June 24, 2016

It’s HOT

I am moving!  My art room that is.  I am going from a dark, dingy, cluttered room, to a bright, spacious room with lots of storage, and wait for it… WINDOWS.  That’s right.  I’m an art teacher who previously had no sink, no windows, no phone.  Our school grew in a very short period of time. Before I came, there was only one art teacher for grades K – 9.  Because of a rapid rise in population, they needed a new art teacher, and a new room to place said teacher (me).  Solution: cut the existing art room in two.  It worked, kind of.  I got the side without the sink, without light, but I did have cabinets!  I spent three years in this room.  I love my room, don’t get me wrong.  But I love it because I worked my butt off cleaning it, organizing it, and making it livable.  Even though I tried my darnedest, this room is just so sad.


Three years later, a new building was built, and I get one of the rooms.  I am OVER THE MOON excited. So much so, I don’t sleep.  I plan where I will put this cabinet, or this center, or the poster.  It has become an obsession.

I love moving.  I’ve done it every three years in my adult life, and I’ve gotten quite used to this cycle.  It works for me.  It makes me reflect on what I need, what I want for the future, and mainly makes me get rid of stuff.  Moving also gives me a deadline.  I am a deadliner.  If you tell me something is due in a week, I’ll get ‘er done.  If not, que sera sera.

Since the inception of this job, I have a slight tendency to hoard artsy stuff.  I save things for “one day.”  Mostly, it works.  I have had access to a good storage area and I’ve been able to reuse lots of items which were ah hem, left in the dumpster right outside of my room. I find all sorts of uses for these items I cannot see as trash, but it takes time.

But now I am going to shiny sparkly new space and I cannot bear the thought of dragging old crap in there with me.  Old Sharpee pens – gone.  Those sparkly paper scraps I’ve been saving – GONE.  Liberating, indeed.

I’ve enlisted the help of my helpful students into the clean-up effort.  Since I will now have windows, my vision was to use crayon shavings/wax paper creations to make a beautiful tree in the upper quarter of window space.  Pinterest shows all sorts of great projects with melted crayons so I thought this would be doable.  Some of these involve three-year-olds! I was wrong….

Students sorted crayons into different piles according to colors. I then began shredding the crayons using a cheese grater as instructed by Pinterest gurus.  After shredding my index finger more than the crayons, I gave up on this endeavor.  This is where it gets interesting.

I put a bunch of crayons on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Then I placed these trays on the sidewalk outside of my room.


I looked on the Crayola website.  The melting point of a crayon is 105 degrees F.  I was able to melt these little suckers down in a half hour.



We should not be outside in this!  We should not allow others to work in this heat.  It’s flipping hot!

After this, I took said trays back into my room and proceeded to remove them in chunks from the trays/wax paper.  Then I placed them into coffee cans and used my fancy smashing tool (screw driver handle) and took out a few frustrations.  It was a great arm workout. My right arm is now HUGE.



Now I am pooped.  And, frankly not motivated.  This is the one thing these little Pinterest posts don’t share.  The amount of time you need to put into something.  The amount of mess you will make, the amount of fumes you’ll inhale in the process.

I am done with crayons.  I need some space from them. They are now on my shelf labeled, “One day.” Old habits are hard to break.

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About Sonia Chapman

I am an art teacher, living in the Middle East, following my passion for art, teaching little children about the finer things in life, and loving every bit of it.


Personal Art Projects