Friday, October 24, 2014

Memories of Kindergarten

Homework for Sketchbook Skool this week was about telling a story, drawing from memory, and drawing upon Memories, particularly about the first day of school. In addition, imaginative elements could be added, such as dinosaurs, dragons, or dancing dogs (now there's an alliteration--comes from teaching literature to obstreperous students--and that would be a consonance. I better stop analyzing or I could go on like this all day...).

This type of project requires l-o-n-g reflection as kindergarten was over half a century ago, but I did manage to dig up a memory of THE first day of school. Little did I know at that time that I would be a student for life. 

Anyway, in the meantime, I had been doing a small sketch in pen everyday for a 75-day challenge (the point being to develop a habit of drawing and improve line work). Each page contains a quote, a short diary entry, a drawing and a "take-a-line-for-a-walk" (paraphrased from Paul Klee). One day, I sketched a stack of books on a small table in the living room. Two remotes were perched on top. --Light bulb--

So the Book Stack Beings found their way into my drawing, which was about the only day I e-v-e-r cried in school. In my family, we had a new baby brother and we were therefore 3 kids five and under. I imagine my parents were overwhelmed. I got on the school bus as directed and went to kindergarten, however, nobody explained the procedures and that school was only a half day. At one point, all the kids disappeared and I found myself alone and abandoned. The teacher came running: "Why aren't you getting ready to go home, Dear?"

And yet, I remember that the stacks of books were magical...

Of course, I put the SBS teacher, Mattias Adolfsson (the boy with the cowboy outfit and glasses), in my class, along with an Edward Lear figure (the boy standing on his head) from the front page of the "Book of Nonsense" whose limericks I have been teaching.

My drawing took me all week because of the detail work. 

The combination of Memory and fantasy made the project fun, however, upon reflection I find this type of illustration not really to my liking (although Mattias's work is wonderful). It feels imposed, stiff, and puerile--for me. 

It doesn't speak to me because of my daily reality in a country that teeters on the edge of chaos. The temporary government has little authority, increased administrative problems make my working environment kafka-esque causing a huge waste of time (I'd rather be blogging), garbage continues to pile up, and the whole country is tense because of elections that will take place on Sunday (Oct. 26th). The stakes are high and the religious party, which is well-funded (from the Gulf), is not known to be "fair-play." Religious extremists with Kalachnikov machine guns are doing their best to sabotage the elections, with an increase in terrorist incidences. Facebook appears to be cut off for the time being (which cannot be a good sign).

The drought currently plaguing Tunisia (it has rained maybe five times since June, that is, in 5 months) represents well the political and economic situation of this small country. I should be stitching or sketching a drought, a blighted landscape, not a kindergarten... 


Els said...

Ha, love your drawings Nadia !!! (how far till you reached the 75 ???
(yes, I know it takes a lot of practicing drawing people (children) !)

Remember little bits of Kindergarden but definately not the first day ...
(We went all day ! tha I know for sure)

Oh my, what a country you live in ..... !
All th best and X fingers on Sunday (I will be thinking of you)

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Love your drawings - especially the book people. Please keep safe!


How lovely is this, Nadia you have a beautiful memory! awesome :)

Carole Reid said...

Nadia, it's okay to take a little break down memory lane, while things are so strained in your country! One day this will be a memory for you. I hope the election goes smoothly with no troubles. May you have the opportunity to stitch and create today. xo Carole

The Idaho Beauty said...

I don't have specific memories of first days for any grade but first grade. Perhaps it is seared on my brain because I had wanted to go to kindergarten and my mother wanted to keep me home. We struck a deal (piano lessons if I stayed home) but I truly could not wait to start. That is probably why I remember so clearly the boy who cried and cried until his mother came to pick him up. "Are you CRAZY?" is what was going through my head. How could you NOT want to be here.

The other vivid memory was of the teacher coming to my desk and saying, "Now this is how I want you to write your name." My mother being a teacher herself, had already taught me a few things, such as how to spell my name, so of course, my thought was - well, not if you spell it wrong! Lucky for the teacher she got it right or she would have heard from me. I guess I always had an attitude. ;-)

So thinking about these, I pondered how could I possibly render my first day of school memories in a sketch. Your solution was quite enlightening - I think I could do it now!

Love the stack of books - it also tells such a story. Hoping for some positive political sorting out for your country.

Rayna said...

Wow, this is amazing. I have no memories of kindergarten except of being sent into the first grade for reading group.

KhadijaTeri said...

Finally a post... I was getting worried! It's hard to concentrate on anything other than the political situation these days, but be thankful you have managed elections. It's chaos over here in Libya. ..... kindergarten ... I can still remember the smell of the classroom. It was a brand new school and everything was new. Whenever I smell new formica and pinewood furniture my mind goes straight back there to that first day of school.

Yvette said...

keep save!
good to concentrate something else


arlee said...

I remember my first day of kindergarden too-- I showed up at home and my mother asked me WHY i was home already--i came home at first recess because no one told me i had to come back!