Wednesday, March 31, 2010

“Take A Look Around”

Monday was the first day back to school after this year’s fourth annual Earth Hour. I began the morning driving my high school students and as we were entering the school grounds I asked them to raise their hand if they had participated in this event. Five out of forty students raised their hands. When my busload of about thirty elementary school students entered the school grounds, I asked the same question. To my delight I witnessed every student raising a hand!!!

I asked, “Now, take a look around and what do you see?” About five students yelled out, “Everyone raised their hands!”

I told them that I was very proud of each one of them for doing something wonderful to help make the Earth a better home for future generations. While we waited to unload many students had a little something to say about the event. “I played card games by candlelight with my mom and dad.” “I had hockey practice and we got home after 8:30 so we did our Earth Hour between 9-10pm.” “My mom and dad and I went for a long walk and when we got home the only light we turned on was the bathroom light.”

These students fill my heart with so many happy feelings and my confidence grows to believe that – in their hands – the future will unfold with a smile!

Before I continue with stories about the students’ peace art, I want to share my newest youtube video -

I filmed this video last November, just a few months after The Peacebus was born. When I see it I’m amazed to realize how much artwork my students have created over the last seven months. The roof of the bus is now filled with almost three times as many artworks as you will see in the video!!

I love it when the students hand in artwork that relates to a season or an event in our lives. Nathan gave me this ‘Olympic Peace’ art during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Mehdi handed in this art on a Monday – a few weeks ago - and he told me that he had spent the weekend building Peace Snowmen with his brother and father.

Maddie drew this picture for her friend who was having a birthday. “It’s a Peace Bee, Mr. Jim and she has a birthday cake!”

Two girls worked together on a couple of drawings for the bus. One was filled with bright colours and this one, “is before there was colour in the world, Mr. Jim!” They both laughed at their silly joke. I’m guessing that they had spent part of their weekend watching some old black and white movies with their parents!

I always enjoy when the students show how proud they are to belong to a free and peaceful country.

Matt has always shown a lot of creativity with his artwork. I was scanning these images when something in his second artwork caught me eye.

I noticed that in both of the letters ‘E’ in the word ‘PEACE’, Matt had drawn a simple landscape of trees.

In the first E he had drawn this landscape with our moon in the background with shadows of night. In the second E there is a sun in the background surrounded by a blue sky.

All of these four drawings were inspired by Spring and this weekend’s Easter Celebration.

I’ve talked a lot about Nathan’s art in previous blogs. This grade one student is going to grow up to be a leader of humanity. He is brilliant and full of positive inspiration!

One previous blog told the story of Nathan’s invention to build a flying car that will plant trees in the Amazon Rainforest. This is another of his flying car inventions. It’s obvious to me – having studied architecture – that Nathan uses tools to help bring his artwork to life. Notice the perfect curves used in his Sun and Earth. His space shuttle was also drawn using straight edges. This tells me that he puts a lot of thought into his creations.

When Nathan handed in this drawing I think my brain blew a gasket. I was begoggled!!! “Nathan, is this another of your Earth-saving inventions?” It was. I asked him to explain it to me. I was told that this was a space ship that was fueled by pollution and that clean air comes out of the exhaust pipe. The creature in this drawing is a robot dog, “Cuz a real dog can’t breathe in space, Mr. Jim”, and its job was to collect all the broken satellites and other garbage that is orbiting our planet!!!

Where did this come from???? I had never talked about garbage in space. I asked him a few questions and learned that during the time when our bus was discussing the problems of the Amazon that his father had continued these talks and had branched off into other related topics. I thought that this was great!!! We need parents to talk openly about environmental issues with their children, to involve them in understanding the problems while discussing solutions.

I think that it’s great when the students are inspired by other student’s art. Maddie had seen and listened to the story of Nathan’s art and the next day she handed in this ‘Peace Spaceship’.

I spent almost three hours at my computer, Monday afternoon, scanning, shrinking and adding borders and names to these artworks. When I picked the students up that afternoon, I handed the art back to the students for them to take home to put on their fridges. Before I could even finish this task one of my students handed in another artwork for The Peacebus. I smiled! I have created art monsters!!! There’s no stopping this onslaught of creativity!!!

Yesterday I received five peace-art drawings and this morning another student actually handed in a small canvas painting filled with bright Spring flowers! I think that I’m the most fortunate person to be surrounded by so much passion and love for peace and solutions to worldly problems.


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