Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ou est la Voiture? (Where is the car?)

Piet Mondrian fish by 5th grader - in process.
OK, this day, like many others has had its ups and downs, highs and lows, french and English, surprises and disappointments. It's Morocco!

I had a really good day teaching art in art world at my school. The kids were terrific, and I was blessed with their efforts, for the most part. One second grade teacher said she graphed the results of her students' favorite day, and art day (Monday) beat out all the other days INCLUDING Saturday and Sunday! She said it was because they have art on Monday! I was flabbergasted. Those kiddos have been missing art so much. How amazing that I get to be a part of bringing art-making to them!

I decided to have the fifth graders make interesting fish with warm colors on the fish and cool colors in the background, the water. They are still learning the color wheel and warm/cool colors. Red, orange and yellow are warm colors, blue, green and purple (mauve) are cool. So, I began the whole lesson with a large sketch of a fish on the projected screen. We went over the different fins, they seemed clueless, and I was thinking how my former first graders at Bear Creek would have blown them out of the (Atlantic) water with their knowledge of fins and gills.

After having them REALLY look at fish, I gave them ideas to decorate their fish. They could use henna patterns or mosaic patterns or any other cool patterns they could think up. It was painful at first, but they eventually got the hang of it. I have learned to have them practice on scrap paper first. Then, they can transfer a good idea on the nice drawing paper.

I also had a fabulous class with my sixth graders. We talked about warm and cool colors, and I had them draw a still life by first practicing pears on scrap paper. Then, I told them about thirds, and had them put the table in one third of the paper. After they drew the table lightly, I modeled the bowl, the two pears and the apple. We placed the pitcher
in the end, and I reminded them of the vase/face exercise we had done from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. There are lots of mirror images when one draws a vase, pitcher or bowl.

You are probably wondering about the lost car. Man, what a story.

After work, we got into the car, but the battery was dead. This has happened before, but , with the help of the newly organized over 45 year old club, (I haven't joined) the car was pushed down a hill, and someone started it for us as it was speeding down the incline. We hopped in and drove around for 1/2 hour. We ended up at Sunny Beach, and asked the guardians to please wash our newly enlivened car. They do car washes for people while they are on the beach. We had never done this, but, it was payday, and we splurged.  ($3.00)  We gave them the keys so they could move the car closer to the hose. 

After our walk and simple dinner by the beach, we headed for the car. It was nowhere  to be seen. We noticed an elderly man on a motorcycle and asked him where our car was. He whistled for the guardian. The guardian came running from fifty/hundred meters, and I said, Ou est ma voiture?  He gave me a song and dance about how he wasn't the one who we'd given the keys to for the car wash. I said, Je voudrais ma voiture ici maintenance! (I want my car here now.) 

I kept saying "Ou est notre voiture?",(where is our car?) and he didn't have much of an answer. He suggested it would be here "maintenant" and I said it wasn't here maintenant (now). He suggested that maybe the other guardian had taken it to have the rugs washed. (HA!) I actually enjoyed using my french and demanding the car. Jill and I had no idea where the car was, however, so my joy was slightly dampened. Yikes. 

I suggested we call the police, and they seemed upset by that. Another man showed up and was trying to calm me down in french. I just responded with "Ou est notre voiture?" and he didn't have a response, but asked if I had phone (in french). Now, what that has to do with anything is beyond me. Did he want my phone?

Then, the car suddenly sped into view. The guardian we had been speaking with yelled "Hshuma!" (Shame!) to the guy driving the car. I chimed in with Hshuma as well so I could practice my Arabic, and I also threw in, "C'est terrible!" to explain I was less than pleased. I think one guardian was down on his knees by Jill asking for forgiveness. 

I was concerned they had stolen my iPod from my school bag, but it was there, and I burst into tears, happy to know my music, my connection with home and life at home, had not been taken. Note to self: don't give your car keys to a total stranger in Morocco.


  1. Glad you found the car! One letter cam back. Neede3d better address! Lov, DAD

  2. your art teaching is going super-w/great & gratifying results. Love your descriptions and pictures of the kids work. Full of thanksgiving about the good ending to the car saga and so glad your lifeline to home was still in your school bag.