Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm in LOVE with Montana...

...For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana it is love, and it's difficult to analyze love when you're in it...It seems to me that Montana is a big splash of grandeur. The scale is huge but not overpowering. The land is rich with grass and color, and the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were put on my agenda. -John Steinbeck
I agree! Today, on a beautiful fall October day, crisp air, with snow sprinkled lightly on the Bridgers...I fell in love, again.
Pass Creek school is nestled in this picture. In the midst of ranches and down a dirt road (you know it's good when the directions to a school include, "just keep driving, you will think, "there is no way a school could be all the way up here," then, you will hit us) a quaint one-room school house full of 7 energetic students (one, a kindergartner only at school on Tuesday and Thursday). The one teacher, Mrs. Rider, juggles K-8 with absolute ease. She's obviously been doing this for awhile! A perfect one room school house less than an hour outside of Bozeman, crazy. Imagining Bozeman and it's brand new grade school, full classrooms and overall semi-chaotic atmosphere right next to this place is absolutly wild.
The kids are extremely good, solid, bright, and honest. Definitely the product of good ol' Montana and families that care and teach values. This felt like the type of place where no door goes locked. No neighbor left alone. The kind where people do the right thing just because it is just that, the right thing. I like it, a lot!
The art exhibit was a hit. The students asked great questions and contemplated many important topics. Realistic vs. Abstract art, Native Art, art with livestock markers...they started to really begin to see and pick things out in the artwork. Very good connections and perceptions, these kids are definitely self-motivated and set up for success. So, again, an amazing day, at yet another, amazing school! My only fear is that these small schools won't be around forever. There aren't a lot of children returning to the ranch after they attend college, and not a lot of young families means not a lot of young students. But for today, I'll soak in that place and it's awesomeness. Knowing that I'll see it again soon enough. I'll be back in a few months to teach them a printmaking lesson! Until then, I'll anxiuouly await another drive to this place, good strong coffee in hand and a landscape to die for.

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