On March 1, the day we did our big museum day, we also made block prints — my mother, the children and I. I don’t have Mother’s block or print to scan, but here are the boys’ and mine. They are actually all the same size, but to fit the horizontal one on the page I had to shrink it a lot.  You can see a high level of detail and thought went into these! On mine, the print made on yellow paper was the second state — I cleaned it up and added my initials for it.

Elder Stidkid's work -- our pets

younger stidkid's print -- a forest, trunks and limbs

my print -- and two pulls, first and second state to show how I changed it

I hope that, decades from now, the children will look back on this last March 1 as one of the more pleasant and interesting days of their lives — I hope that they will always be able to enjoy visual, literary and musical arts and share them with people they love.

I wish that our society’s current emphasis on “basic education” would not reduce children’s exposure to these arts. In contemplating art (music and visual), the entire brain is engaged. Shape, proportion, the way parts relate and inter-relate. All of these (and more) are essential skills for an educated person. Truly educated people, people who think, need all of these ideas, all of these ways of looking at life and its complex problems.

If we teach our children merely to read and write passably, to calculate and compute, even to research, but we do not teach them to question, to enjoy or to create…

then they not only won’t be able to compete on the world stage —

their very existence won’t hold much meaning.