Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Current Events (Anybody Got A Gun?)

Most days I liken my early morning class to Zombies—their bodies are present, but nothing else. They bring their breakfast up to the studio and silently sip their orange juice, awaiting the morning harangue of their teacher.
“Good morning artists and scholars! What do you need to get started today?
A few will shuffle off to get their projects out of the storage closet , the rest will continue the motionless blank stare. More than several kids have great difficulty coming up with ideas for their artwork. What motivates?
I am continuously searching for new sources. I urge my young artists to observe the world, and use their responses to the issues of the day to inspire art.
Lately I have begun using current events to prompt thinking, and inspire creativity. I grab the day’s newspapers from the cart by the front entrance to the school on my way upstairs. With black coffee in one hand, and the Plain Dealer and USA Today spread out in front of me, I flip through the pages announcing the headlines as they catch my eye. Often I can get a discussion going.
Today, the new gun laws caught my group’s attention. The legislation, allowing persons over 21 to carry a concealed weapon, didn’t spur much conversation. What did, was the comment that the law wasn’t very relevant, since so many people already carry guns illegally.
Every one of my students in this morning class knew where they could get a gun TODAY if they needed to. Many said that someone in their household had purchased an illegal (read stolen) weapon, and several claimed to own one.

Hmmmm….good to know

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