So, here I am.....

The girl that said she'd never blog. The far from computer savvy girl that is always up for a challenge despite a serious lack of time.My blog goals. Do I have blogging goals? Hmmm, I guess I should. So I pledge to be funny, lighthearted, not vent or complain to much and maybe just maybe share a crumb of wit and wisdom on occassion.I will most likely chat about etsy, my addiction and muse. the incredible artsists and friends I have found in a community that oozes with creativity, friendship, support and a home for all things handmade.You will hear me ramble about the insanity of my life including my 3 boys, ages 12, 16 and 53. Yes, that last one I am married to, but trust me, he is just as much boy as man. After 17 years of marriage I find myself raising him along with them. Then again, he would probably say the same of me at times. I will often speak of friends I would go to the ends of the earth for and a family that more often than not defines dysfunction. Then again, I strongly believe a functional family is the stuff legends are made of.I am a lover of music of all kinds and not so much the TV ( except maybe Glee). I have an addiction to handmade glass, especially venetian and lampwork beads as well as unique pottery. I have made a concerted effort to tame my jewelry fetish with my own creations which can be seen at you haven't figured out by now, I can jabber my jaws and my fingers as if someone could care what I have to say.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are You Riding the STEAM Train?


If you know anything about me, you know I'm passionate.  I get excited.  I talk about things.  I love kids.  I value education.  And, my kids are not athletes.  Well, one can run pretty darned fast without being chased or running away from trouble, so maybe there's a bit of an athlete there.  The interesting part of that is how I am constantly hearing about how his endurance on the track relates to his circular breathing. Again, those of you that know me can only imagine the visual"circular breathing" conjured, but hey, I learned, and who knew all that trombone practice would make Erik a better runner?  Those damned Fine Arts.  They're just honing in on everything.

 Good for them!

So, back to this STEAM train.  I'm sure you've all seen a steam engine or at least know what one is, and if not how it works, at least what it does.  Similarly, if you are raising children, have any interest in education movements, work in the fields of science, technology, math, engineering, or manufacturing, you are also familiar  with STEM.  It's interesting, it's fascinating and a National movement to put our country back in the limelight.  A movement to cultivate learners with an integral knowledge of the inter working of these disciplines.  I and my children are fortunate enough to attend a High School with one of only 2 state-of-the-art STEM labs in Illinois.  They have been afforded the opportunity to begin this learning process in grade school through an outreach program and now, this year, to delve even deeper into these concepts as middle school students with a STEM lab in the grade school through a grant from PLTW (Project Lead the Way).   How fortunate for them that we live in a progressive, forward thinking, quality school district.  Yay! for us.

Now, if I haven't lost you to the distraction of a shiny object, put you to sleep or totally confused you, back to my question.  Are you riding the STEAM train?  STEAM is a movement to take STEM to the next level.  To fill the void in this great new innovative concept.  It adds Art to STEM.  It brings the idea of putting America and its next generation back on top of the world innovatively.  It puts us ahead of the pact in thought, in concept, in creativity.  In other words, it is the train to be on.  Hell, if you're gonna ride the train, get a first class ticket!

Why am I asking you these questions?  Why am I riding this train?  Why is this important?  Why is this the soap box I choose to make my passion?
Because we need to change the way we think.  Collectively.  This world, its leaders, its educators, its CEO's, principals, parents and youth need to change the value we place on the Fine Arts and the priority they are afforded.  We need to value creativity, expression, and beauty and the individuals they create.We need to open our minds fully and give the Arts there due respect.  Is this the age old argument?  Yes.  Can we tell you something you haven't heard before?  Yes.  and the answer is STEAM.
Integrating the Fine Arts into the industrial, mechanical process gives us innovators.  People who can look at things from a different perspective, create what has yet to  be imagined, humanize what we already have and make it useful.  Creativity, passion, expression of the soul can be the key to making a good thing great, solving the unsolvable from a new direction.  Hell, playing a wind instrument can be the difference between a runner and a track star.  Who's to say it can't prevent the labored breathing of a future respiratory patient?  It may take the scientifically trained doctor to experiment with such a concept, but it is likely the musician that sees the possibility because he lives it.

The bottom line is, we can't leave the arts behind.  We can't diminish or sideline them.  We need to embrace them and appreciate not only their beauty but their usefulness and their rightful place among the sciences.  Without engineers, we would not have the preciseness of a Stradivarius or the complexity of the keys that give a clarinet or saxophone its clarity, but what good are they without the artist who can make them useful.

I think of this now, more than ever for several reasons.  The recent loss of Steve Jobs has presented the world with a biography of innovation.  Designs, that because of creativity changed our world, literally.  Innovations that made engineered items relatable, comfortable and intuitive.  There's no formula for intuition, it's felt, it's understood, it's evolved.

I also think of this now, more than ever because my children are becoming adults.  Creative, artistic, passionate young men with a thirst for knowledge, an intelligence for success and a love of the Arts.  Yes, I live this, everyday, and I am blessed to do so.  They have a unique way of looking at the world and as much as they relish the traditions of holiday celebrations, "that's the way its always been done" will never satisfy their questions.  For that, I thank the Arts!

So, jump on that train, catch that plane, hell, crawl on your hands and knees, but get there.  Embrace the arts not just for their beauty, but for their strength, their usefulness, for what they bring to the party.  Grab them from the corner of the room like Swayze did Baby and tell the world, no one puts the Arts in the corner!  I beg of you, get out of the proverbial balcony and out on the stage.  Sing this song, dance this dance and take our youth and their education to the next level.


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