Friday, July 9, 2010

Buttons For The Bus

Although the school year has ended for the summer, I still have several mountainous piles of my students’ peace artworks to share with you. This is but one tale…

A little over a month ago, I received an email from one of my blog readers. Thanks Toby! She told me that she is a huge fan of all the Peacebus artworks!! I am too. She told me that she likes to make buttons for special events and that she would like me to create a Peacebus design so that she could make buttons for my students. WOW!!! What a super nice offer – how could I refuse.

I knew immediately that I would not be the one to design the buttons. “I’ll create the final Peacebus art assignment for this year.”

When I told my busload of students that one of their fans wants to make peace buttons for everyone on the bus and that they get to design the buttons – four designs would be selected to create the buttons – the students cheered and became very excited.

I start receiving button designs the very next day.

By the end I had a total of twenty designs – all full of colour and imagination! I think that they are all great artistic achievements!

Two of the designs came from students on other buses. There are two young students on my bus who always ask for extra colouring sheets so that they can share them with their other friends. I think that this is great!!!!

This is Mehdi’s first button design. It blew me away!!! It’s so full of energy…as is Mehdi and the detailing around the bus is expertly crafted. I told him these things and then I asked him to do me a favour. I told him that I could see the design of his peace symbol very easily but other people may not be able to because of the randomness of his colours.

I asked him to draw me another button design with the same amount of energy and to focus his colours to make the peace symbol more clear. Mehdi used pencil crayons for this artwork and this gave him an easier time adding even MORE detail and creativity to his design!!! The rainbow is a new concept and so is the addition of my dog, Koly. Koly has appeared in a few of the students’ artworks, over the year!

I used Mehdi’s second design to create some buttons for the bus, but my favourite design is his first one! I think that it’s just great and I enjoy looking at it!!!

It took me a bit of time to get the images ready to send via email to Toby and it took her a bit of time to make the buttons and have them delivered to me, but soon enough they were ready to be handed out!

I arrived at the school and instead of sitting in my chair and greeting the students as they boarded I got out of the bus to make the handing out of the buttons easier.

I wanted to make sure that all the students got a chance to see all of the four button designs so I pinned one of each design onto my T-shirt.

Almost all of the students had received a Peacebus button and boarded the bus. I gave a quick glance and counted the remaining students and then I counted my remaining buttons. Uh-oh! I didn’t have enough.

One of the students asked how many more buttons I needed and I said, “Four.”

She laughed and then pointed at my T-shirt. “Why there’s four buttons right there on your shirt, Mr. Jim!”

Ha! I did have enough buttons for all of my students!!!!

I decided to bring my camera with me to take photos of each of the four winners. I have never taken photos of my students before because it’s so hard to get permission to share them.

But this time I knew that I would only be taking four photos and that I would only have to talk with four parents. All the parents thought that it would make their children very happy to have their photo on Mr. Jim’s blog!!! Thanks parents!!

If you look closely, you will see me taking the photos. My scrunched up face is reflecting in the bus’ windows.

If you look even more closely, you will see a part of a huge peace symbol that is decorating the ceiling of the Peacebus. Each small square in the design is a drawing that my students made for the bus.

It was so nice picking up these students the following morning. All the students had smiles on their faces and they showed me their Peacebus button as they got on the bus.

Most had them pinned to their T-shirt, but a few had them pinned to their knapsacs. The buttons were a hit!!! A smash success!!!!

There are possibly up to 274 million positive things that came out of this whole art adventure and I’m glad that I could share just a few with you.

Thanks so much, Toby, for adding inspiration to an entire busload of peaceful students!! This experience will last with them for many years to come…

… and for me it has been an experience that I will NEVER forget!


1 comment:

tobius said...

I am finishing up the rest this weekend - will be in mail by Tuesday after work. What a great blog you wrote, loved the pictures and so happy the kids liked the buttons - wonderful memory for them.
Thanks Mr. James for allowing me to add to your year end exitment.