Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It came. They fought. SHE WON.

While my official job title is Full-time Faculty/Visual Art Teacher at the high school where I work, my unofficial titles include some of the following:
  • Last-minute prop figure outter and maker
  • Spur-of-the-moment sign designer, painter, and letterer
  • Award certificate calligrapher, award show graphic hacker, and trophy prize fabricator
  • Visual brand facelifter and re-designer
  • Publications layout figure outter and in-house desktop publisher
  • Massive Balloon release event schemer
  • Prom proposal and secret valentine figure outter and fabricator
  • Performance and dramatic arts set designer, builder, painter, and dresser
  • School store marketing planner and display figure outter and fixer
  • Bad and inside joke maker and planner
Easily, the list could go on and on. But for your sake? I won't go on like that. ;)

Anyway, last week I was in the copy room picking out my new document camera (YAY!!) and one of my colleagues ran into me and stated, "I am SO glad you are here because I was going to come and find you today!!" Now, it is very important to note that she said she was going to come and find me because (on any given day) I could be any number of places doing every number of things and covered neck to wrist to toe in paint, plaster, packing tape, wrapped in computer wires (because I am also one of the technology teachers) or powdered with sawdust. It's just how it goes. *shrug* I do A LOT and it's not because I don't know how to say "no" it's because I don't enjoy saying no because I am always ALWAYS up for a challenge of any sort especially if it's something that someone presents to me with in a way that goes like, "I don't even know if this is possible but..." I LOVE making the seemingly impossible possible and I LOVE when someone asks me for an opinion/idea and I can brainstorm (on the spot) at least a dozen ideas that they otherwise had not thought of. I guess another unofficial title for me would be resident brainstormer and out-of-the-box (and off the wall!) visionary and random idea inventory keeper. (I have a mental inventory of all sorts of ideas of every sort that you might ever imagine or NEVER imagine.)

Last week when my coworker approached me, she was looking for some creative inspiration to help conceptualize a portrait shoot she was having done later that evening with some of her best friends. She was having three individual shoots done and she wanted one of them to be focused on her recent triumph over CANCER. Amazing, amazing, amazing she is if you ever were to meet her and hear her story. Honestly and TRULY a healing that derives from faith in action.

I immediately had half a dozen ideas that could work for her but she latched onto one in particular that not only spoke of all of the things that enabled her to be the survivor that she is but also spoke to the person she is and the calling she answers everyday in her unique professional position at my school. The challenge with the idea? Well, it would require some visual design elbow grease to make some props. Thankfully, with last week being the beginning of the school year and me having a reasonably light load of work and open schedule because the freshmen were having a fellowship day (meaning they weren't in class all day).

You know, even if I did have a jam-packed schedule. I absolutely would have carved out something in order to fit in the time that would have been required of me to finish my coworkers portrait prop. I just have so much awe and respect and love for her being the amazing cancer warrior and survivor that she is. It seems like every single day I hear about one more person who has been diagnosed with cancer or is literally losing the battle to it. I would like to say I am exaggerating but I really am not.

I am delighted to report that I had just enough time on Friday to finish the prop and deliver it to my coworker right before we both done for the day and ready to officially finish off as successful first week of school.

It is a large whiteboard with some words that she said really illustrate her experience of battle and TRIUMPH.
In addition to having this board sitting on a stand in the background of her portrait, she is also going to be wearing a nametag that it one of those classic "Hello My Name Is" with the word SURVIVOR in large letters where the name would go. I absolutely cannot wait to see what her portraits end up looking like! I'm sure they will be a beautiful visual depiction of the incredible cancer survivor that she is.

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