Archive for the ‘Florida’ Category

Home: Daytona Beach?–why not!

October 5, 2014

nancy and jantzenFunky stuff like this transform a beach town into pure fun. Nancy surveys the Jantzen girl.

I haven’t been in Daytona Beach forever, I have passed through dozens of times to make the connection to 95. I have headed for St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Savannah, North Carolina, DC, NYC and beyond. It took a friend from Texas, Nancy Walkup, to get me to go into Daytona Beach for an FAEA convention she was speaking at.

welcome daytonaDaytona calls itself  “the world’s most beautiful beach,’ and was the only beach I know with cars on it, and girls in thongs serving lunch off a truck.

riptide1 composite 2Lunch at Riptide, no extra charge for the fiberglass shark.

As Nancy probably had had no breakfast, we asked the valet’s for a place to have seafood. They suggested Riptide, a couple of miles down the road. My lunch cost a lot less than what I had to pay the Hilton for valet parking, when their regular lot was jam-packed.

big shark

big shark2

cruisingA nice sort of funkiness sets in with stuff like this.

Daytona may, or may not, have the world’s most beautiful beach, but over the years it has gotten itself more together and remained a pleasant, funky kind of beach town. It remains more that this little section of Atlantic Avenue. Beyond there is a big race track, major golfing, a convention center and a small, but international, airport.

jantzen goes swimming

Nancy was impressed by the cleanliness. I was impressed by the pretty, young things in bikini’s on the street. A nice place to go, when in the state. Especially without the hubbub of Bike Week or Spring Break.

yipesSuns out, guns out? I hope no one told George Zimmerman that.

thank you daytonaWell, that quick, I grabbed the bag got out the camera and managed to get the shot on my way out to I-4 doing 50 mph.

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Forgotten Blog: Sleeping in the Chair

December 25, 2013

How do you keep 1500+ bodies, most in mental and physical movement, in unison and focused? (asked in 2011)

One answer, spend a lot of nights sleeping in the chair. I feel like I go through a few days in a day. The school day, the after school day, the visit to pat part of some days, the computer after dinner day, the sleep in the chair, and the awakening an hour or so later to either grade, plan, set up (clean out glue caps; sterilize and cut food trays for things like handprints, reorganize student artwork for grading, research, etc.). A little sleep in between, then get up and do it again.

How do you keep 750+ bodies, most in mental and physical movement, in unison and focused? (asked in 2013)

One answer, spend a night sleeping in the chair, but only when grades are due. Go from the chair to work, so you can be in by 7 am to unload/load the kiln and stay until 7:30 pm to make sure the room doesn’t burn down! Pat has moved on to another place, so I have oodles of time to get my grades in the book straight! I teach each half of the school in two different semesters. Meanwhile, my county still cannot get us the hint of a raise in 3 years, and no step in 2.

laying out work

4th grade line installation4th grade line installation, a way of keeping them engaged during the Kline painting.

good stuff by tiara and treasureTiara’s fifth grade production of sketch, transfer finish, plate, proof and print. Treasure’s 3rd grade line painting.

Some things do get better I suppose, merry Christmas.

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Viva the Element of Color

May 8, 2013

Sometimes there is joy in just being able to do what you can do. This year is no exception, as I move along quickly to get things done before we roll the year out. Two years ago, I re-cut Chris Brown’ds Transform Ya for the fifth graders end of the year video. During the course of the year I have been trying to re-cut Kanye West/T-Pain’s Good Life because I thought it was such a good video, in spite of the pretty girl with the big boobs and some of the imagery.

I showed this to my fourth grade class and it was interesting to hear how they picked up on what I was trying to show them about their world. I know I should have included food, but it came to me at the end. There were a lot of little goof ups, and I admit I don’t do film for a living. Still as an idea for a classroom and being able to incorporate it in, it works.

I embedded this clip of Girl with a Pearl Earring into the Promethean program and I don’t have to worry, it just comes up. This year I spoke over it, explaining some of the colors as they spoke and worked in the film. I think this is wonderful to show. I used to speak about mixing paint when I taught Leonardo and also the Impressionists. Now with only 10 thirty minute sessions per year (5 hours total art), all of that has gone out the window. I also used to show the clip from Pollack, when Ed Harris works in the garage. That went a long time ago. I’m planning a final collage/painting for 5th as a bye-bye present, as we have been busy with clay this semester, with only a little printmaking thrown in.

It still fascinates me sometimes, what kids can do, without me interfering.

violet gimped finalFinal table sculpture, after Nevelson. Each kid responsible for one box.

bryce's sheet victoria sheehan3rd grade color wheel, 2nd grade color wheel.

deborah lindhurst 3rsishaan gasdickThese were last year. I went into a quilt this year for third, but some of the idea came from here. And was more satisfying than the quilt which combined texture.

for blogThe coloring/completion contest for my 2nd graders.

West to East: Clouds

July 19, 2012

“I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down. ”
– Georgia O’Keeffe

Past Albuquerque around 10:30

A simple plane trip becomes an adventure by just looking out the window. I remain fascinated just looking out the window any plane trip.

