Things got a little busy here. Busier than expected. Marina started an extra day at the library and Sierra took a trial tap dance class the same day. Chase did some volunteer work at the Nature Center. Somehow, I managed to take yoga two days in a row, and now I am sooooo sore.
On the plus side, I've started working on comics for next week, so anyone who was missing them this week, you will get fresh ones on Monday. I'll also post last year's July 4th comics tomorrow. Blogger has been giving me some problems with autoposting, so I might put them up before I head to bed for the night. We'll see.
I've had many thoughts in my head lately, but I haven't had time to really sit with them. I recently read "How Lincoln Learned to Read" by Daniel Wolff (thanks for the tip and author interview Stone Age Techie!) and it has put a lot of ideas into my head about how we learn. The book covers 12 Americans, starting with Ben Franklin and ending with Elvis and describes their childhood and educational influences. It made me think of my own educational influence and I'm starting a little questionnaire for all of you because I'm now intensely interested in what others learned in childhood and how it has influenced them as adults.
For example, my childhood was full of art. I loved drawing. My parents were both artistic in their own way. I would watch my mother doodling while on the phone and sometimes she took out pastels. My father would build things. He built a chicken coop in our yard (yes, I grew up in the Bronx, but that wasn't going to stop him) and when I was older he made a more elaborate coop for pigeons with one way doors for them to fly in and out. He also made models of designs he had for building a house in Puerto Rico. (I'm still waiting for that house dad!)
They encouraged the artistic side of my brother and sister and me. I remember the best gifts my Grandma would bring were small notepads to draw on. My father would bring home reams of paper. I'm sure my brother and I were responsible for the loss of at least one forest. My mother saved as many of our drawings as she could. I was always drawing. If I stayed home from school or was in the hospital, I was drawing. When I left elementary, I went to a junior high school where I knew few children. Drawing was how I introduced myself. I would let others see me draw and they would start talking to me. I also doodled incessantly in the margins of my notebook. I remember one year I had a teacher who collected your class notes a couple of times a year to see if you were paying attention. I spent a night rewriting my notes so that I could hand in a clean copy. That taught me to keep a scrap of paper in my notebook for doodling.
Then there were the comic books. Grandma started me with titles like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Dennis the Menace, and Archie. I eventually discovered my brother's X-Men comics. One of the nicest things he ever did was give me a pile of his back issues. I devoured them. Comics probably taught me to read. I guess I was more of a visual learner, I needed those pictures to keep me focused. Whenever I was stuck in the hospital because of asthma I alternated between drawing, watching cartoons and reading comic books.
Even into adulthood art has always been a major part of my life. I was drawn to facepainting and the artistic style of juggling. I loved choreographing juggling routines to perform with my husband. I wasn't into the more competitive "How many can you do?" style of juggling. The yoga flow I do now is also very artistic.
And then I came back to comic art. I think you all know that.
Now it's your turn. Answer a few questions for me in the comments section. Or answer them on your blog and tell me you wrote about it.
- What is a memory you have of learning with your mother?
- What is a memory you have of learning with your father?
- What kind of education do you think you gave yourself? (Arts, science, history, writing, etc.)
- Do you see ways you've used that education as an adult?