Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Last, but not least...graduation part 3 (non-crafty)

Shy, quiet, reserved but there was something deep underneath. They were a pair, he and #4 (yes, there are actually more than 3). My co-teacher and I each gravitated to one. They were in class together, came for help together. We all laughed and gave each other a hard time while we did math. It was fun. Lunch and after school laughter covering the frustrations they both shared while trying to learn Algebra in an overcrowded class. They made it, both of them, through their freshman and sophomore years.

Then junior year came. I had both of them again.  If you walked into my class you would not have thought he was doing what he needed to do. He usually had one leg up on the desk, or he was lying on top of one or more of them. There was usually movement involved. This was how he needed to be in class. That was made very clear when he took a standardized test and got the 4th highest grade in the school on the math portion.

And there were problems at home. At one point T thought he would be kicked out of the house. He wasn't doing anything bad, there were just issues and he was 18. And I told him he would not be homeless and he would get his diploma. He was 18, he could stay with me until he graduated because he was worth it. He changed after that. He started acting like he was worth it. He took on mentor roles and excelled at working with other students. He stumbled some, but he kept going.

He started out his senior year in a high school math class but he wanted to try a college class. He did it, but wasn't able to complete it in time, so he stopped. He got a job, but had no car, so he would long board everywhere. He was late to school often because it took so long to get there. But he came. Then he got a car. Then the car broke. He had to save to fix it...and someone else broke it and now it's still broken because there is only so much money. And sometimes that money is used for other things like helping friends from church who barely have running water. So he boards again.

Then there was the essay. It explained so much he wasn't able to say verbally. The feeling of being a failure because he was so much older than his classmates. The fear being called on to read out loud because it was terrifyingly hard. People thinking he wasn't paying attention because he had to work ahead so he wouldn't feel stupid. He couldn't stay with the class and keep up. He had to work ahead to keep up. The fear of never graduating always looming over his head. Finding someone who saw him and helped him through the stumbling blocks and feeling great about being able to mentor other students through those same blocks. It's a powerful read, full of self-awareness.

He enrolled in an online math class to make up the last credit he needed. He finished his math class at 11 a.m. on the last day of school for seniors. He sat there for a minute, started to cry and said, "I never thought I would ever actually graduate". He will and I will be there to watch. He has my number and he better keep in touch. I don't want to miss him.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Getting Sketchy at FCCB

 Happy Monday and welcome to another Monday challenge!

Challenge #252-Follow the Sketch

This Weeks Sponsor

Bugaboo Stamps

The prize is 7 digital stamps!

Create a project inspired by the sketch below-

For inspiration see:

To qualify for the prize, be sure to use at least 1 Cricut cut on your project and if it's not obvious, let us know what cartridge you used. If you use a Cricut Explore machine, at least one cut must be from the Cricut catalog of images.

For my card this week I used the sketch and this cute elephant digital stamp from Bugaboo Stamps called Spring Elephant 2. You can find it here if you would like one of your very own. I used a combination of Promarkers and Copics to color with. I didn't try for a whole lot of blending, just a few shadows here and there...super simple.

I used images from the Wild Card cartridge for the clouds and the flowers. I also used a basic rectangle and re-sized it several times for all of the background pieces. The patterned paper is from American Crafts and the solid is all Recollections. I used a Darice embossing folder for the white piece and a Cuttlebug folder for the swirls. I like the way it turned out, fun and whimsical.

Please come play with us this week. Bugaboo has some great images that you could win! Have a great week.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Graduation part 2 (non-crafty)

He came in with his sister. He was so shy, so quiet, and she was not. They don't have the same last names, so we didn't know for a while. Until we got to know them. He is smart. Smarter than he realizes, and he loves basketball. Our connection was basketball, and math. He did well in class, always flying under the radar. Shy, quiet, the one who doesn't get noticed. The one with a really loud, overbearing friend/cousin/brother person, E, who takes the spotlight. E didn't get enough playing time on the court, and his grades suffered so he changed schools. W stays and keeps his grades up and plays ball.

Then E gets in serious trouble. There is a gun involved. W stays the course, the grades waiver a bit, but he gets really good at making 3 point shots and starts being a leader on the team. The coach, who has put so much time in with him, leaves without warning. Things go south on the basketball front. The new coach is bad for the team. The grades suffer, but he's still there. Still in school, still working, still playing. And there is math, which he excels at.

Then there is that damn gun again. This time W is there...and I get sick to my stomach when I find out. The cousin/brother/so called friend person put him in jeopardy this time. I hate that! "But he's family." "I don't care, he shouldn't put you in that position!" And the year ends and W is still there, still there.

This year there is a new coach. One who is willing to listen and work. There are ups and downs, but it's better. The grades are up and down, but b-ball is back so he works. Then E and the gun are back, again. This time the mistake means jail for a long time. It takes some time, but W gets back in the game, fully committed, grades are on track... mostly. He works to get done, works to be on a special summer team. He stayed, he finished, he will graduate. I hope he goes to school for something and has a good long life. He gives great hugs, by the way. I will miss him too.

Monday, May 11, 2015

May Flowers at FCCB

Welcome to another Challenge Me Monday...

Challenge #251 May Flowers
Make a project using flowers!

This Weeks Sponsor:

To qualify for the prize, be sure to use at least 1 Cricut cut on your project and if it's not obvious, let us know what cartridge you used. If you use a Cricut Explore machine, at least one cut must be from the Cricut catalog of images.

I made several cards this week for the flower challenge. I am intending to use these as notes of encouragement to some friends who are going through some life changes. My first card is made with an image from the Botanicals image set. I wanted to do a CAS card with a little twist.

I sliced the flower from the stem and kept both parts. I duplicated the flower part and made it a bit larger. I sliced the flower from the background paper so I could add some dimension. 

I embossed the white background paper with an Anna Griffin Cuttlebug folder and attached it to the card with foam tape. I glued the stem directly onto the card, and put the flower into the negative space with some thicker foam tape so it's a bit taller. I went over the flower and stem with clear Wink of Stella for a little sparkle. All of the colored paper is Recollections, by the way.

I did something similar with these cute chevron flowers from SVG Attic. You can find them here (they were only $0.99). The leaves are from the Picturesque image set.

I tried a "flat" one for this card. I don't like it as much as the ones with the dimension, but it would be easy to mail.

Thank you for stopping by. Please remember to come play with us at FCCB, I can't wait to see what you come up with.