On the way to El Paso

Past El Paso and then past Austin

Past Galveston and over the Gulf.

I love to fly over Florida, the little lakes sometimes shine like silver.

ANY: Kind Strangers in the Year in Hell.

May 27, 2012

Finally, someone from the press, a parent no less, got it right. Teachers DO NOT make policy at all! Find out where the money goes, in the continuing saga of the Right Wing privatizing public education with non-sense testing and Charter Schools!!! Maybe he will do a column on Marzano next!

FCAT failures show test-obsessed teaching falls short
Scott Maxwell, TAKING NAMES
3:55 p.m. EST, May 26, 2012

To fully appreciate how deeply flawed Tallahassee’s approach to public education is, you must look beyond the recent news of abysmal FCAT scores — and look at how we got here.

You see, FCAT was supposed to be a simple fix for a complicated problem.

If we could just get our students to pass this standardized test, supposedly everything would be swell.

So we cut back everything from science curriculum to art classes to focus on these tests.

And we spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars paying companies to develop and grade them.

Teachers were no longer trusted to teach.

Everyone was made to bow down at the almighty altar of FCAT.

Yet this year — after more than a decade of FCAT obsession — more than 70 percent of our fourth-graders flunked the writing test.

We saw similarly sorry results in eighth and 10th grades. Third-graders posted the lowest reading scores in years. Math scores dropped as well.

This can mean one of only two things:

Either the test-centered method of teaching is a failure.

Or the test itself is a failure.

There really is no option C.

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Don’t you just Rick Scott, our $75,000,000 governor and State Senator Dr. (un)Wise get the kiss-but don’t tell awards!

Yet all I’m hearing from state officials is excuses — such as maybe the teachers didn’t understand what was expected of them.

Hogwash.

You guys contrived this system.

Instead of letting teachers and principals decide how to educate children, you did. (Together with Pearson, whose $254 million contract to develop and grade these tests should be re-examined.)

And using your methods, they failed.

So how about you guys stop pointing fingers?

It’s time to demand accountability from the test that claims to demand it from everyone else.

And, no, simply lowering the passing grade so that more kids pass isn’t a solution. It’s a cop-out.

My son is actually one of the much-talked-about fourth-graders.

He passed the writing FCAT — part of the 27 percent who passed before the state inflated the grades so things wouldn’t look as bad.

Yes, according to the state of Florida, my son knows precisely what he should.

Still, I’m here to tell you I trust his teachers and principals to decide how to educate him more than I do politicians and bureaucrats in Tallahassee.

Test-obsessed teaching doesn’t produce well-rounded, creative-thinking individuals. It yields formulaic bubble-fillers.

And apparently Florida isn’t even very good at producing that.

The cost of this test-obsessed teaching is extreme. Science classes are dropped. Social-studies programs are shrunk.

Art classes get cut. P.E. becomes irregular.

Anyone with common sense knows that’s a problem.

If politicians didn’t know that before, they know now that the system they created flunked the testing process they devised.

Gov. Rick Scott says he’s paying attention. His Education Department even generated a report in response to the FCAT debacle titled: “Higher Standards: The Right Thing to Do.”

Congratulations, Governor. You’ve got yourself a catchphrase. Now get something that actually improves the way our kids learn.

The problem isn’t low standards. It’s this test-obsessed method of teaching.

When most of us were growing up, government didn’t dictate every little thing we learned.

When Mrs. Perkins wanted to teach me algebra, she developed her own lesson plans and her own exams.

And you know what? We got to be a pretty darn successful country that way.

Call it “socialized education.” Call it whatever you want. It worked.

We led the world. America grew strong with community schools led by teachers and principals supported by parents and elected officials.

There wasn’t an abundance of politicians demonizing teachers or sucking up campaign donations from companies that profit off school “reform.”

Not everything was perfect. Reforms were and still are needed. For instance, I think merit pay is a must. Good teachers should be rewarded. Bad teachers should be shown the door.

I think we need accountability and measuring sticks as well. We should track everything from graduation and college-placement rates to performance on nationally accepted standardized tests and even job placement.

Standardized tests can play an important role. But they can’t be the be-all and end-all — especially at the expense of other crucial parts of learning.

That’s a failed way of thinking.

Don’t take it from me. Take it from the state’s own numbers.

smaxwell@tribune.com or 407-420-614

ANY: Oh, geez. . .

May 4, 2012

This is how i feel this week. Grades being put in, almost falling asleep in front of the computer, after coming home after 8 from school, or getting up 5:30 to be in school by 7 to get some work done. I did a workshop tonight and am starting 2 online courses. —And get those progressbook grades in before one o’clock, or that screen comes up: SERVICE UNAVAILABLE!!! I get the real work done between 1 and 2 am. Just think of the poor classroom teachers and what they go through!!!—What a riot, and they think we sit around sleeping while our students go off!!!!!

As Governor Rick Scott and State Senator Stephen Wise would say:

–“Fine, you’re doing splendidly! SPEED IT UP A LITTLE!!!!!”

