My friend Jeffrey Beam is reading from his most recent book of poetry at The Regulator Bookstore tonight — right at this moment — and I really meant to be there. It’s been on my calendar for a month — but I’d forgotten what 8 1/2 hours of teaching in a day does to the body. It is the last week of Intercession Arts Camp at Durham Arts Council and, in addition to team-teaching with an art teacher from 9 – 2, I’m taking the Afternoon Adventures stint until 5:30 pm.
For the rest of the week Afternoon Adventures will involve excursions to The Scrap Exchange, the Farmer’s Market and The Nasher Museum. (On Friday we watch a movie and eat popcorn.) But Mondays are free for alls, and today was especially serendipitous. Our intention was to walk to the gardens planted on the hill above the Farmer’s Market. We each carried a small sketchbook and a pencil and the assignment was to pick a beautiful sight and make a black & white sketch that we would then take back to DAC and re-create in color.
The unexpected adventure happened after the students had chosen various spots in the garden and settled down to sketch metal butterfly sculptures, ivy vines and branch woven arbors. Then Sherlock appeared. Sherlock is a German shepherd related dog from Holland who works with the Durham police department’s K-9 unit. He was receiving some training at the foot of the hill and his police officer friend was generous enough to bring Sherlock up the path to us. He showed us how Sherlock finds a set of keys in a tangle of tall grass. The children (and the teacher) were enthralled, even the ones who aren’t that crazy for dogs.
Tomorrow we’re all going to bring a favorite object from home and make up stories galore to act out for each other. It promises to be an exciting, creative week, but for tonight I’m skipping my friend’s poetry reading regretfully just to put my feet up and rest from a day of creative play.