The Art Awards Ceremony is coming up! Here are a couple of questions I asked Ms. Ritz-Swain about it.
As a first year teacher at McMahon, Oberacker learns something new every day. She sees teaching at McMahon as a great experience because growing up as a child, she has always wanted to teach high schoolers. Her very first year of teaching was at elementary school then after she taught at a middle school.
In high school, Oberacker was a very athletic student. She played soccer, basketball, and softball. When she graduated, she received a certificate for each.
Oberacker’s original plan for her future was to play basketball in a state school in New York. A knee injury changed her future. However, she saw it as an opportunity to pursue the teaching career she has always dreamt of. “If I had gone to college for basketball, I would not have gone to college for art,” says Oberacker.
As an art teacher, Oberacker’s inspiration comes from many things. She explains that she isn’t good at writing her feelings so she expresses herself through her artwork. “I don't think well with words. I think well with pictures so I like to express my feelings that way,” she says.
Alongside painting, Oberacker likes to travel. She has traveled across Europe for a month and also visited Australia. She experienced meeting new people and learning new cultures. “My traveling experience was fun so I look forward to visiting more countries,” she says.
Although it’s her first year, she has big plans. She plans on getting more involved at McMahon by starting up her own gay/straight alliance club. She hopes she can recover from her knee injury and coach basketball one day.
Five Fun Facts About Mrs. Oberacker
Natasha Garcia; Pridetime Reporter
Senior Sam Sumra is a gender queer student artist who lives in Bridgeport and studies Arabic in CGS. He's been drawing for a little under a decade. He when asked, was excited and ready to share his artistic experiences and influenced with all of you lovely Pride Time blog readers.
Q: What’s your name?
A: Sam Sumra
Q: What grade are you in?
A: Senior year.
Q: What first sparked your interest?
A: My interest in art was sparked when i was about 9 or 10, when my parents bought me a pack of one thousand crayons.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?
A: I get my inspiration from the internet, this one Greek nudist art book I got at the met, and when my surroundings are messy.
Q: How do you overcome artist block?
A: I overcome art block by going through old art, looking at other people’s artwork, and scouring the internet for any drawing challenges to get my creative juices flowing. I was in a rut actually fairly recently, but I found the spidersona art challenge and it helped me get creating again.
Q: How many art styles and mediums have you mastered?
A: I can draw cartoonist and realist and blends in between. I’ve been experimenting with oil paints, digital art and printmaking. I used to do a lot of pencil drawings and acrylic painting and bit of water color here and there.
Q: Who’s your biggest influence?
A: Georgia O’Keefe. Mostly because of one picture. She calls it abstract, I think it’s a vagina, but to each their own.
Q: What’s your end goal?
A: Probably to be either a graphic designer, storyboarder, or animator.
Q: What’s your favorite piece so far?
A: (refer to the gallery)
Q: Why do you create?
A: Because I was an anger issues kid growing up and I learned to vent my frustrations in a more constructive way and it stuck.
Q: Any final remarks?
A: Uhhh, I like to draw butts a lot.
Student-athlete by day, serving the Chick-fil-A dining room by night. It sounds crazy that Malik Goethe plays football, wrestling, lacrosse, but still manages to work. Malik started working at Chick-fil-A last July. He wanted to take some responsibility and start making some money on his own.
Practicing all year long Malik has to work late every day, sometimes not leaving work until 11:30. He has to leave 10 minutes early every practice to make sure he gets to work on time. Where some kids after school hang out with friends, play video games, or do their schoolwork Malik finds himself very busy and his job restricts him from having the pleasure to do the things he likes to do. He says working actually makes him more responsible because it stops him from wasting his time.
“It puts more pressure on me and I feel like I'm always busy rather than wasting my time and it has made me a lot more responsible.”
Not only does Malik stress about his late hours at Chick-fil-A but he also finds himself struggling to even get to work. After practice he needs to quickly go home to change into his work clothes and take an Uber to Chick-fil-A, so forgetting something can really shoot Malik in the foot because he has no one to bring his things. Malik found himself in these kinds of dilemmas far too many times.
“I had left my shoes once at home and I had started @ 6 and it’s was 5:45 and I get there to realize I left them and had to Uber all the way home and back”
But it’s Malik’s attitude and the fun environment at Chick-fil-A that keeps Malik from going insane. Many of the kids Malik works with are his friends from school, he claims that working along his friends rather than strangers has really helped keep his job interesting. The bond that ties his friends together in the workplace can never be broken he says.
“Malik is a very funny guy and I have fun working with him. On our free time, we would always kid around and laugh at the many jokes being tossed around.”
Linsky initially thought of mediation as “some hippy stuff,” but kept having people enter his life who were very intelligent and well rounded who meditated. “Just like going to the gym or taking a shower it was part of their day,” he says. But as he kept running into people in life who meditated, he said, “Maybe there is something to it,” and decided to give it a try.
There are two types of meditation: silent and guided. Silent meditation is when you meditate without voice and music and guided meditation is lead by a professional using music and voice.
Linsky describes how he has been using guided meditation by philosopher Sam Harris. “In that 10 to 15 minute block Sam [the speaker] talks a couple times. Sometimes more than others, sometimes he's trying to draw your attention to certain things, sometimes there's a lot of silence. Linsky has been starting his day with meditation for over a month now and says, “My goal is when I finish this first 50 days, then I'm gonna try to do some totally silent things but keep it around the 10-15 minute realm.”
For some people, “the ultimate goal is to do four to ten days of intensive [meditating], where you don't do anything but this for a period of time and it is supposed to be pretty transformative for people who get really into it.” Though it is not on Linksy’s radar now, it may be in the future.
“My advice [about meditation] is similar to my advice about physical health. Don't do what I did and wait until I was 30 to start pursuing these things. Try it and if it's not for you, or if it's not for you now, you haven't lost anything and you have the potential to gain a whole lot.”