Sunday, January 18, 2015

Behind the Logo ~ The Meek Moose Pretends She's Watching VH1

Question:  Does VH1 even exist anymore?

Moving forward...

So, I was playing around on Instagram today.  Like a lot of days.  But with great diligence this morning because I was supposed to be
-updating my resume
-writing a business proposal
-cleaning my room
-making math card games
-creating lesson plans worthy of being peeked at during informal observations
-and NOT EATING bread
when it just so happened that I commented on another gal's picture about an art project she was doing with her students that I love that art pack too and it was on my wish list.

It's this art pack:

Click to check this Pop Art Miracle out!

I'm actually pretty sure I have Jenny's entire store on my wishlist...let me check... yes, yes I do.

Anyway, I made this comment and then ended up chatting with Jenny through email which was unexpected and very cool.  I have to say that one thing I like about blogging, and meeting teachers through FB, Twitter, Instagram, and TpT is that it starts to feel like I know lots of celebrities.  Knowing celebrities pleases my deep seated vanity.  Yes. Yes it does.

Turns out- Jenny is hosting a linky where you explain the story behind your logo.  And she asked if I was interested in linking up since I have this curious moose fetish going on.  And let's all admit it- moose are cool.  Deadly nasty mean beasts- but cool.  We also know I love to talk nonsense about myself.  And I think we all took note of how I'm supposed to be cleaning my room.  Again.  And I'm not.  So here we go.

Word wise- I'm from Alaska, I like moose, and my last name is Meek.  So it probably began as a simple fondness for alliteration.  The Meek Moose.

I had not always planned on being a teacher.  My college degree is in Writing.  I was going to be the next great American author.  I graduated from college, had a brief desire to be an intern at Jim Henson's Muppets that I never followed up on because I didn't want to commute by the LIRR every day to the city, and then ended up working retail at a toy store and then a gift basket shop because you can't make money just wanting to be an author.

My experience at the toy store was great!  It was one of those old buildings with nooks and crannies and had been open 100 years.  My favorite thing was if they would send me next door to the storage building to find something- because that place was LOADED with memorabilia.  I love toys, in case you didn't know.  So I'm 22 and I ended up thinking then that I would like to have my own toy store.  I remember at first I wanted to call it Farley&Fiona.  But then it evolved into The Meek Moose.

Idea tabled when I went back to school to get a teaching license. You don't really make a good living working part-time retail.

Teaching teaching teaching...years go by....teaching fifth grade...not a good fit for me.  Started to dream up other professional endeavor ideas.  And then I was 30.  Ah, 30.  I thought all my dreams would come true at 30.  I decided I was going to leave teaching and open a children's bookstore.  I wanted it to have lots of natural light, and wooden floors and shelves, and a stage with red curtains for poetry night.  And we'd serve snacks like cake pops and fancy lemonade.  I'd even decided that I was going to go with a mix of clean linen and cherry blossom for the general "smell" of the store.

When The Meek Moose dreams, she dives into the details.  But only the ones that have nothing to do with what you actually have to know to run a business. Because I'm cool like that.  I had my sister draw me up a logo of a moose that was feeling meekish.  And then a guy I knew at a T-shirt screening place digitized the image and cleaned up the lines of the pencil drawing.

Anyhow, get a divorce, real estate market bottoms out, house tied up in it- blah. The Meek Moose gets shelved.  But I kept my Meek Moose logo picture in a journal and would look at it from time to time.

Then, 2012, I'm 36 and looking for some teaching inspiration one spring when I discover teacher blogs.  So I think- hey- I could do that.  Seemed like a natural choice to pull out my lovely Meek Moose art and go for it.  so I did.  A year later, my sister decided to join me in a TpT endeavor.

Now Traci, she's a costume designer / freelance mascot builder in New Zealand.  And I'm sure she'll chime in after I post this and tell me how I've not used the correct job title to describe what she does. But her company name is Meek and Wild Creations.  So I asked her to put a sweater on the moose with her MW so we were combined.

When I go my blog design updated by Barbara Leyne Designs in September, she gave my blog moose a face lift with a hipster feel that I LOVE.  And even gave me a chicken!  Love you, Barbara!

As far as my glamour shot - this was a picture taken of me when I was 32.  I was teaching a drama club at a Military School and I was waiting outside the Chapel for our Summer Parent Performance to begin.  A man asked to take my picture.  His wife was one of the administration as I remember, and he had taken my picture once before when I was at dinner with the cadets maybe a year earlier.

Generally, I don't like my picture taken.  I'm guilty of taking fifty shots before I find one that I consider OK.  She brought me the picture the next week.  I liked it.  Sometimes it's nice to think that I haven't aged much since then.  But I guess it's ok that I have. Time presses ever forward.


So- that's the story of the logo.  I'm from Alaska, I love moose, my last name is Meek, and it would be awesome if I one day become a princess.

If you would also like to avoid cleaning your room- consider telling the story of your logo and linking up with Jenny at Art with Jenny K.

I guess I have to go clean my room now...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Meek Moose Wants to Be an Engineer

I became part of a collaborative blog, Ladies With Class, and it launched this week.  I've been thinking that it was a rather silly thing for me to do, as I blog so sporadically during the school year anyway- but then again, since I may only blog on the collaborative gig once a month- it's not a shabby deal.

My first post on the collaborative blog is up. Engineering and Coding are two of my favorite things. I've shared lots of video clips of my kids in action, on the computer, with Marble Run, and creating Domino Rallies. Hope you like it and feel inspired to add it into your day as well!

