Presenting the stunning paper cut bookmarks made by the students in Ms. Rebekka Boysen-Taylor's class at the Palouse Prairie Charter School in Idaho. This work is the culmination of their 2018 8th Grade Humanities Expedition, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Working with these students is an honor and one of the highlights of my year.
For the past two years, I've been fortunate to work with Ms. Boysen-Taylor and her students in what the school refers to as a Humanities Expedition. A professional is invited to work on a project with the class, and in some shape or form, share first hand working-world knowledge and experience.
Ms. Boysen-Taylor and I first connected in 2016 by way of her facebook inquiry for a paper cut artist. Elizabeth Duvivier passed along my name, as I had just taught a paper cutting mini workshop at Squam Art Workshops. The rest is history, and for even more insights into our journey together, you can see and read all about the 2017 Expedition here.
Our process together is made up of multiple stages. First, the students read Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and select a passage that resonates. Together, Ms. Boysen-Taylor and I share instruction and pointers on paper cutting techniques and best practices as the students sketch their designs for their selected passages. They share their sketches with me and I offer feedback by way of a personal video. Final drawings are made before moving to the actual paper cutting.
The next time I see their work, it's finished, which is what you're seeing in these photos. Ms. Boysen-Taylor had their art copied onto glossy card stock so that the students could autograph their narrative book marks before slipping them into books throughout their local library. Ms. Boysen-Taylor didn't stop there. She approached the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise which agreed to sell the book marks, helping the students earn back the money for materials.
Aren't these eighth graders so talented?! I've marveled at their imagination and skill. I've also watched in awe as their teacher continues to demonstrate leadership, foster creative expression and spread compassion. Ms. Boysen-Taylor inspires and innovates. I'd love to spend even one day in her classroom!
Working with her students was so much fun, and what moved me was their good humor combined with their willingness to adjust, improve and grow. Each time I look at their work I find more to see. I hope they're enjoying the last of days of summer before ninth grade begins. Here's wishing them all a successful new school year ahead!
If you have any questions about the Expedition, our process together or anything else, please leave a comment or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you love pickles?
Below is the recipe I try to remember to make each summer because it's that good!
Grated ginger really sets the recipe apart, and while I tried to find the recipe link on bonappetit.com, it's not coming up, but that's where it originally came from.
Bread and Butter Pickles by Kevin West
Yield: about 2 quarts
2.5 lbs kirby cucumbers, cut crosswise into 1/4" rounds (about 8 cups)
2 cups thinly sliced red onions
1/3 cup pickling salt, or Kosher salt (not table salt)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 -1/4 packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
1-1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. celery seeds
2 Fresno chiles or red jalapenos, pricked with a toothpick
In a large bowl, toss together cucumbers, onions and salt. Add 3 cups ice and set aside for 2-3 hours. Drain, rinse well, drain again.
In a large pot combine the vinegar and all remaining ingredients with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Add cucumbers and onions, return to a boil. Turn off heat.
Ladle into 2-3 clean, hot 1-quart jars. Leave 1/2" space on top. Wipe rims, seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool to room temperature before storing in pantry or refrigerator.