Archive for January 12, 2019



Okay, since this is supposed to be a stream, I will let my head go and let the fingers follow.

Art. Art and Music were always my favorite subjects in school. I can’t imagine getting through school without them. And you want to know something funny? I always felt the teachers gave me ‘A’s in those classes because they felt sorry for me.

That is silly to think it now because I rarely got lower than ‘C’s. If I flunked everything I could understand that thought process but that wasn’t the case. In fact, I dumbed down in school as I was afraid to stick out as a nerd or smartypants.

The classes I did worse in were Geometry and Fourth year Art. Geometry just never made sense to me. More about that later. The Art class I nearly flunked? I was in ninth grade. It was because of the high grades previously that they put me into senior Art. That would have been exciting but without having that teacher before I found the class confusing.

First of all, we didn’t ever do art. It was a daily class of taking notes the teacher wrote on the board. My mom was proud of me qualifying for that class but I complained about it every day. She told me to stick it out. The grade would result from handing in the notebook of notes at the end of the semester. I wanted to draw or learn to paint. I got the note to take home that I was failing the class. I had to stay after school every day to do the note-taking. Ended up I got a ‘C’. And I’d like to say I didn’t learn anything. But I learned a lot about perspective and actually can still see some of my notes with illustrations in my head. The teacher was crazy and often spoke of meeting space aliens. That should have been fun for me as I’m a sci-fi fan from way back. But he harped on it so often that I was worried about people being taken. Distractions from art.

Just a quick note. I squeaked by with a ‘D’ in Geometry. Once again daily after school with a lot more help. One of the smarty nerds tried to help me. The teacher tied to help me. I still don’t get it. I loved Algebra. But that class did me in! Glad they didn’t flunk me.

Remember how I said I can still see pages of the notebook from that Art class way back then? That is a common theme of how I have remembered things all my life. In classes, as I take notes (notice present tense) I would draw in the margins or even try to make my notes as illustrated as possible. Any doodle will do, though. Somehow I could remember the page of notes by the pictures I drew. Even in college, even if I take a class online now, drawing helps me remember.

Another memory thing I’ve discovered lately is when I am knitting something it seems to connect to that cellular memory. Well, I guess that is what it is. Does it happen to you? When I pick up the project the next day I can remember what I was watching or what conversations I was having when I last touched it. I think that is my art memory popping up. When I see that project finished in other times I still feel the memory. Weird?

In my Music History class in college, I found another kind of art helped me. I have never been very good with names and dates of history classes. In this class, I found that if I made a story of the names and dates or terms I could get all the answers. It worked so well that my classmates would ask me to tell them the story before the test. They started getting better grades, too. The only example I can think of now had to do with the Hippodrome. I pictured Disney’s crocs and hippos dancing ballet and somehow that helped. The sad part is, I can remember the pictures of the story but not why I memorized them. So that only worked on the short term for tests. Storytelling is an art, too.

The same visual effects worked for memorizing piano music. I could see cartoon cats chasing cartoon mice across the keys.

Just working on Escapist Coloring for Linda’s other fun blogging adventure, brings that art memory back.

Am I the only one this arty thing happens to? This makes me think. Since my grandmothers, both died of Alzheimer’s, I hold a huge fear of this disease. Maybe I need to start doing a lot more art to keep that part of my brain working. How does it help old people that have it? Are there studies out there about this?

On an aside, I find when I play oldies but goodies I feel the feeling of those bygone days. I’ve told my people that if I get the big “A” play those for me from the ’60s and ’80s to making wake the brain.

SO… I hope you didn’t need a canoe to go with me down this Stream. And I certainly got a lot of Jot out of it. Hope it was good for you.

Thanks to Linda G. Hill for #Just Jot It January and #Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

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Poor Jane

A story in the style of P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins. by Darlene Milner

Mary Poppins as imagined by the illustrator of the book series, Mary Shepard, for the first volume.

As Mary Poppins, Michael and Jane sat on the bus, they wanted to get up and play but the bus driver told them to sit still. Mary sighed and told them she wouldn’t be embarrassed by their behaviour. “Come sit and I’ll tell you a story.”

Mary’s stories were always fun. They never felt like stories. They felt like adventures they were alive in. This story began with the chimney sweep, Bert. “You remember him and his chalk drawing?” The children nodded and scooted closer to their friend.

“Well, ole Bert had just cleaned the chimney at your house, remember? Only after he cleaned up the mess on the fireplace rug, he noticed a noise in the chimney. He had just been in there, so he knew there wasn’t anything there. But there was the noise again.”

Michael interrupted with, “What was it, Mary?”

“Patience is a virtue, Michael. Now hush.” She went on to tell them that Bert crawled back up into the chimney. Suddenly he was calling out. It seemed he was stuck.

“I remember! I went back in to save him!” Jane said.

“Yes, you did. Do you want to tell this story?”

Jane nodded again and started from her point of view. “Well, I got stuck, too! There was a small bird fluttering around Bert’s head. It was saying that it accidentally flew into the flue and couldn’t get out. I felt so sorry for her that I forgot about being stuck in there.”

“Oh, I remember that Jane! I tried to go in to save you but Mary stopped me and sent me to bed.” Michael complained.

“Well, I didn’t know about that because I couldn’t seem to get around Bert to get to the bird. Finally, Bert slid back down and out the front of the fireplace. I was in the chimney alone and I was so afraid. But then the bird started singing to me and I felt better.

“The bird didn’t seem so upset anymore. She lit on my shoulder. I loved that. She started telling me how she got blown by a strong wind that she tried to stay out of. It seemed a magical wind that was directed at Nannies but the bird was the only one that got caught up in it.”

“‘I was trying to get back to my nest of eggs when it happened.’ the bird said shaking her head in sadness.

“I remember curling up with the bird and tried to make her feel better. She was so sweet and sang with such a high trill. We told each other stories and she let me pet her head.” Jane suddenly grew quiet.

“What’s wrong, Jane?” Michael asked. He was engrossed in the story.

“I can’t remember the rest, except I got very hot like someone had lit the fire.”

“That is because you caught the flu and all of this was due to your fever climbing.”

“Did it really happen, then, Mary?” Michael and Jane asked

But as the children knew, Mary would never tell.

Thank you, Linda, for this fun opportunity. Just Jot It January is so fun! And thank you, M. Oniker for the fun prompt.

 

 

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