Monthly Archives: January 2015

DNP Beginnings

A year ago I became a registered nurse. On this site, I never shared anything about nursing school while I was attending. The first I mentioned it was the night of my graduation with a bachelor of science in nursing (December 2013). I tend to prefer “afters” to “befores” or “durings! I’ve shared with you all that I’m gainfully employed as a nurse, but never shared what field or anything about my work (other than my lovely commute!). It’s nice to have Spy Garden as a place of leisure; where I don’t think about work, where the focus is purely on art and plants and other things I find interesting.
This month I started graduate school, I am seeking a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP). I sort of freaked out at first; grieving the loss of my leisure pursuits.

Would there be no more drawing, painting, sonnet-writing or gingerbread-Eiffel-tower building? No more socializing? No more contemplative and thoughtful gardening-as-art? So long to  documenting the growth of the garden in hundreds of photographs! What about outings? Hiking? Yoga? Ever again? Maybe I can just throw some seeds down and see how things turn out?!

I was being a bit dramatic. There will still be gardening; there will ALWAYS be gardening! It’s just an adjustment. For now, the program is online (the clinical practice hours won’t start for another year or so) and so I can be really flexible with when I complete coursework (i.e. 4-6AM haha!) LOTS of reading, writing, discussions and research. Everything in APA format; no ellipses or sentence fragments or ambiguity. But these academic pursuits are not unimaginative and cold. There is a science AND art to nursing. There’s loads of room for creative and artistic expression in both nursing practice and in graduate nursing education. The expression is just distinct from the Spy Garden Status Quo I’d grown accustomed to. But change is the stuff of progress and growth. And you all know I love growth!

Growth!

Growth!

Spy Garden (both the garden and this website) shall still be cultivated. Maybe my post-format will change, maybe it won’t. Spy Garden may be my escape from citations and peer-reviewed journals and evidence-based practice…or it might be a place where I share these things. I’m not really sure! I do know that the frequency of posts will decrease; I’m aiming for a post a week. And so goes the beginning…I’m just a few weeks in…3-4 years to go!

Kalanchoe Blooms

Kalanchoe Blooms (indoors)

Snail shell

Snail shell

Monotone

Monotone

You have to look closely for the color!

You have to look closely for the color!

Baby with Magnolia and Dexie

Baby with Magnolia and Dexie

Dexie

Dexie

Aunt Spy

Aunt Spy

Moss

Moss

The Spy with a...

The Spy with a…

Deer Skull

Deer Skull

Wonder who lives here?

Wonder who lives here?

Blue Sky, Bare Trees

Blue Sky, Bare Trees

Frilly Fungus

Frilly Fungus

Baby and Magnolia

Baby and Magnolia

Fern

Fern

Moss Close-Up

Moss Close-Up

Ready...

Ready…

Sumo!

Sumo!

HhHahahaha

HhHahahaha

Happy Saturday all!

TGIF

Happy Friday! Some random images from the week…

Mushrooms that remind me of shells

Mushrooms that remind me of shells

Same mushrooms, other side

Same mushrooms, other side

Spy Garden painting (by the Spy from a few years ago). Those green shapes are a bird's eye view of the garden (sans a couple of plots)

Spy Garden painting (by the Spy from a few years ago). Those green shapes are a bird’s eye view of the garden (sans a couple of plots)

Candle at our church

Candle at our church

One of the stained-glass windows at our church

One of the stained-glass windows at our church

Baby working on Christmas thank-yous. Those pink prints were made by pressing a dragon fruit onto paper (the dragonfruit is a great source of pink ink!)

Baby working on Christmas thank-yous. Those pink prints were made by pressing a dragon fruit onto paper (the dragonfruit is a great source of pink ink!)

Princess Fallulah...made by my sister. Her shoes are blue because she ran through a field of blueberries.

Princess Fallulah…made by my sister. Her shoes are blue because she ran through a field of blueberries.

(Kid-Made) Teepee at Baby's Forest School

(Kid-Made) Teepee at Baby’s Forest School

Carrot seeds, dispersed

Carrot seeds, dispersed

Mushroom; I'm so amazed that they can grow in subzero temps!

