Tag Archives: celebrating

Gardeners and Art: A Juxtoposition

I love museums!  These spaces highlight opportunities for learning and encourage an appreciation for curiosity and inquiry.  I’ve learned to not just look at the exhibits for what they hold, but to also think about how they are constructed and curated to tell a particular story.

Earlier this week I was in Los Angeles at the La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum which sits adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).  On a sunny, warm winter day I had the luxury of wandering the grounds of both museums, enjoying the exhibits, the outdoor sculptures and art, the beautiful gardens, and the expansive well-groomed lawns.

As I explored the sculpture gardens I noticed the gardeners hard at work, mowing and raking…making sure the museum grounds were pristine.  They also seemed highly aware of the museum visitors and tried to avoid obstructing camera views or otherwise interfering with the visitors’ experience.

And I found myself wanting to capture the juxtaposition of the celebrity of the art with the unassuming work of the gardeners.


I noticed that the gardeners were highly aware of the visitors and made every effort to be unobtrusive as they went about the work of maintaining the pristine landscape.  I actually had to work to capture their photos…especially this first photo where I really wanted both the sculpture and the gardener with the lawnmower in the image.

And then I worked with editing apps to create images that featured the gardeners and captured the essential, beautiful nature of their work.


Why is it that we celebrate the work of artists and scientists, but ignore the work of gardeners, cleaning staff, waiters and waitresses?  These are the people who make our places comfortable and beautiful.  They make sure that things are in working order, that trash gets deposited out of sight, they make our places smell nice and look nice.

So this post acknowledges the juxtaposition…and celebrates the work of those whose work is just under the surface of our attention.  These gardeners are essential to the experience I had on the museum grounds earlier this week.  They contributed to the aesthetics of the art and are essential to the museum experience.

Celebrating 100 Posts!

I never would have believed when I started this blog way back in July that I would get to 100 posts…and except for one day a week or so ago, all those posts were consecutive days!  So to celebrate, here are some thoughts on the value of blogging…and writing every day.  (And a silly picture of a balloon I saw at the grocery store)


1.  Writing every day gives me authenticity as a writer.  I’m not just talking about the value of writing–I am “walking the walk” of a writer.  As my friend Janis stated in her blog post yesterday,

We must write when we are inspired, and we must write when we are not. We need to feel the joy and the pain of the process in order to understand what our students experience.

I work through my own blocks and figure out ways to find topics to write about and put words on the page.  I am also more aware of the writing of others and notice how they put words together.

2.   As a blogger, I have joined a community of other writers.  I would never have believed that I would have 99 followers to my blog…most of whom I have never met.  And yet these new friends encourage my writing and my photography by their mere presence.  And I’ve come to realize that people read my blog even when they don’t make their presence known.  I get little hints now and then from an unexpected reader and I realize again that my audience stretches beyond me.

3.  Blogging has taught me the value of commenting on other people’s blog posts.  I have definitely been guilty of reading blog post after blog post…and never commenting.  As a blogger myself, I know that comments can push my thinking and increase my motivation to write.  I now take the time to comment on a regular basis and I read blogs differently–always looking for the ways bloggers make connections and create energy around their posts.

4.  Blogging pushes me as a writer and as a photographer.  My photography inspires my writing and my writing inspires my photography.  Both practices encourage me to look closely at my world and pay attention to the little things.  And both have become regular practices in my life…habits! (The good kind!)

5.  Blogging connects me.  I am producing content on the web as well as consuming content.  I am more connected to other educators…all over the world, and more conscious of sharing ideas and resources.  I join in with challenges that other bloggers post, linking my blog posts to theirs…and inspiring some different kinds of writing that I might not undertake on my own.  I continue to look for ways to connect, to learn from others, and to share with others. That is the heart of being a connected educator.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect.  I am celebrating my 100th blog post in the middle of Connected Educator’s month!

Are you thinking about blogging?  Start small…and keep at it.  I’d love to know what you find valuable about blogging.