Sunday, November 01, 2015

"Forever Changed" oil 14 x 14

  The Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge for October was the theme "gun".  Sigh.  As a teacher, I must practice lock down drills with my students so they know where to sit, how to be quiet, how to stay calm when I lock the door, drop the blinds and douse the lights.  It is very stressful for us and especially for them.  It is so stressful to discuss the procedure with my administration, when they have to say things like, "If a student knocks on your door to come in, use your own discretion as to whether or not they are the perpetrator."  Sigh.  Each and every teacher wonders if they could do the right thing in the face of potential carnage.  Carnage.  That is what is happening.  My job is to teach math.  More importantly, my job is to create a safe place for my students, and to protect them, which I will do.  I know I will do the right thing.
When I thought about the theme of gun, I thought of my students sitting on the floor, sometimes giggling nervously as we practice the drill. I thought of the fear they are either articulating or suppressing.  I thought of the teachers and children who have been killed in the school shootings.  I pray for the comfort of the survivors whose lives have been forever changed.  I pray for connection in our world so that less young men will feel so isolated and angry that they turn guns on others.  What can we do?  For starters we can reach out and connect.  Make eye contact, make connection, break the isolation.  Just a start.


  1. Wow powerful a message...
    The painting is fantastic....I couldn't stop looking at it....
    I know that teachers like you can and will do the right thing if the unimaginable happens....Maureen

  2. Thanks, Maureen. Meanwhile, if we all look up more often, connect a little bit more, be a bit more proactive, maybe there will be less moments like the one above.

  3. Powerful painting and message Jody. I wish this made front page of the Globe. Connecting is the biggest chance we have of changing someone's life.

  4. Beautiful, moving, and thought provoking piece. Even more powerful, what you write about the "gun" assignment and what it is like to be a teacher to take. Outstanding. - Prue Goodale

  5. Thank you, Prue. Regardless of the national debates on all sides of this terrible and tragic plague, we can each do something now. A lot of small somethings become a force. We can each make a difference now. That's my goal.