Another thing I like about bonsai...

bonsai barry

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I teach Middle School (grades 7 & 8). I've been putting together a unit to help young people -- especially girls-- learn not to unfairly compare themselves to the model they see in the media. I've found a few good web sites that show how photographers manipulate the image to create artificial beauty.

That got me thinking about bonsai. In our world, beauty is equated with age. Character in trees is usually associated with scars resulting from living in a harsh environment. Too bad character and age are regarded negatively in our culture.

And then I got to thinking that we are no better than the glamour photographers. We'll do whatever it takes to make our tree conform to our own twisted perception of beauty.

And then I got to thinking that I was thinking too much, so I went in the garden and pulled a few weeds.
 
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Beauty is not nessasary for art.....


Frank Richards

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I would change your words "We'll do whatever it takes to make our tree conform to our own twisted perception of beauty." To We'll do whatever it takes to make our tree conform to our own twisted perception of art. ;)


Will
 

bonsai barry

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Beauty is not nessasary for art.....


Frank Richards

Afghan Old Woman Hands

I would change your words "We'll do whatever it takes to make our tree conform to our own twisted perception of beauty." To We'll do whatever it takes to make our tree conform to our own twisted perception of art. ;)


Will

Okay, I'll buy your defintion of art if you'll buy one of my artistic, but ugly trees.:)
 

Dale Cochoy

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Barry,
I also, many years ago, taught 7th and 8th grade middle school in my first teaching job..
I taught Industrial Arts woodshop ( before lawyers took care of that!) and drafting.
Not having any daughters I was anxious to see how the girls would do. The way the school worked it, for one semester I got all the 7th grade girls ( all of them no matter any learning disabilities) and the home ec. teacher got all the boys. Then, 2nd semester we switched.
In the 8th grade we had a full year of boys in Ind. Arts and the home ec. teacher had only girls ( again, we had EVERY student) .
I was Sooooo suprised at how the girls jumped into, unafraid, into tools, etc. Most had never had any chance for such things. It was refreshing and they were much better "woodworking" students than most of the boys of the same age group. I was amazed at the attention they showed to detail, intricacy in work, and quality of finished product. I guess now, thinking back on it that might be some of the reason that there seem to be more and more women studying and practicing bonsai and they are mostly very dedicated to learning. I'd be interested in seeing some comparison in two such young groups, after some initial training, in some typical bonsai projects like wiring. I think the results would be amazing. My teaching time forthis grade range was just at the onset of my bonsai interest so, the subject never came up.
Dale, remembering long long ago in a world far far away!
 

Tachigi

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Your post Dale is reflected in my 12 year old daughter Taylor. Unhindered by gender stereotyping she has taken to wiring, carving, and any other thing that could be considered masculine about bonsai. Not only does she do it, but she does it well. Out preforming many of her adult male counterparts, as that is who she is primarily exposed to. I am obviously a proud pappa, but I also find this fascinating.

I wonder if You and Barry would speculate being teachers, if this is due to kids having basically a clean slate and having the ability to absorb knowledge and experiences like a sponge.
 

Dale Cochoy

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Well Tom,
Although my experience with this age group of young ladies was fairly short lived ( still no daughters after 38 years and we gave up on that idea long ago!;) ) I think as I eluded to above I think it is due to two things. First, just plainly, I think that age group of girls just concentrated on stuff better than the boys.
Secondly, I think it was also partially the fact that they had mostly been overlooked in these experiences at home. When they finally had a chance to actually use TOOLS they got into it seriously!
Conversely, the home ec. teacher had the similar reflections about the boys sewing and cooking although they did not ALL get into it like the girls did with woodworking. :eek: I think a lot of that had something to do with 7th and 8th grade "machoism"!
One of their projects was to cut out and sew up a denim shop apron to be used in woodshop. They did all get into that pretty well, but it was the cooking that was a stumbling point!:)
 

irene_b

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LOL This thread so reminds me of my sons!
Both were in highschool at the same time as well as both being into football.
Youngest took an elective of Home Ec cooking....At the start of Home Ec Youngest son was the only male signed up...When the team razzed him about it "He just smiled and said" "30 girls and just me :D " and yes there was a run on those classes after that!
Mom
 

bonsai barry

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Your post Dale is reflected in my 12 year old daughter Taylor. Unhindered by gender stereotyping she has taken to wiring, carving, and any other thing that could be considered masculine about bonsai. Not only does she do it, but she does it well. Out preforming many of her adult male counterparts, as that is who she is primarily exposed to. I am obviously a proud pappa, but I also find this fascinating.

I wonder if You and Barry would speculate being teachers, if this is due to kids having basically a clean slate and having the ability to absorb knowledge and experiences like a sponge.


My experience is that girls are simply more mature at this age... especially the ones that haven't discovered boys. I teach the Yearbook class and the Student Leadership class. In both cases the girls are always the ones that get the job done. Each year I teach a short intoductory bonsai seminar, I can't say that I notice that the girl's have any more innate ability in this area. Boys and girls at this age can both take a decent prebonsai juniper and turn it into a mallsai with equally ease.

PS I don't need to tell you Tom, that you should be counting your blessings daily for a daughter like Taylor!
 
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Tachigi

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especially the ones that haven't discovered boys.
I wonder how old girls need to be before they are allowed into a convent :D

Edit: I'm just kidding Taylor.
 

irene_b

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I wonder how old girls need to be before they are allowed into a convent :D

Edit: I'm just kidding Taylor.


Don't worry about it Taylor!
There are enough of us "Old Girls" out here watching your progress and we will if need be break you out of anyplace that hinders your growth :D .
And we do play hardball with your Dad (we give no slack).
Irene
 

bonsai barry

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Introducing youth to bonsai is very important, it is indeed the future of the art. Inspired by my own daughter, I wrote a brief editorial on this subject that some may find interesting.

http://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/misc/nextgen.php



Will

Here is a seminar that we offered at our middle school. The man in the photograph is George Muranka, ower of Muranaka Bonsai Nursery. He is very generous with his time. At the end of the seminar he tells the students that if they keep their trees alive for a year and bring it to his nursery, he'll give them a tree for free.
 

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