Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Carol Wyatt Illustration Receives 2010 Best of Glendale Award

Press Release

Carol Wyatt Illustration Receives 
2010 Best of Glendale Award 

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement
NEW YORK, NY, July 13, 2010 -- 

For the second consecutive year, Carol Wyatt Illustration has been selected 
for the 2010 Best of Glendale Award in the Commercial Design &
Illustration category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).
The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding 
local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies 
companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success 
in their local community and business category. These are local companies 
that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their 
customers and community.
Nationwide, only 1 in 70 (1.4%) 2010 Award recipients qualified as two-time 
Award Winners. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed 
to choose the winners in each category. The 2010 USCA Award Program 
focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the 
information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided 
by third parties. 
About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)
U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization 
funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. 
The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, 
marketing and advertising.
The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their 
community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, 
trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other 
business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate 
for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.
SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

U.S. Commerce Association
Email: PublicRelations@uscaaward.com
URL: http://www.uscaaward.com

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Waldorf Rant - Part 1

  Wooden blocks, silk capes, wooden swords, beeswax candles....
I am traumatized for life.

  When my ex husband and I first visited the Pasadena Waldorf School, we fell in love with the campus. Lush and large with children playing outdoors. A calm and joyous environment where children climbed trees, knitted caps, and painted and crafted daily. The focus on the arts was especially important to us since most schools consider the arts to be a frivolous, wasteful expense in an educational setting.
  Meeting with the head of school at the time, I was happy that she worked with me to ensure that my daughter would get into the 1st grade class. She was gracious and warm and kind to our daughter.

  After leaving a rigorous private school, it took a while for our daughter to get used to the Waldorf style. Although the feeling of happiness is all around, the teachers are strict and sometimes rude to the children. Getting used to the morning rituals and chanting. Songs about God and nature. Learning to never talk about media or pop music. Giving up wearing any kind of logos or sayings on shirts. Picking out sneakers became difficult. Where do you find shoes for kids without logos? Our daughter was afraid to wear a shirt that had any words on it. Yet, she was happy there. We all made great friends and our children played together often.

  When our second daughter was ready for elementary school, we enrolled her into kindergarten.
  By this time, I had become very involved in the school. Helping with the annual Elves' Faire, the newly begun Art Festival, and any and all fundraisers. I truly believed in the school's philosophy and the promise that my children would have an excellent education.

  Our youngest daughter loved hip hop music and all pop music. It was her goal in her short child life to be a diva and sing. She would play music often at home and could not resist singing and dancing. I received a call from her kindergarten teacher alerting me to thew fact that parents were upset about my daughter's singing. Not only was she corrupting the other children with music, but it was pop music. The teacher told me that parents were complaining because their children were coming home singing pop songs. In addition, could we put a stop to her wearing sparkles to school. No sparkly tennis shoes, headbands, or shirts of any kind. She was 5 and 6 at the time.

  When I spoke to my daughter about this, she mentioned that her teacher had talked to her about her clothing and singing already. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of my daughter's paranoia about what she could and could not do. She started to ask me everyday if what she was wearing was OK. She was afraid to sing outside of her room. Her shirts were sometimes too short and her belly would show when she played. She got in trouble for that as well. She started to check her shirts constantly to make sure they were pulled down over her belt. Luckily she had a couple of friends from preschool who did not got to Waldorf, and she could be free with them.

  Finally my ex and I were called into the school for a serious meeting with our daughter's teacher, head of school, and two other teachers. They proceeded to warn us about our daughter corrupting the other children. Her clothes were completely unacceptable and we should buy from J. Crew. Instead of pop music, we should expose her to world music and live music. No radio. She was still too sparkly. Every once in a while some piece of clothing had a sequin or sparkle on it. That was unacceptable. It was as if our daughter was some kind of kindergarten sparkle criminal with a malicious urge to sparkle all of Waldorf. And this was a very SERIOUS concern.
  Needless to say, I was confused. How could a school with so much love and happiness be so critical and judgmental? Is this what we signed up for? Was the school going to start infiltrating every aspect of our home life? We already stopped watching TV and listening to the radio in the car. We only packed nutritional, organic lunches in recyclable containers. We purchased the outrageously expensive required basket for our kindergartners' lunch (the handles broke after two months). Both my ex and I were confounded. I did not like that my daughter was being treated as a troublemaker for something so random and innocent. At 6 years old!
  Because Waldorf is a private school, it does not adhere to the laws governing public schools, or any laws as we we would soon discover. Parents are ruled by the school. I tried talking to the teacher and different members of the faculty only to be told to do what they ask and our child will benefit greatly. Any resistance on my part would have a negative impact on my daughter's education. So we did everything they asked. Did not question the ridiculous nature of what was asked, but went along with the herd. It was beginning to feel like a cult.

  This was the beginning of the slow and painful end to my love of the Waldorf School. There would be much worse incidents to come and one terrible, traumatic experience that left me and my family traumatized for life. I can no longer stay silent.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

But, I like being a parent!

Back to Bloggin'

  I recently read an article in New York Magazine, All Work And No Fun, that thoroughly depressed me.
  The writer gives a detailed description of how parenthood will destroy your life and turn you into a miserable, resentful ogre.
It is laced with sad and depressing pictures of the author's home life with her husband and newborn twins.
  I looked at the photos and read the entire article hoping to find a light at the end of the tunnel. None to be found. They are tired, and argumentative, and have no time for themselves.

  OK, so newborns are a lot of work, and trying to maintain a relationship with your co-parent is a work in progress. But, these are parents who are employed, living in a nice home, with plenty of food in their kitchen. They have entered into a new world and it takes a long time to make that adjustment.
  To complain, and then back up with statistics, their misery and terrible lot in life because they decided to have children, is the saddest self portrait I have seen to date. I wonder if they thought about how this story is a permanent reflection that their children will have access to and undoubtedly read someday.

  How can someone be so out of touch with reality? New York is not Uganda. These children are healthy. The mother survived the birth. The mother and father are employed and are not starving to death. They do not have to carry water on their heads for miles each day just to boil their rice for their one meal of the day. Their children have access to free education.

  So, the parents are sleep deprived.... Yup, been there.
  Arguing? Been there.
  No time for yourself.... Doesn't exist.
Those are topics you get to discuss when you meet your girlfriends for drinks someday in the near future. It's universal and all parents have been through it. For thousands of years, parents have gone through these newborn side effects and survived.

  What this author did not mention is how quickly the time flies. Little by little you do get your life back. Your children are now an integral part of your life and you have the luxury of being front row, center, while watching these new humans develop into people. They are different from anyone else in the world, have unique personalities and can make you laugh and cry.
  My oldest daughter and I now take walks after work. We are very close. When she was little, I had no idea we would have the kind of relationship we have today. My youngest is one of the funniest kids I have ever seen. He makes all of us laugh so hard that we are in tears. Each child has his or her own interesting quirks that make our family so interesting and fun. One likes to write and tell stories. One plays music beautifully. One a very talented artist and another likes to imitate Michael Jackson. My husband does cartwheels with them on the lawn. Sometimes our home life is better than any vacation we could take.

  Maybe this author will know how blessed she is someday.