Monday, April 23, 2012

travel school...

A distinctive element of the Clear Spring School hands-on educational model involves getting kids to where the action is, thus building a relationship with the whole of their world. Our students begin their school travel in 4th grade, by traveling around Arkansas, and slipping occasionally into neighboring states. This year the 4th, 5th and 6th grade students will be going to Memphis, the home of the Blues, and the Civil Rights Museum. Our 7th, 8th and 9th grade students will be going to Washington, DC, and our 10th, 11th and 12th grade students will be spending a week in St. Louis. In the past we've had students travel to the 4 corners area, follow the path of Louis and Clark into the Northwest, journey into the southern swamps in search of the Ivory Billed woodpecker, and work in the clean-up from the devastation of New Orleans. These are not simply travel experiences but involve weeks of planning and study in preparation.

Today and tomorrow are departure days for school travel. The Memphis and Washington, DC groups left today, and the St. Louis group leaves tomorrow. So I had high school classes this afternoon and will have lower elementary on Wednesday. On Friday I leave for a one day art show in North Little Rock, and having kids out of town this week will allow me a bit of extra time in my own wood shop to prepare. I have boxes to finish and boxes to make from scratch.

We are also rapidly approaching the month of May, one of our busiest times in the art world of Eureka Springs. During our May Fine Arts Month, I will have my work in two exhibits and the White St. Art Walk.

Jeri Youngren in Prescott, Arizona wrote a letter to Fine Woodworking this month about her work. She notes,
"I am 64 years old and started carving about 10 years ago as a form of anger management. Rather than employ a shrink, my husband thought it cheaper and wiser to provide me with an 8-ft. pole, and angle grinder, a Dremel with carbide bits, and a grinder. When a woman feels disempowered, a wise man provides her with power tools."
There you have it in a nutshell. When we create things through our own hands and from our own imaginations, not only are we smarter as we do so, we feel better and even those around us are relieved by the joy we find in our work.

The photo above is of some of our guests at Saturday's Wisdom of the Hands Reception and Fundraiser. Our students helped guests to make tops. We had a great time and raised even more money that we had hoped.

Make, fix and create...


  1. I find it useful to use the terms embodied and disembodied knowledge when it comes to learning outside (or inside) the formal classroom.

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