Sculpture takes wintry tumble Tuesday at 7:30 a.m.

Interested citizens are encouraged to gather in Park Central Square at 7:30 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 20 to view the winter rotation of the Tumbler, Springfield’s first piece of modern art. Bundle up, grab some coffee and watch this seasonal tradition unfold as Public Works puts a new spin on this familiar downtown landmark.

About the Tumbler

Created by sculptor Aris Demetrios, The Tumbler was installed on the square in 1971 and is regarded as Springfield’s first piece of modern art. It was discovered in recent years that the sculpture was intended to be re-oriented, or “tumbled,” every season to create a new piece of art. Creation of the Tumbler was funded by an arts patron identified as “Mrs. Monroe Swyers,” who reportedly donated $15,000. Demetrios said that barely covered the cost of steel to make it.

View a video about the Tumbler.


Summarizing Practice

Image result for snowflakesRead through the article about snowflake formation, and write a paragraph summarizing the main ideas. Summarizing is a skill that is useful across all subjects and allows you to:

  1. Find the main ideas when reading.
  2. Distinguish relevant from irrelevant information.
  3. Integrate ideas so they are meaningful.
  4. Remember what you read.

Next High School (or anyone) Book Groups


Firstly, finish Running with Scissors and be ready to have a discussion on January 9th.

Slapstick Amazon link by Kurt Vonnegut and The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery are our next book groups.  Read about them and then choose one or both of these books to read.

Joshua will be leading Slapstick with the first reading discussion set for the week of Jan. 9th (exact date and “read to” page) to be published on this blog by Monday.

I’m looking for “that special someone” to lead The Soul of an Octopus.  If you are interested, let Sandy know or comment below.  We will start reading this book and set deadlines after we come back from winter break.

You will be responsible for securing your selected book(s). If this is a problem we can help – let S.F. know.

Everyone must be reading a book during the year.  If you are not interested in either of these books, please select another one for yourself and let Sandy know the details.

Connecting: Creative Writing Class

For the next section of hs creative writing,  we will think about this proposition:   “Thinking is the intentional act of making connections.”

This is an important reading/thought process for those of you who want to advance your writing past the basic and the formatted style of writing.

I would like you to do all three practice sections of this assignment (I think it is that important).  To complete all of them, you will also need to read an essay I have attached.

I am giving you a lot of time to complete this, so please take it seriously.  Thank you in advance:).

The reading and assignment have been shared on Google Docs

We will discuss this work after winter break (and the film fest week) on January 17th.

Nub City

What is clear is that, at some point in the early ’50s, the idea of trading one’s limb for a few thousand dollars became seductive enough an option to a significant percentage of Vernon’s population. By the mid ’60s, at least 50 of Vernon’s 700 residents had joined the Nub Club by way of farming accidents, garage mishaps, hunting incidents, and so on. Although a few Vernon residents had the boldness to saw and hack off their limbs, most preferred the brevity of the shotgun blast.

Those of you looking for inspiration for your art, poetry, fiction, or lyrics. Those of you interested in the desperation of small town America. Those of you trying to understand the currents of American life that have led us to our current state of politics and economics. Those of you intrigued by the macabre and grotesque.

Read this. 

Creative Writing Class – Assignment for Wednesday’s Class

Reflecting in preparation for Wednesday’s conversation:

The example of creative reading we’ve discussed leads from a question about an essay to an image not included in or referenced in the original essay.

I would like you to find a reproduction online of Diane Arbus’s photograph of Susan Sontag and her son.  What light do you think Arbus’s photograph of Sontag and her son sheds on Sontag’s assessment of Arbus’s work in “America, Seen through Photographs, Darkly”? Spend at least 20 minutes figuring out a thoughtful, compelling answer to this question.  For the purposes of this exercise, work on with what you have been provided. Don’t seek out the rest of Sontag’s essays or more information about Arbus. What does the photograph alone tell you?

Be prepared to discuss your thoughts on Wednesday.

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