Wednesday, September 8, 2010

growth

on the way to work this morning there was a rainbow arching over the school. only either end was visable, but it was a big one. rainbows are about light shining through darkness. that was what happened today.
i witnessed a student learn to sew, increase his skill base, make a book, and most importantly learn that he can make things. things good enough to be proud of.
he made a long stitch binding with a button closure. he used a natural flaw in the leather for his buttonhole.
this isn't a particularly difficult binding, and the book is all made of hand-me-downs. but this is what he said: i've never sewed before. this is too hard. i'll never get this. i made this and it's good. and he worked diligently because he now trusts me and when i told him it would work, he tried to make it work. it did. he is fully aware that he has believed a story about his own incompetence. he's now rethinking that tale. 

gary frost wrties about the haptics of books, and this student, who used to hate to read and write, is writing despite his poor spelling, and telling his story. now he has a book he designed and built. i hope he will use this book and, perhaps, bring it back to show me. he gladly let me take photos. 

15 comments:

sbcmom said...

The power of one person and art have combined to show a young man a new vision of himself. Congratulations to both of you!

T said...

What an wonderful achievement this is. thanks velma

xt

Bonnie K said...

You have planted a seed. You have allowed the light to shine through a tiny crack.

I love how you use your passion for bookmaking to reach out and help and heal others. THAT is what life is all about.

aimee said...

i'm addicted to your blog--it IS light shining through...like having the best mom ever, share wonderful things often. i think it's AMAZING that you got to do this in school and it's only the FIRST WEEK!! yay. hooray!

Velma said...

i so hope it lasts. these kids, so fragile, so hurt, are so great. (and can be a pain in the neck!)

Mnemosyne said...

this is so nice. my mom was a stay at home mom until i turned 17. she spent two years volunteering at the reform school teaching a leader of a gang how to read, she caught a lot of grief for it, (why bother etc.) but it really brought her back to her passion which was at risk youth.

my parents divorced not too long afterward (my dad was an abusive alcoholic) and she became and still is a probation officer with juveniles.

it always makes me happy to hear of people working with the young who've struggled since it's so dear to my heart.

kaite said...

he's learnt to trust you and to trust himself a bit more too, good work...k.

Jeana Marie said...

Velma, I think you must be a most awesome teacher. I really loved reading this story. Sorry haven't said hi for a while, but still reading :)

neki desu said...

i'll never get this.i made this and it's good.
yes, look at the rainbow.

Velma said...

this was a fine way to start the year. it's always baby steps with this group of learners. but WHAT a step!

Deb G said...

Sometimes they just need a chance, and someone to give them a place to start...

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

believing a story
any story, anyone,
and then rethinking the tale

this is very important, and a lifelong
learning...

it's the great What If that jude teaches

Cait Throop said...

Art is the seed...and you plant it, Velma. Amazing.

Margaret said...

This is beautiful on so many levels -- just like you! Heart warming!

Velma said...

sometimes things just go right!