Arts Integration Seminar at the Kennedy Center


Watergate Building

Watergate Building

On my walk this morning to the Kennedy Center, I passed the Watergate Building. It is a beautiful day today.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

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Angle

View from the terrace at the Kennedy Center

View from the terrace at the Kennedy Center

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Size

This seminar is awesome!  I love being in Washington D.C. and being at the Kennedy Center.  I have met a Russian woman whose art form is Russian nesting dolls. I have met a metal sculptor from Yonkers, New York. I have met a storyteller from Evanston, Illinois.

So much exciting information and energy.

I will leave you with the Kennedy Center’s definition of Arts Integration:

Arts Integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both.

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View of Arlington Cemetery from the Kennedy Center. It was comforting to say good morning to my parents, who are buried together at Arlington. I am going to visit them while I am in D.C.

I love this country.

I love this country.

 

Terrace at Kennedy Center which goes all around the building offering panoramic views of D.C.

Terrace at Kennedy Center which goes all around the building offering panoramic views of D.C.

 

All photos by Megan Oteri 

 

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Aristotle on Hope, Excellence, Education, and Friendship


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Painting of Aristotle by Raphael

QUICK FACTS (Source: Biography.com)

  • NAME: Aristotle
  • OCCUPATION: Philosopher
  • BIRTH DATE: c. 384 BCE
  • DEATH DATE: c. 322 BCE
  • EDUCATION: Plato’s Academy, Lyceum
  • PLACE OF BIRTH: Stagira, Chalcidice, Greece
  • PLACE OF DEATH: Chalcis, Euboea, Greece
  • FULL NAME: Aristotle

Check out this link on biography.com for more history on Aristotle.

“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle

“Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

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Feel free to share this image, but please do not take out watermarked copyright and website source. Thank you. Have a hope filled day.

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle

“All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.”- Aristotle

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle

“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.” – Aristotle

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Did You Know? (source: http://www.history.com/topics/aristotle)

Aristotle’s surviving works were likely meant as lecture notes rather than literature, and his now-lost writings were apparently of much better quality. The Roman philosopher Cicero said that “If Plato’s prose was silver, Aristotle’s was a flowing river of gold.”

Can you imagine Aristotle on social media?

Do you think he would favor Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or other?

This is an interesting blog post on Aristotle from Dooley & Associates. 

Video from Cloud Biography on Aristotle:

Video Lecture (Part I of lecture about Plato and Aristotle):

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” ― Aristotle

“All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.” – Aristotle

More information on Aristotle:

http://www.rowan.edu/open/philosop/clowney/Aesthetics/philos_artists_onart/aristotle.htm

http://www.history.com/topics/aristotle

Art Is Created from Great Storms


I think I put too much pressure on myself that every blog post has to be written like an essay or written as creative nonfiction worthy of publication in a literary magazine.  I take myself way too serious sometimes.  I am currently dealing with the loss of my mother. I don’t really even know how to express the grief I am going through.

I have been posting photos and mini blog posts that reveal nothing.  Yet at the same time I want to share with the world what I am going through. I recently told a mom acquaintance at Mommy and Me Gymnastics that my mom died. This need to tell the world so they understand the fragile terrain I am walking on is overwhelming. I almost want to wear a sign around my neck that says, “Handle with care. My mother died.” The grief work I am doing is so intimate it is hard to express it in words. I have my mother’s ashes on my mantle and will drive them to Arlington Cemetery  in the coming months. From what I understand, it takes months to schedule a funeral at Arlington. My mom will be buried with my father’s ashes (Korean War Veteran) who passed away in 2003. Both of my parents passed away in December.  In the meantime, I have been lighting my Christmas lights that are intertwined with my favorite set of Christmas lights around fake green garland that snakes across the mantle in our family room. They look like sugary colored crystal balls.  There is a star that lights up that I have connected to the Christmas lights. Two Santas my mom gave me anchor both sides. In a way this lighted mantle is my memorial to her.

My February Memorial Mantle

My February Memorial Mantle

I did manage to take down the Christmas tree sometime in late January.  I took off all the ornaments and un-twirled the lights — my toddler helping me as I walked backwards around the tree. After taking down all the ornaments and the lights, I took a moment to look at the bare dried up tree. It was striking in its beauty — the absence of the decorations — the absence of my mother. I made a connection that there was beauty in looking at the bare tree — its bare beauty.

I have had many moments like this where a great calm overcomes me and I am left to marvel at the sensitive, fragile beauty of life. Then there are the moments of ocean deep sorrow.

This photo is from a recent trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

This photo is from a recent trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

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Footprints in the Sand
The Atlantic Ocean — Kill Devil Hills, NC

I will share this: I got down on my hands and knees (crying, of course) asking God to help me through this difficult time.  I have never actually got down on my hands and knees before in total surrender, although I have heard of people doing it. I realized this burden and sadness is too heavy for me to carry.  So I asked God to carry it for me.  My mother has not been buried yet. We are waiting to hear back from Arlington Cemetery when the funeral will be. My mother passed away on December 24, 2012.

The month of January seemed to move by slowly, yet I hardly remember it.  I did not move; I was stagnant with acute pain and a deep sadness. Where did the time go?  I have been grieving and getting by. I have enjoyed the time I have with my son as I am a stay-at-home mom.  My son is painting right now. He asked me, “Help me paint Mama.,” gently grabbing my left hand and looking at me with the love a child can express through a  simple gesture such as this. I said to him, holding his hand in my palm, “I am painting here while I type. I am painting with words.”  Now he is creating his watercolor masterpiece as I try to paint a picture of what I have been going through.

My son painting with watercolors

My son painting with watercolors

February photos 2012 003 February photos 2012 006My son and I made a gallery of his paintings. He told me where each painting should go and in what order. For now, I am taking it one day at a time and honoring the grief. I am ready to paint my own canvas and allow the colors to choose themselves. It is a process and art is always created from great storms.