disruptive and cause people to stare haha. Something that I didn't even think about until we walked in was that there of course would be nude portraits, and the kids would have something to say about it. (Murphy had a girl who yelled out..."Oooo look at her titties!" I thought I was going to DIE laughing hahahaha) I also had to point out the security cameras to my kids and I told them that the security guards were watching them, so if they crossed the line they would be kicked out (little white lies always work :). Anyway, all was going well at first but things quickly took a turn for the worst. Picture this in your head... I'm standing in a room with like 40 other people. I've got a group of the only black kids in the whole museum. I've got 3 boys hanging off of me because they want my attention, 2 more trying to fight each other, I have one girl hysterically crying because she has to pee, and another one girl curled up in a ball on the floor because she thinks she's going to puke and I look up to see THIS:

I honestly thought that I was going to cry big huge tears of joy, because this could possibly be one of my favorite paintings of all time. If I had known this painting was in the show, I would have been at the Frist the day we moved here to Nashville. I'm considering using Christmas money to buy a membership just so that I can go visit it every day until these paintings are shipped back to France.

I immediately stopped dead in my tracks, looked at my students and said, "this is Ms. Richards' favorite painting and we need to stand here quietly to look at it." They shaped up and allowed me to stare longingly and even paid attention while I told them all about why Caillebotte was such an incredible artist and man. I couldn't have been happier :)

We left pretty soon thereafter because the museum was WAY too crowded and the kids had seen enough "titties" for one day.

Are we having fun yet?
When we were waiting for the bus I asked a couple students what their favorite painting was and Elijah said "I liked the one with the snow, but your favorite Ms. Richards was the one of those guys with no shirts on cleaning the floor".

At least they are learning something hahaha


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