Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Leave of Absence

I think it's traditional to let people know before taking a leave of absence, but as an untraditional person, I chose to let you all know after.  I'm just trying to keep things interesting.

The funny thing is, I accidentally spelled "absence" "absense" just now, and while the latter spelling is incorrect, it reflects much of my summer - absent of sense.  It was nuts! I thought I'd do a visual summary of my summer here and give you the highlights:

At the beginning of June, before the school year even ended, I took off to Grand Rapids for a summer job of sorts.  (When I was there in grad school at Kendall College of Art and Design, I'd been the grad assistant in their Continuing Studies program and did a lot of curriculum development.  The grad assistant who came after me didn't have a background in Art Education like I did, so the the CS director asked if I'd come back this summer to work as their Program Assistant and pick up where I left off.)

I worked here (the "Old Federal Building") all summer
This was my office space where I did curriculum
development for the program.
The Old Federal Building is historic and has
lots of cool architectural and historic features.
This room was once Gerald Ford's
Congressional office!  Groovy.
Grand Rapids skyline
 I had already committed to teaching a camp and other classes at home, so I had to travel back and forth to Grand Rapids a lot.  Thank heavens for audio books.  This is from one of my trips to GR:
I taught the same camp twice this summer  - Young Architects.  It's my favorite kids camp!  During the course of the week, I teach the kids (8-12 years old) the basics of architecture, and they design a number of different buildings, ultimately building a maquette (small model) of one of their designs.  I LOVED designing houses and rooms when I was a kid - I have clear memories of doing this in elementary school art - so you can see why this is a fun camp for me to teach!
This star student designed a house for Tony Stark (Iron Man) and it was AWESOME:
His house design
The maquette - each floor was built separately
and can be lifted off so you can see inside!
Note the bottom of the pop bottle covering
the balcony off the third floor.
The first time I taught the camp this summer (at home) it was awesome.  The second camp (in GR) was chaos.  Too many kids, too much noise, too much crazy.  I did, however, design and build a house for myself, which was fun:

Between camps and working in Grand Rapids, I did the Celtic Festival - my sixth year!  (I am chair of the Wee Folks Island - kids' activities.)  You'd think by now I'd have it down with no hiccups, but it changes from year to year, and this year was a nutty one.  But I still love it!!  I was also interviewed for an article in the paper, where my last name was spelled two different ways, neither of them correct. 
My domain - Wee Folks Island
Princess Merida came to the island this year!  This is her
with my sweet nieces and nephew.
Whenever I could, I rode my bike this summer.  I was sadly not very consistent, which I will feel on the 30-mile ride I'm doing in Detroit this Saturday (the Tour de Troit)...  But I love being on my bike and love Detroit, so hopefully it will be ok.  I'll just ache a lot on Sunday.
One of my favorite trails
I got caught in a rainstorm on my bike one day...
I also did a painting demo one Saturday while home at the Summerfest downtown: 

 Thankfully the craziness of driving back and forth across Michigan and doing so many things was peppered with great moments like these:

Saw my bestie Megan perform with her quartet in Saugatuck
The Tesla Quartet
My little sis and kids 
Historic Baseball at Greenfield Village
And with delicious food like this:
Chocolate covered bacon - I made it for an Independence
Day pig roast
Candied bacon chocolate chip cookies - also
made for the pig roast
A delicious meal from my favorite Grand Rapids restaurant...
The Electric Cheetah
 And with time spent in my favorite place in the world, Ludington, Michigan:

Ludington State Park Beach house 
Hamlin Lake sunsets from our cabin porch
River floating with the fam
My awesome parents at the Ludington lighthouse
With my nephew (his dad, my bro, was only up briefly this
year, so I don't have a good pic of him to go here, but I
had fun with him, too!)  :D
My sis and our nephews and niece
I had to scoop our ice cream at the bait & ice cream shop...
more on that story another time!
Thankfully the good memories are pushing out the more stressful ones, and fall was very welcome this year. Sadly there was no summer romance (don't we all wish for that, even a little?), but there's always winter's cold to inspire cuddling...!!

Stay tuned for the return of Lyrical Thursdays and much more...