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  • I also have these grand ideas that I think about too much. I always set such high expectations and imagine that everything will have a positive end. Especially when it comes to teaching. I always wondered before why so many teachers are pessimists; negative thoughts, negative attitudes... As a a first year teacher, I try not to go down the same path; at times I feel that I cannot help it.

    The first project I assigned was titled: "Art is?"--my students had a week to complete the assignment at home. They had to reflect on where they saw art in their life, if they used it, and what it meant to them. Then they had to come up with a one-sentence personal definition of art, and lastly they had to find five examples to support their definition. I went over the project, even did it myself so they would have an example. Reminded them everyday about it...I wanted them to share their projects in class with each other.

    A week later, half the students did not have it done. Was I asking too much? Did I expect too much? I was crushed. My grandiose plan of having the students grapple with the idea of art in their minds did not work as I wished. Their lives are consumed by thoughts of who's dating whom, the radio hits that they listen to over and over again, the TV shows that were on last night, "Who painted the Mona Lisa? It was Leonardo Da...something? Caprio, I think."

    Art is...? "Why do you care so much about dead people anyway? Their not important. They're dead."

    Art is...? "You can't really define it. It is what you want it to be."

    Teach art: but it's not important it seems. "It's just art, doesn't matter."
    I wonder: How far can I push them this time around? This semester, disappointments will happen, students will fight me and disagree; in the end, I will ask again: Art is? Then that will really show me what kind of teacher I am.
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