There are also two other posts, one on Motivational Tools by Yara at Sea of Knowledge; and another on Writing Biographies in Second Grade by Tara at Looney's Literacy.  Please check out all three!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

What if? ~ The Meek Moose Waxes Philosophical About Windows.

Watch this move:

*click copy and paste *

"One, I need to blog. I have almost completely stopped keeping up with it, and this makes me sad. Two, I need to actually MAKE the math games I'm realizing I need in my classroom. Three, and maybe this should actually go first- I need motivation to do the two other things. But I don't. I just keep reading Backyard Chicken magazines and staring at the advert that says I can make 36,000 a year growing herbs on a quarter acre. And I'm on three acres. So really, I could be making half a million. If I liked the outdoors. Or could keep a plant alive..."

There.  See that?  I started a ramble to some FB friends and now I'm stealing my own ramble to have a blog ramble out of guilt.  Level of Lazy: BOSS

And now- staring at this picture- I hadn't even noticed someone was selling clothes for chickens.  Dang.  I could make clothes for chickens...

I also a need to flush out my brain.  I have no one to talk to at the moment except a three year old.  And frankly, if I have to discuss "linecraft" (at a certain point the speech impediment will no longer be cute) or how it is not okay to kill villagers because "they were looking at me" (cue creepy music and slowly back away.  DO NOT LOOK AWAY, just slowly back out of the room), I may die.  Possibly quite literally. Because if he isn't playing a game I cannot understand, he's setting traps on the stairs just like in "Scooby Doo".  And I don't know about any of you, but when I used to watch Scooby Doo, I just remember Don Knotts, and Sonny&Cher, and The Harlem Globe Trotters, and Jinkies!!! I do not remember being taught how to set traps.

Did I tell you that he karate punched my ex-husband in the tenders the other morning?  Yes.  Yes he did. But for no reason whatsoever.  He was saying "Hi!".  Hi-yah!

Do I have anything at all to say about school?  Or education?  Probably too much, kittens.  This is the Winter of My Discontent.

Which really means, it might be an alright time to dream a little.

Last night I had this really vivid dream that I went back to my old elementary school in Alaska to take a tour and interview for a job.  The fact that I am FREEZING in my basement at this moment clarifies the issue of moving back to Alaska.  No.  No way.  HOWEVER!  I am haunted by the architectural design of my old elementary school. One wall in the classroom was huge windows as I remember.  With like, a counter shelf thing you could sit on.

Not just the one little window people today think is all you need for a classroom.  The whole back wall was windows.  I think.  And does it matter?  It's how I remember it.

The point, if there even is one- is this:  How guilty are you of ever saying "Well- if I had my own school!"?   Because I am feeling overly curious at this moment.  Teachers are pawns to bureaucrats who have never been in a classroom.  So naturally we think we know what's best.  Maybe we do. So what if we did? I'm going to go ahead and say I do.  I know what's best.  There.  Gauntlet thrown.

First thing, damn it- is I would have a school where LIGHT, you know, FROM THE SUN, was a key feature.  It's like folks go to build a school and spend the night before they make up the design reading about Troglodytes. How old is this research about how natural light is better than fluorescence? OLD.  OLD NEWS.  But then we hear the lame excuse that 

This is not my picture.  Click to link.

"Schools have limited funds, so fluorescent bulbs are cheaper."

This is my horse face.  And it links to nothing but awesomeness.

Really?  Replacing bulbs that make everyone sick and depressed is cheaper than making a bigger window?

Click to link.  I like this man's head...
"But what if it's dark?"  

Yes.  I love my nose.  I do.

I don't know about you, but I go to school during the DAY.

Cutest toad ever.

"Sometimes it gets cloudy."

I am seriously having an amazing lip gloss day.

Stop it. Cloudy. Be ashamed of yourself.  It gets cloudy?  If I am outside, during the DAY, and it's cloudy, I can still SEE.  And if it were so cloudy outside during the day that I could not see, obviously a volcano is erupting and the sky is full of ash and I am about to die.  It's okay to close school if that happens.  I can stop reading a book in the middle of a Vesuvius-like event and run for my life.  And if you can't figure that out, you deserve to be covered in lava. And I'm not apologizing for wishing lava on you.  Cloudy.  Come on!

This artist is sculpting him out of wood.  Amazing work.

"But we're in a building during a cloudy day so it's not as bright."

I can even make my face look uglier than this.  It's a gift.

MAKE BIG WINDOWS.  Did we not start with that?  The windows are going to be BIG, and there will be more of them.  You will think you are freaking outside even though you're on the inside.


"I think that would make the building cold."

Told ya.

Let's imagine for a minute that instead of buying cheap windows, with cracks in them like we're living in the 1800s, that we bought windows that were of superior quality and actually helped regulate temperature?  Or that we took the money we saved on fluorescent bulbs and paid for a quality heat source.  Orrrr that people put on a sweater when they got chilly?

"Yeah, ok.  But don''t you think it would be really loud if it rained?"

I'm going to put this on the on-line dating site as a profile pic.

Forget it.  I'm going to go listen to Justin Timberlake and crochet a sweater for my chickens.

Side note.  I took twenty pictures of myself just to get one I was willing to send as a text message to a guy who has lips like this:

He agreed that I was having a good lip gloss day. However, you all are the only people benefiting from any of this.  The Meek Moose has been put out to pasture.