Friday, August 11, 2017


My sample which I made for my recent
"Printmaking: Mandalas" summer art camp
(which I should have called "Kaleidoscopes").
My daughter Mona had her first day of school today. For all of us this is a very different kind of first day of school. Because Mona decided to leave the local Montessori School, the place where she and her older brother Jacob have been all their school lives. We love the Montessori concept and we love all the teachers at "our" Montessori school. It was convenient, too, having both kids at the same school. We know most families there, and for a few years I have been teaching art to the elementary and middle school kids.

However, when I was talking to Jacob and Mona about the different school options that are out there, Mona immediately said that she wanted to go to the public school. She loves the idea of trying something new, meeting new people, making new experiences and challenging herself in many ways. I thought that she may change her mind after a few weeks, but no, she didn't.

We all went to tour the school. Someone from the school office showed us the classrooms, the gym, the library, the detention room. Mona loved it, even the detention room. The school was in the middle of major constructions, heavy machines were sitting in the hallways, some floors looked shinier than others and were fenced off with stripy tape. Motivational sentences on the walls. It smelled differently.
Yes, that's what I want, Mom. I really really really love it. This is my school.

Mona's piece.
So we went to buy pencil toppers, wipes, and composition books. We filled out the enrollment forms and handed them to the school board officer who was sitting behind thick glass. And then we checked out the various khakis and poloshirts with their hardly noticeable individual details (which at  the end, make all the difference) and found that most of these uniform pieces looked odd and uncomfortable and not very flattering on my very slim Mona. I don't know why I was surprised.

Several times, Jacob said to his sister, you are so brave, I couldn't do it. I am not for change, I like things to be the same. Which is not really true. He just loves where he is right now, in every literal and not literal way. He is such a thinker and reader, his view of things, of the world, has been changing fast and profoundly. But he is probably not noticing his change because he has been doing his thinking and reading mainly in that same cheap collapsible black armchair that we bought a few years ago and which is close to falling apart any time very soon; only thin fibers are holding the seat and frame still together, sooner or later this chair will make him move to another place.

And Jacob's work.
Mona's change is much more visible. She has just discovered that she can and may choose her path. That it doesn't have to be the one that her older brother is walking, even if this path has proven to be a good one.

It's like turning kaleidoscopes at different speeds. No matter how fast they turn them, the reflections are in the bag, or better, in the tube.  And the patterns are constantly changing to something new and fascinating.