Sunday, March 27, 2011


[awr-bit] –noun
1.the curved path, usually elliptical, described by a planet, satellite, spaceship, etc., around a celestial body, as the sun.
2.the usual course of one's life or range of one's activities.
3.the sphere of power or influence, as of a nation or person: a small nation in the Russian orbit.

I orbit. The definition of orbit is a curved path around a celestial body. In my case, that curve, is my teaching and the celestial body is the spirit of my students. Or, you could describe my orbit, as the affect and influence I have on the lives of my students.

I'm an orbitor
. I believe, I just made up that word, but after reading, "Orbiting the Giant Hairball", I believe, I am better for it. (Both making up the word and reading the book.) I finished this book, tears streaming down my face. Maybe, because it was written by an artist, like myself, of the written word & creative mark and I easily related to his abstracted life lessons. Or, maybe, it was because it validated my own creative, paradoxical way of teaching and facilitating learning.

In my creative paradox, the dark area of the DMS D-wing, a monkey in a space suit(ironically ready for orbit too), hangs from the art room ceiling to inspire creative, young, minds. My monkey, in opposition to an angel-winged chair hung from the ceiling of Gordon Mackenzie's paradox, symbolizes that this learning environment, is as fun as a barrel of monkeys. Lit softly by white Christmas lights, I create a sense of novelty and inspire the masses to make their mark. I inspire middle school “monkeys” to paint the canvas God gave them in the best, brightest way, only they know how to do.

Like MacKenzie, I too, took many years living, and following, and being part of the creation of other peoples' masterpieces. I lived trying to paint their masterpieces, until I looked at what I’d made and realized that it wasn’t at all the picture God had planned for ME. I decided to start over.

Fear took hold of me for a long time and that first brushstroke was painful. It hurt, It still hurts. I was, and am “teased”. Not in he traditional sense, but in the "orbiting" sense. Teased for being the visionary. The one who wasn’t afraid to try. TO BE - Better. TO GROW! I left unhealthy. Now, even though the the brush strokes occasionally still hurt, I can look at what I am creating, and SEE for the first time, MY MASTERPIECE. There are occasional spots where I choose the wrong color, but it is my choice, and my mistake. When I notice the error, I correct it, OR I LEAVE IT and bless it, as part of the creative chaos, painting the canvas of my life.

I plan to read that last chapter of the book to my classes. Stressing to these children that they too have a masterpiece inside of them and if they don’t create it, no one else ever can, or EVER will. Without their art in this world, it will not be as beautiful. My students, ALL STUDENTS of life, need to follow their bliss. This will allow them to lead the life they should be living, and insure that they're ALIVE.

Paint your canvas. Paint it bright. Share yourself. Be free. BE YOU. Ground your Spirit in GOD and let your SOUL ORBIT!!!!!

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