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Finding hope in rock bottom (BLW Contributor)

Bare Naked in Public

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I walk into the first grade classroom of my newest teacher, her first year. A black line drawing of a turtle, its shell a patchwork of random designs and doodles, is projected on the large screen. Excited and smiling, she skips toward me and beams; It’s a directed art lesson. Across the classroom every desk top is covered with large white art paper. Each sheet an interpretation, every child’s personality reflected in freehand design. Small tight curlicues, large circles and patterned squiggles, tiny turtles drawn hugging the bottom edge of the page and large bold turtles filling the paper, corner to corner. As I crouch between the desks, commenting on their little masterpieces, I am peppered with requests, look at mine, did you see my turtle, do you like it?, I’m an artist too. I happily and sincerely shower them with praise. They smile knowing I am…

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