Art Buddies: Out With A Bang

Oh my gosh. Art Buddies is over. Yesterday was the final meeting for the season. Something that caused me so much anxiety eight weeks ago is something that is going to be sorely missed.

I think I need to devote more of my time to A) volunteering on a consistent basis B) little kids C) a design-related organization D) all of the above. Going each week at the same time gave me a taste of ‘routine,’ something I’ve been sorely missing since school ended. Hearing people talk about their jobs at Target made droplets of drool ooze from my lips. It is the Meredith of the Twin Cities. Gianna was a sweetheart who looked up to me, and I got the impression that Thursday afternoons with their buddies was something all of the kids looked forward to each week. Honestly, what a terrific feeling: being the highlight of someone’s day. For doing something as simple as driving to Minneapolis, playing with art supplies, and giving them a little of my attention.

I finally deduced that I am allowed to post pictures… so golly gee, I am going to!

These two were a hoot.


The last day was hectic and fuuun and funny. Right off the bat, everyone had to get their costumes together pronto. The SWAT-team kid and the Asian Princess had a spat over snack time, the Queen of Food had to put on her hamburger (excuse me, Juicy Lucy) shoulder pads, the Ocean Queen suddenly was self conscious (didn’t see that one coming) and wanted to trash her Wave-Wand and wear a sweatshirt over her pretty blue dress.

Tambourines were distributed and we were scooted out the door. The music class’s drum corps led us through the school with a loud, exciting, almost-together beat and these sassy, confident kids suddenly became shy and semi-terrified. The whole school was out sitting cross-legged in the hallways, ready to see us parade by. When it came time to walk by Gianna and Ayan’s classes, they literally dove behind Emily and me. I think I had more fun in the parade than the kids did! Marching and clapping and stomping and seeing all the kids look up to the big-bad fifth graders. The atmosphere was so RAMBUNCTIOUS! And, it didn’t help that Gianna’s mom had given her candy to throw… I thought there was going to be a riot.

After the parade we had professional pictures taken (which were sufficiently awkward.) Gianna and I saw the results and we just looked at each other with that is the worst photo I’ve ever seen glances. The boys, who all -undoubtedly- are in love with her, taunted Gianna mercilessly while the photographer was trying to get her to smile. We had to fill out evaluations, we had to finish the BUDDY BOOK, and we had to make cards for one another (Gianna: ‘Will you PLEEEEEEASE write your name for me?! I HATE the way I write!!’ Alex: ‘Absolutely not.’) (now on my bulletin board), and had to get ready for performance II.

Once we all were in the gym, Emily (my adult-art-buddy) and I reflected how long it had been since we had sat on a gym floor. I had a flashback to Mr. Tape (Taffe) and sitting in our squads back in the day. They are kind of hard on the tush. Everyone had to take their buddy and talk, up front, with a microphone, about basically whatever they wanted. There was chanting, there was sass, there was paralyzing terror. There was new respect for elementary teachers, trying to keep all those kids quiet and respectful.

Gianna begged me to do Art Buddies again in the spring and I sincerely hope I am able to. Although, I also sincerely hope I have a full time job that prevents me from doing so. Hey! What an excellent result of being jobless: I discovered this whole program and definitely grew, myself, going through it. Thumbs up.


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