Doodle for Google 2019

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I just mailed these Chittenango Middle School entries to the Doodle for Google 2019 contest.  This year’s theme is “When I Grow Up, I Hope….”

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These are some of my Art-8 and 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art student entries.  My 5th graders also took part in the contest.  The deadline is March 16th so there is still time to mail in the stragglers’ art after winter break, thank goodness.

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Among the recurring themes – ending world hunger, space exploration, and fun with animals.  Other ideas included fashion, graduating from high school/college and cheating death.

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One of my favorites was this one above – solving mysteries with the Scooby Doo gang.  Who doesn’t dream about this from time-to-time?  Really, I know you do!

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The prize is $30,000 for the individual student, $50,000 in technology for their school and their google doodle will be on a T-shirt.  It will also grace the web-site for twenty-four hours (and proclaim the winner the title of Chief Doodler for the day).  So cool.

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What a huge and most amazing thing it would be if one of my students wins the whole shebang?!  It will be the greatest thing that would and could ever happen in my career, lol, except…this was the assignment I gave as lesson plans for the substitute when I was absent on family leave the week of my father’s passing.  So, technically, I guess … no – oh, come on now, this is crazy talk…I will still take pride in a win.  Making art that helps a student visualize their dreams? – now that is a win-win! ❤

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The American

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In 1956, Vasil Tashkovski came to Syracuse, New York alone, as a sixteen-year-old boy, a runaway who escaped the Iron Curtain fleeing Communist Yugoslavia for Greece, an incredibly dangerous journey that led him to a refugee camp where he lived for a year while waiting for permission from the American Consulate to live his dream.  It is the story of legend – the boy who dreamed of being an American.

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He was my father.  Dad married an American girl and had three American daughters with whom he only spoke English.  Yes, he helped many Macedonians from his village come to this country including his own brother and his family, and you can argue that his life’s purpose was to help them.  But if this is true, then the desire was fueled by a belief that these others would see what he saw – opportunity, liberty and freedom to live an authentic life in the greatest country in the world.

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To just be.  Dad was always there for us.  Always healthy and strong.  I truly thought he was indestructible – until he got cancer and suddenly passed away.  I mean, I just never thought about a time that he wouldn’t be with us.  He was seventy-nine.  It happened last week, so the wound is fresh and raw.  There is never enough time with the ones you love.

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Eagles are currently wintering in Syracuse.  About seventy at last count.  It seems like the most obtuse idea.  For many years, Onondaga Lake has been the number one most polluted lake in the nation and yet our national bird is here living off fish from said lake, with families in tow soaring around in all their glory, wonder and perfection.

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It is simply amazing – and ironic to see these majestic creatures here now.  I don’t think I had EVER seen an eagle in real life before this moment.  Our national bird!  It feels like they are here for Dad.  I like to think they are.  And that Vasil Tashkovski is soaring with them.  I know he is.

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You can park at Destiny Mall and see the eagles in the trees across the railroad tracks or drive to Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool, New York to see them wading on the shoreline.  Bring your cameras preferably with telephoto lenses in order to paparazzo them.  There will be a guided birding walk on March 2, 2019 from 10:00 – 11:30 am.  It is sponsored by the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps.  This link is to their Facebook page.

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The incredible photographs accompanying this post are by my über-talented friend Julia C. Banach.  She is an award winning (and currently self-described amateur) photographer.  I am in awe of her work here.  Just so magnificent!  Thank you, Julia, for capturing the majesty of these creatures.

Find more photography by Julia on Facebook.  This is the link to her “Like” page.  Become a fan.  She has recently updated her page to include incredible animal shots from trips to the local zoo, as well as gorgeous sunsets and full-moon illustrated landscapes.  Really beautiful work!  I have no doubt that Julia’s photographs will appear in nearby art galleries and museums very soon. ❤