Celebrate Spring

I love the metaphor dubbing SPRING as a fresh beginning, as an advent of times of colorful blooms and happy sunshines. It is invigorating! From March 20 to June 20 the earth is awaking from the winter mood into the full swing of hot and long days of summer. Well, we got so infatuated with the beauty of spring that we did not record our celebration  to our blog that chronicles the Platt’s life!

Our celebrations are to strengthen the Platt “spirit of belonging”, to create an opportunity for our students to get to know each other and to network – as they will become colleagues to each other before they will know it!  Each advise from  your  school mate that entered the professional world already – will be a valuable one! I am happy that as a small school we have the advantage to know each other well, and to offer to our students “happenings” that will enhance their education with inspiration, fun and a social aspect . I hope that all of that  experience will turn into a memory of  time that was inspiring ,engaging, but also academically challenging, pleasant and especially worth our students’ while.

Candy Chang and her Inspiration

I admire every project Candy Chang conceives, I can take each of her project for my own in a sense that they make a perfect sense to me. Like to encourage people to put stickers on abandoned downtown storefront  with wish what should be there. Like put signs on our own doorknob with a thing we may share with neighbors  (iron, ironing board, rakes, grass mower…), like filling the oldest abandoned school  in Alabama with red balloons and have people play in it and then write at the old desk what they wish they learned at school, like bringing attention  to a large or tall abandoned downtown building by beautifying it inexpensively, like putting stencil sign “IT IS GOOD TO BE HERE” at places that have such good vibes, like make a Helsinky public bike path interactive place where  stenciled prompts are ready for people to write in chalk what they wanted to be when they were kids and what they want to be now….or painting the side of any building with chalk paint and then to stencil in a prompt Before I die I want…Today you will find  425 such chalk boards, originating in New Orleans on an old abandoned building (Chang’s first project),  in more than 60 countries…. And the projects made quite an impact on our lives: The “storefront” idea is taken seriously by the city councils, the beautification of an unoccupied buildings brought attention to investors, neighborhoods came together to beautify their surroundings, strangers struck a conversation while taking a part in an interactive space, world comes slowly together on Cindy Chang terms

Our students visit regularly our San Diego space for  Beffore I die I want….. Our multimedia writing teacher Lynda Felder never misses an opportunity to have her students experience this unique happening, to illustrate to them that even simple idea can move the “hoods”, cities, continents and the world.  Our students happily join in. Thank you, Lynda!

Explore Candy Chang http://candychang.com/before-i-die-in-nola/

Valentines Day

All we need is love. love!

Never miss an opportunity to celebrate love and everything that is related to it  - like kindness!

And so we put heart shape hand made cups and red heart paper decoration all over the yard, we put on red hats, love music, brew good coffee, arranged pink red velvet cupcakes on the table – and the party can start! It is equally important to embrace and acknowledge fun holiday as much as holidays commemorating milestones in our history. Because –  there is nothing more important than love. And a remedy for any sorrow is: ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!

We Love and Admire Getty Museum!

…and it never fails!

Over the years I have taken to the Getty Museum several hundreds students and it never failed to astonish all with the first gaze upon the magnificent building.

First – the fun one mile ride by the tram and before you know it you are surrounded by the beauty of the marble-enamel-traventine impressive buildings of the Getty Museum, a campus costing unprecedented 1.3 billion dollars. The deal was an open unlimited budget, a dream of all, but reality for the able architect Richard Meier.

And so he created a master piece museum, that goes beyond the museum itself and its exquisite collection; architect Meier created a unique anew  museum style, a new approach, a new way how to see art. He decided to permeated our museum experience with well planned interruption. and this is how he achieved it:  He built five museum buildings with pleasant courtyard and several gardens, pool, water fall, stream, meadow, coffee house, bistro..Once you are done with one part of the exhibit, in order to see more, you have to go out, admire the beautoful vistas, order a glass of wine and then continue to the next building. And thus it is a different museum experience, experience with inconspicuously devised breaks helping your soul to take everything in and to live it, rather than only view it.

We all loved it all, from van Gogh Irises to Victorian furniture to Dagerrotype, from cappuccino to idling in the beautiful garden to wading in the stream or standing by the waterfall. It is the most fun museum of all and I am happy my students had an opportunity to see it!

School is not limited to the classroom, school can happen anywhere! And today, we chose it to happen in Getty. And boy, we learned, and boy we want to come back!

 

PEACE! LOVE! FREEDOM!

This is the time to wear to school  a long skirt, loose hair with headband and a flower behind your ear!  We are  celebrating the spirit of the Sixties in the hippie style!

We devoted our January celebration to the icons of the Sixties out of which we chose Martin Luther King as the focus of our short historical excursion and a  quiz for our students. To the young population of our school, it must be astonishing that it has been only several decades since we had to fight for the basic human rights.

The list of the 60′s  personalities and events that moved the world seems endless. From J. F. Kennedy to Martin  Luther King, Andy Warhol and Pop Art, from Elizabeth Taylor, Twiggy to Jack Kerouac and Milos Forman, form  Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Alfred Hitchcock to Bobby Kennedy, from the man on the Moon, ecology, and Woodstock, to the women’s right movement… The Sixties gave foundation for many trends that try to make our life just, sustainable, fun and kind place where each of us is responsible and  enjoys freedom .

I hope our students were inspired to think of the Sixties achievements.  I hope we were all reminded  yet again that we must take care of the beautiful life we enjoy. Democracy and freedom are fragile and we have to  make sure we are worth of enjoying them. Many paid a dear price so we live happily. But no one said democracy and freedom is here forever after. It is up to us to ensure that.

