I went back to school this morning; all the way back to elementary school. It all started on the night of my opening reception at Grove House Artists Gallery. A nice young teacher by the name of Jessie Hernandez, approached me that night and asked if I would be a guest at her school on Career Day. For those of you that know me well, know that the first question I asked was,"Do I have to get on the expressway to get there?" Thankfully, her answer was no.
We were requested to get to the school by 8:30 am because we would be treated to breakfast. As soon as I got there, I felt that I was back in 4th grade. Two nice patrol girls welcomed us at the door and escorted us to the library. Sure enough, we were welcomed to breakfast and a nicely decorated library. There were guests from various professions: policemen, bankers, doctors and even a clown. I felt so old, but yet so young at the same time.
Ms. Hernandez took me to her first grade class. It was a delight to see these young children so eager to hear what I had to say. They were smart, polite and adorable. They loved looking at the art and hearing how I became an "artist". They were all willing to share personal stories of how they also create. I also thought how important Career Day is in the lives of these children. What direction would my life have taken had I been exposed to so many options at such a young age?
We were escorted by a couple of the children to the next class and another sharing time. They were so inspiring to me. As I put a new piece on the easel, they would "ooh" and "aah" at the painting. I can't even explain how wonderful that felt. My message to them, and to anyone reading this, was to find a way to create that makes you happy, and it may not necessarily be painting. I gave them different ways that they can create and express themselves each day without the need to draw or paint. I wanted them to know that they are unique and special and their creations would reflect that. Maybe they thought I gave them a lot by sharing my time and my talent, but their appreciation of my work has only inspired me to continue creating. A special thanks to my husband for driving me there. Thank you teachers, staff and students at North Hialeah Elementary for an incredible experience.