Home: Deliteful DeLand

March 4, 2012

The delightful Athen’s Theatre, a local movie palace of the era of Atlanta’s Fox.

Sometimes I don’t think, and this was one of those times. I took my camera, I even took another battery, which I did need, but forgot to take an extra card! The bad thing about big cards is that they won’t let you access previous files when you are checking on the camera. Sort of like landlocked. Well, anyway, someone had this idea we could go up to DeLand. DeLand is the home of Stetson University, and the county seat of Volusia, which you might know because it also contains Daytona Beach.

Veteran’s Plaza: The Neoclassical facade obliterates the beauty of the copper clad dome (top left, also below). Public art, Butch Charlan’s Stretcher (bottom left) and Jill Cannady’s A Conversation over Chess in 1929 (bottom right).

While Orlando, has made a point to destroy any of its history in the past 30 years that I can remember, some small surrounding towns (Eatonville, Sanford) have pumped in money to show what parts of it were worth remembering. DeLand was one of them, as it is a college town. Like many, you will find lots of local restaurants, but these town centers never reachieved any status because I guess it would be like trying to watch black and white TV. The world moved forward. I have a curiosity as what will happen when the old shopping mawls of the 70s and 80s become real dinosaurs, will there be any movement to to historically “save” them.


I am a sucker for brickwork and terra cotta ornamentation. That period through the twenties was amazing. Directly above, a little gem.

DeLand also has two small museums. The medical arts one, is closed over the weekend. The Museum of Florida Art, is small, but seems to be motivated to show the works of less known Florida artists. Again we run into “no photo” things, but was able to photograph a few pieces.

One should always support local artists, just for the fact that it promotes the place you live, and sometimes locals surprise you and become national!

Doris Leeper‘s Multiple Images #3 (left) and Karl Zerbe New Orleans Signs #4 (right).

Home: Happy Spring

February 28, 2012

All of a sudden and very quickly, that ten seconds of Spring rears its head here. Green dormant plants begin shooting heads and the azaleas come alive.

The dwarfs bloomed first, and then the larger ones. It would not be a year when all plants bloomed together. But the second wave produced many.

In a few days they start to drop to the ground, some petals stick to the plants and become brown. What an awful waste. But beautiful for the short time they stay with us. They resist cold and don’t freeze even with buds on. They are also hearty when the days are hot, but do need watering if the leaves begin to droop. They are a resilient plant which is a beautiful full leafed bush in summer, whose leaves remain in the coldness of winter.

HAPPY SPRING.

Home: Merry and Bright

December 21, 2011

Cranes Roost was a big run off area. Probably a result of a sinkhole about a hundred or so years ago, I would image. About 15 years ago they cordoned it off into a park like area and for the past few years has been the subject of decorations for Christmastime.

It is funny to go to this area and have this marker up, and then the one of Eddie Rose (right). He was a politician, and a really likable guy. Eddie Rose was a councilman, and a very approachable one. He drove a pink Cadillac, had once been a performer, I think, and was extremely capable and competent. It was nice that they named the bandstand area after him.

The funniest part is that the power company, Progress Energy takes credit in sponsoring this. That’s a first. Aside from the Loch Ness monster with the Santa hat on (below).

The crane could care less. Happy holidays.

Home: Duh, the coast.

February 2, 2011

What is better than finding new places to go to? Especially if it is a little museumy, or sort of galleryish? My intern had a show in a gallery, and I went for a visit and whilst on the coast, stopped into a local museum!

We saw the show housed in the Atlantic Center for the Arts at the Harris House (above) in New Smyrna, and the manager/curator had this strange thing set up with tax forms (left). Oh, I said, it looks like some kind of  an installation, I was looking for a title box, somewhere. He laughed and I asked him if I could shoot it. It was set up for any buyers who wanted to buy pieces, hence the tax forms!

New Smyrna is a small beach community, set on the site of a colony which was an indentured servant/land grant colony. I believe, it is said in St. Augustine, that the Greek and Italian survivors fled there because of extreme cruelty, which is why there is a surviving Greek chapel along the old main street. See the legend on the stone (photo left below).

There was a street festival, but we walked around a little bit, to get a feel for the area. They have a history of the colony and several war memorials (right below, Korean War memorial).There are places like this all along the east and west coasts of the United States. They are mixtures of “beach” people, surfers and arts types of people. They look great usually and they revolve as their own satellite. xx

Janene waves hi from the Milwaukee Road car, one of two there. They appeared to be opened for tours.

At $13 a head, the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Science is not cheap, but the nice information/ticketer, said, “oh, you are the first ones from that museum today. And North American reciprocal members.” That means, we pay nothing.

It is a combination museum. Part of the Root family, Coca Cola memorabilia. a kid’s museum, a nature garden and some art and two train cars.

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Their is a small, but tasty collection of Cuban art, circa 1955. One is terrific by Sandú Darié, Dynamic Spatial Composition (below). This was one of the best things in the museum. There are some beautiful pieces of colonial furniture and some Colonial limner portraits.

We didn’t have time for the nature preserve, which looked nice. For more information:

The Daytona Beach  Museum of Arts & Sciences (MOAS)