PEACE! LOVE! FREEDOM!

 

 

Seventh Annual Winter Art Gala

Seventh Annual!

It is just fine to say now that our Winter Art Festivities, that started as a humble event  seven years ago, has  spontaneously taken off and became a tradition; perhaps even a pleasant milestone in the busy holiday season or an evening ushering Platt family into the magic festivities of December.

As every year, we were  happy to see many to stroll into our festively decorated  courtyard. And we made sure there was something to enjoy for everyone: From wonderful cuddly Santa (thank you Tim Young!) to slow motion booth (thank you Justin Edelman), from sketching portraits (thank you Heaven Bucci) to taking a pro family photo (thank you Mark Escobar and your crew), from live sensuous beloved music by excellent Cantua to great appetizers, from breathtaking fire dancer to glamorous make-overs, from elegant raffle to a Platt mini-store, and mainly uniques artwork everywhere to admire, hundreds of lights and hundreds of smiles, hundreds of tones and hundreds  of delicious bites…we loved it all and are leaving the old year  only to  start together the handsome 2014 .

And with our first step into the new year we are carrying our motto:  Only TOGETHER we can learn, and TOGETHER achieve and TOGETHER to enjoy. And we make effort we do.

 

Imagination and Craftsmanship at its Best

Costume party and competition!!

What a ride we had at Platt when over seventy costumes paraded into our spooky courtyard. I can only say “wow” to the imagination, craftsmanship, fantastic ideas and acting abilities of our students and staff.

Here in the gallery below it is laid out for you – leap of imagination at its best!  You can go as wild as you want by transforming yourself into desired creature and there is no limit to anything!

The competition’s criteria included not only the original handmade costumes and unique concept, but also a short presentation within the character.  All  of our creatures and chosen characters did an excellent job bringing much laughs and enjoyment.

Life is beautiful if we know how to use opportunities to have fun that balances well our serious hard work.

And thus concludes yet another event and the report states: The pumpkin pies were delicious, coffee strong, cookies out of this world, and the population of our event nothing but fun!

Creativity is a Fine Choice to Make Life Beautiful

 

Creativity knows no limits if you offer an opportunity to show all of its abilities, intricacies and subtlety. There are endless opportunities to be creative: From your breakfast including colors and shapes pleasingly laid out on a plate, to your outfit of a day, to your  decoration of your bedroom, office, classroom, to creating your own creative projects. How lucky we are at Platt to be surrounded by creativity at each corner: from digital art to arts and crafts to industrial, fine art, poetry and music – our students and staff offer inspiration by pouring their talent  into their chosen avenue. And all we have to do is to prepare those avenues so we can enjoy what was created! One of such avenue is a creative pumpkin carving contest.

First, we set  a pumpkin patch in our courtyard so students can choose the right shape.  Then they set to work at home only to bring the piece of pumpkin art to school a week later.

We all enjoyed the ambience at the courtyard that ushered fall into our school with the prospect of fun season starting with Halloween and continuing to Thanksgiving.

We love our  Platt “calls for creativity” that spice up ordinary morning into a happening, albeit small, happenings that never fails to spark an inspiration to be creative.

We Celebrate Democracy and Freedom – Constitution Day

Very important to celebrate the oldest shortest constitution in the world!

It is the year of 1789 and thirteen states in United States of America are introducing to its people a document that will impact many generations to come. American constitution was a document that was not all inclusive from the very beginning, but was given the flexibility to be perfected  so it can offer protection and freedom to all.

Only about half of our globe lives in some form of democracy, about 15% lives in true freedom and democracy. For years it is Scandinavia and its countries – Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland that are considered to be as close to  true democracy as possible.  (The Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual report on the state of global democracy for 2012.) America is in this company as well, and as several other countries unique in the world by opening its arms to millions that wants to seek freedom.  Ellis Island opened in January 1892 and till 19 24 more than 12 million people went through that island, granted a prospect of wonderful prosperous life.

My family is one of millions that came to this beautiful country to seek freedom. I value every bit of my freedom and democracy (as imperfect as it may be). And so along with Platt students I celebrate with vigor the constitution day. This year we put together a  joyful celebration and we commemorate  all the people around the world who helped bring any country to freedom!

Platt College Voices Solidarity – Philippines on Our Minds

….and we hit our goal!  As in 2010 for Haiti, 2011 for Japan and this year for Boston and West, Platt College students did not hesitate to leave $5, $10 or even $20 for a piece of pizza that had a suggested price of $3. The line was endless and many students stood in the line only to throw their share into the box politely declining to take the offered food. I have always valued generosity as one of the most noble traits as it is tied to other excellent qualities I admire: empathy and solidarity.

To teach how to be a good citizen of the world is one of the most important task school has. We try to use any opportunity to serve as a good example of  good citizenry. From fundraisers to blood donations to cleaning beaches and inspiring students to vote and to be involved in their community, Platt is trying the best to let its students know that to be a good citizen is equally important to accomplishing their academic degree. It is easy to explain: Once we stop caring for each other and for events around us, we may loose “just like that” the luxury of freedom and democracy.

I am glad our students and staff belong to those who do care and  who go out of their way to help. And the generosity of Mr. and Mrs Leiker (chairman, and president respectively) is unprecedented as they always match whatever we raise. Thank you! And so- our grand total to be mailed to Philippines comes to $1,400. Thank you, Platt College for expressing solidarity and offering help  where help is needed.

And thus our festive courtyard full of Philippine flags, balloons, beautiful exhibit of fashion photography by our student Dennis Santarilana,  flowers and nice smell of pizza witnessed another  joyous day filled with  generosity and good will of our Platt people. Thank you!