Jake and Burt, as I'm fond of calling my daughters, decided a few weeks ago to enter the Cesar Chavez poster contest in the Salt Lake School District. While they plotted their designs, I was roped in to get them poster paper, which had to be a specific size, and round up magazines I'm done with so they can cut them up. It took me a few days to get the message to my brain at a time when I could accomplish it, but I did get it done.
They both worked hard for one evening, then Jake got bored with the process, announced there was no way she could win such a highly competitive process, and stopped trying. Burt, as usual, tinkered a bit more, then started procrastinating but announced she was going to finish. When she says that, she does it. Much of her effort consisted of staring at a photo of Chavez she found on the Web. After looking at him for about 20 hours, she freehanded her version of him. Then she set it aside until a couple of days before it was due.
When she tackled the project hard, her primary task seemed to be cutting out pieces of the magazines that were ether black or blue. I couldn't figure out what she was doing, but it clearly involved a lot of little bits of paper and a ton or so of glue.
I was off the day the project was due (remember the painting fiasco?). Friday's a short day, so Burt was home early to tackle her project. And she did. I went about my business, occasionally reminding her she was running out of time.
It was due at 5 p.m. in the downtown district office. At 4:35, she declared it finished. I couldn't believe it when I looked at it. It really was an amazing effort -- hair and shirt were collage, face pastel chalks, background some of the paint from my wall. Mixed mediums indeed.
Still, we had to get it there and that would prove daunting. We had to route ourselves around a car accident and slowdown. Then, a half mile from our destination, I got stuck behind a horse-drawn carriage. Normally I love those, but not that day. We were on a mission and it felt like the meteor was about to hit planet earth.
I veered down a side street and found -- ah, hell -- a series of no-left turn signs. I swear the digital clock was ticking loudly. The ride had taken a decidedly desperate turn. We were not going to make it.
I started coaching them on the emergency plan: When I get to the district office, you girls get out and run inside. Maybe you can get in before they lock the outside door. Then well try to talk them into taking it.
In fact, we pulled up at 5 p.m., straight up. They rushed inside and I went in search of a parking spot. All I could do was hope... When I got there, they'd found the right room and made the deadline with no time to spare.
Today, the school announced that Burt's effort took second place in the district. Whoohoo.
Here's her take on Cesar Chavez....
5 years ago