Mushroom; I’m so amazed that they can grow in subzero temps!

More mushrooms

More mushrooms

Happy weekend all!

ROA!

My daughter (known in Spy Garden as Babyzilla!) attends a Forest School. Rather than have daily themes or weekly lessons, the kids do semester-long projects on topics of their own choosing. My son (known here as The Spy!) also attended the school when he was younger so I’ve seen a wide variety of really cool projects. At the end of each semester the project comes together with some sort of event or “store” or publication or art installation or field trip. The Ocean Project concluded with a child-written play. The kids made the set, designed and made the costumes (learning to sew with the teachers’ assistance) and performed for the parents.

The Spy 2011 Ocean Project

The Spy 2011 Ocean Project

Hammerheads. The Spy. 2011

Hammerheads. The Spy. 2011

There’s been a Dog Project which concluded with parents bringing in their dogs and walking them through different stations of a Dog Spa…

Maddie (our late golden retriever) in the Reading and Relaxation Station of the Dog Spa hahahah

Maddie (our late golden retriever) in the Reading and Relaxation Station of the Dog Spa hahahah

There was a City Project, Animal Project, Dirt Project and many more (and many more to come for Babyzilla!) Often when the kids are working on a project they will write letters to various individuals or businesses asking questions or making requests to learn more about the topic. Teaching kids to seek out experts in fields they are interested emphasizes that their inquiries are part of a world outside the classroom walls (or treeline)!

From the school’s website…

Our phi­los­o­phy is based on the truth that young chil­dren are best chal­lenged in the arts and sci­ences when they are given mean­ing­ful work in the dynamic set­ting of the real world. Here, their expe­ri­ences have big impli­ca­tions. Con­tent is con­tex­tual, not iso­lated. It is all con­nected to the world that sur­rounds.

Sounds impressive. But do preschoolers really feel connected to the world beyond what they see in their immediate surroundings? Do they really feel they have the power to influence their environment? Are these concepts farfetched? The school proves over and over again it is possible!

Recently, the kindergarten class at the school was doing a “Bone Robot Project” (remember the project topics are of the kids choosing!) While this project was underway, one student, in researching his first name (Roa) came across a Belgian street artist, whose pseudonym is ROA. ROA’s art often depicts the bones and other internal aspects of animals.

ROA. Vardø-Norway Photo © by Ian Cox 2012 (source)

ROA. Vardø-Norway Photo © by Ian Cox 2012 (source)

Excerpts from an email from the school…

When Roa brought examples of ROA’s work for them to see, they were inspired. They still mention his work often, and it has influenced the direction of the project. In fact, they were so inspired, they decided to write to ROA and invite him to paint a mural at [the school]. He’s kind of a big deal in Europe, so we really weren’t expecting a reply.

ROA said yes!!!

We believe in empowering children to change the world. This is not an empty, grandiose statement. When we say “change the world,” we mean the immediate world—the world within reach. We want our students to internalize an “I can” attitude. I can climb that rock. I can build a bone robot. In short, I can imagine a change in my environment and then make it happen. We believe that fostering this attitude can lead to the more grandiose outcome later in life. Writing a letter to a well-known artist and having him accommodate the request definitely serves this purpose.

This spring ROA will be coming to the school to do a mural. So exciting!!!

ROA. San Juan (source)

ROA. San Juan (source)

The animals ROA chooses to paint are those that live in the area surrounding the location of the mural. I wonder what he will choose? A bunny? Racoon? Deer? Ladybug? Groundhog? A turtle, snake or crawfish? He’s got a lot of great options of special creatures that live right in the woods of the school’s eleven acre campus.

ROA. Barcelona (source)

ROA. Barcelona (source)

ROA. Johannesburg South Africa. (source)

ROA. Johannesburg South Africa. (source)

ROA. Belgium (source)

ROA. Belgium (source)

What makes even more exciting is that ROA has a secret identity. ROA is a pseudonym. And I just love the concept of a secret identity. Spy Garden is sort of my own pseudonym. (Or is it Mrs. Spy Garden?!) Can’t wait to watch the mural in progress and to share the final masterpiece with you all!