Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Creative Labor Day: Grilling, Paint, and Mandolins, oh my!

Today at 2:00, I have my interview for my new job in the reorganization of my school.  My current job:  Chair of General Education.  The job for which I'll interview:  Coordinator of Communication/Humanities.

So, did I spend my Labor Day looking for an interview suit?  Buying new shoes?  No, I did not.  I will wear one of my more conservative outfits, but I did not buy anything new. 

I did spend some time thinking about the questions that I might be asked.  My spouse and I spent time talking about those questions.  In between, I did creative activities.

I started off Labor Day the way I start most days, by writing.  Any day that starts with writing is a good day for me.  Even if I get nothing else done, at least I'll have some writing at the end of the day.

Then we did some grilling.  It's fun to cook together, especially when we're not heating up the kitchen.

After lunch, I painted a canvas.  At the end of July, when my spouse's brother and his wife were visiting, their cousin (along with spouse and child) came to visit.  I felt bad for the 10 year old boy.  He didn't have many toys with him, and he was quickly bored.  I pulled out all the toys that we have for my nephew.  At one point, he saw our arts and crafts supplies, and his face lit up.  "Can we paint?"

Of course we could!  But at the end of the evening, there was much paint squeezed onto pallettes.  So I popped them into the freezer for another day.

Yesterday was that day.  My main objective was to use up the paint, instead of washing it down the drain.  But I always have fun swirling colors and seeing what develops.

Here's what developed yesterday.  I think I'll call it "Scuba Diving."

Later, my husband pulled out our mandolins.  For our 13th anniversary, in 2001, we bought a pair of mandolins.  We had every intention of teaching ourselves.  We worked hard for a month.  And then, the crush of fall schedules set in.

My spouse picked up the mandolin right away, since it's very similar to the violin, his childhood instrument.  I did not.  Yesterday, he put dots on our mandolin necks so that we'd know where the notes are. 

You could do the same thing for a violin; in fact, that's how he got the idea.

It took me about 20 minutes to understand how the dots correspond to notes on the staff, but then I was off and running.

I'm still not playing very quickly, but by the end of the day, I could pick out "This Land Is Your Land."  Hurrah!  Thanks, Woody Guthrie!

It's so much easier to maintain enthusiasm when I'm hearing songs I recognize.  It's so much easier to play songs I recognize with these dots to help me.

Now, if I could only figure out an easy way to tune the darn thing!  Yes, we have an electronic tuner, and yes, I still find it hard.

So, I face the journey today fortified by the creative work of yesterday.  It may not have been what the Labor Movement had in mind, but it is in the spirit of that Movement:  the knowledge that there must be balance, there must be time off, there must be time for more than manual labor.


Hannah Stephenson said...

Good luck today! I'm sure you'll be your usual great self :).

Chum said...

Best of luck to you, Kris. I loathe interviewing, but I have no doubt you'll be wonderful, as always.