Friday, July 22, 2011

Pirates of Concord Academy

I started a new job this week. I am a workshop leader at "Build It Yourself" , a creative engineering program that hosts a series of workshops for kids ages 9-14. Today we completed a week-long Pirate Ship building workshop, in which a classroom full of 10 year old boys--primed with a mission to take back candy from evil hoarders on an island.. learned to construct pirates, sturdy ships, and other piraty objects for their ships. They even made powerpoint lab books documenting their research and refference photos. Being in that classroom every day reminded me of days I visited my mom when she was an elementary school art teacher...and the hilarious stories she told us about her kids. I must say, being with kids does feel good. The way they interact with each other is so sweet. Plus, I get to hear the most hilarious things come out of their mouths.
For instance, today, one of the hottest days so far this summer, I was hunched over a plank of wood, drilling a hole with a can opener. A small army of little boys hovered around me, watching my every move. They smelled so strongly of Banana Boat sunscreen that I thought I would pass out. Just as my hole broke through the wood, one of the boys told me that i 'sweat like his dad after a good run'.
hahaha. I wanted to take a bottle of sunscreen and squirt it in his face...but intstead I just laughed as a river of sweat slowly trickled down my face.
This group was surely a melting pot of talents---the genius kid who didnt like his partner and wanted to make his own boat, they ended up creating one of the better designed boats and even though they may never meet each other again, it was obvious they were proud and excited about what they had finished together. There was a group that didn't say a peep all week and then surprised everyone with this amazing mast head made from giant pipe cleaners and looked like an authentic chinese dragon puppet. I look around and wonder, who will they turn out to be? How much of their 10 year old personalities will stay with them as they grow into adults in the real world of pirates and treasure. Will the be bad pirates or good ones? And what will be their treasure?

So glad to be spending time in the imaginative and creative world with kids these days.
Enjoy the pictures of our pirate ship excursion in the river!