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Re: [art_education] Re: Art teaching load

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  • Julia Garnett
    I opted out of art and will be teaching kindergarten next year. I have been teaching 8 and 9 classes a day, over 200 students a day, 1300 students total. I
    Message 1 of 26 , Jul 12, 2012
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      I opted out of art and will be teaching kindergarten next year. I have been teaching 8 and 9 classes a day, over 200 students a day, 1300 students total.  I went to 4 buildings. It's a public school but I was also contracted out to a privat school.  On some days there was not enough drive time to get to classes on time. I taught young 5's through 8th grade. I am sick about it. My heart is with art, but I have been teaching for 20 years and have never been stretched so far. I'm disappointed.

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Jul 12, 2012, at 6:13 PM, Jeff Pridie <jeffpridie@...> wrote:

       

      NAEA is addressing this, it has been a decision at Delegate Assembly several times.  A position statement is one of the many things NAEA is considering.  They do need input from membership though on exactly what is happening out in the school systems or they will never know.  So much of this is a combination of contractual issues with school districts, possible union issues (if there is a union).  Part of it is letting parents know what is going on and perception of what "art" is all about.


      From: Kathleen Maledon <kmaledon@...>
      To: art_education@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 2:40 PM
      Subject: Re: [art_education] Re: Art teaching load

       
      you had time between classes!!!  mine were back to back with huffing hmrm teachers at the door!  k
      On Jul 10, 2012, at 7:27 AM, carney_home wrote:

      It blows my mind that university professors and art leaders in the field are not addressing this "elementary school daily class load" issue! For elementary school art teachers, it is common to teach back-to-back classes (5 to 10 min between) EACH DAY for the 5 DAY work week -- and only a 30 minute lunch. For me, that means 7 classes a day Monday through Thursday, and 6 classes on Friday (the only day I will have 30 to 40 minutes of "planning"). 

      To make matters more challenging, I teach at 2 SCHOOLS -- and that is common too! Because teachers arrive at 7:45am and art classes do not start until 8:15, that 30 minutes is considered my "daily planning time." In reality, it takes a full 30 minutes to take down my chairs from the tables (I put up daily to allow custodians to sweep) and set out lesson supplies for my first class (pencils, erasers, etc) -- so that means no planning except on my own time, since after school I have "crosswalk duty" (just as every other teacher has an afterschool "duty" to help get kids safely in their buses or cars going home). Ask any child development expert and they will tell you that it is impossible to teach with such a schedule (teaching 125 to 150+ different kids EACH day) in a sequence that allows only 5 to 10 minutes max for changing out lessons per grade levels and thus changing supplies/setups -- and successfully reach and teach to all the individual needs of our diverse student body. 

      I have been told, "just be glad you have a job" and "better not rock the boat - this is just the way it is for elementary art teachers." So I hate to be cynical, but good luck getting anyone to take a stand with you on the ridiculous course load of most elementary art teachers. Most seasoned university art professors and art administrators at the state and national levels (NAEA) don't even address this issue at conferences or in political agendas. 




    • Larry Seiler
      Wondering if anyone remembers the two professors, women...that collaborated on authoring a study...perhaps a book forthcoming, addressing one of the main
      Message 2 of 26 , Jul 13, 2012
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        Wondering if anyone remembers the two professors, women...that collaborated on authoring a study...perhaps a book forthcoming, addressing one of the main problems that perhaps has come (detrimental) of education stressing one very strong value for the arts in the schools is how it improves students in areas of math...sciences?  Detrimental because this may well have put the idea in district administrator's heads that if this is the reason the arts are good, why not just hire/add more math and science teachers and cut the arts?

        These two professors worked on arguments going back to the value of art in and of itself...and the danger we have put ourselves in pointing to improved math and science scores as arts underlying value. 

        Had art carried its own value...and a high one at that, in the collective mindset, we wouldn't be in the position finding ourselves "happy just to have a job" or overburdened having no leg to stand upon to complain, glad for any crumbs that should fall off the table of those dining as REAL core value educators.

        Is anyone familiar with these two, what became of their studies, their work?  I believe from a university on the east coast...Columbia perhaps?

        Disturbing and disheartening to read where some folks are at here, and my heart goes out to you.  I am in a small district...where subjects have been cut, teachers leaving and not being replaced...happy I have a job, perhaps half-dozen years left to retire in a state where the governor would like to mess up our retirement system. 

        Recent things have made many teachers feel we have been cited as enemies of the state...and our work not so noble.  We will see nearly 57% of teachers retiring in the next 2-3 years...and it is amazing how short sighted the actions against education have been in light of that.  Many juniors/seniors at the university level have switched their majors.  So where the best and brightest will be coming from shall be interesting to see.  Think classrooms are crowded now!

        Larry

      • Jeff Pridie
        Larry I remember a study being done by two women that debunked the connection between the arts and improving test scores.  It was not that just having arts
        Message 3 of 26 , Jul 13, 2012
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          Larry I remember a study being done by two women that debunked the connection between the arts and improving test scores.  It was not that just having arts programs improved the scores but the thinking skills that take place in the arts classroom that assisted students in performing better on test.  Some of the thinking skills in arts classes are not found anywhere other then in those classes.

          Studio Thinking was born. Habits of Studio Thinking.  It was the habits that students engage in help students perform better in how they think.  Connecting that to test scores is one thing that they could not determine direct data to.  Not enough extensive research has yet been done.

          The evolution of Art Education in the US and in the world is at hand.  If we stay with the old think that art is just making pretty pictures and we have to have art because we say so is not going to keep it in the school system.  The value of art must be connected to the bigger picture, more research needs to be done (NAEA is working on that), teaching art teachers how to advocate for their programs with concrete data, and teaching teachers how to realize isolation and not speaking out is not going to save their programs (being involved in the decision making, butting in, being vocal, moving out of ones comfort zone).  We have to stop being the victims and playing the victims.

          I to am at my career end only having two years to retirement and I worry big time who will replace me and even if my program will not be shut down after I retire.  So i continue to be vocal and shake the tree.

          jeff


          From: Larry Seiler <lseiler.artist@...>
          To: art_education@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, July 13, 2012 8:23 AM
          Subject: [art_education] Re: Art teaching load

           
          Wondering if anyone remembers the two professors, women...that collaborated on authoring a study...perhaps a book forthcoming, addressing one of the main problems that perhaps has come (detrimental) of education stressing one very strong value for the arts in the schools is how it improves students in areas of math...sciences?  Detrimental because this may well have put the idea in district administrator's heads that if this is the reason the arts are good, why not just hire/add more math and science teachers and cut the arts?
          These two professors worked on arguments going back to the value of art in and of itself...and the danger we have put ourselves in pointing to improved math and science scores as arts underlying value. 
          Had art carried its own value...and a high one at that, in the collective mindset, we wouldn't be in the position finding ourselves "happy just to have a job" or overburdened having no leg to stand upon to complain, glad for any crumbs that should fall off the table of those dining as REAL core value educators.
          Is anyone familiar with these two, what became of their studies, their work?  I believe from a university on the east coast...Columbia perhaps?
          Disturbing and disheartening to read where some folks are at here, and my heart goes out to you.  I am in a small district...where subjects have been cut, teachers leaving and not being replaced...happy I have a job, perhaps half-dozen years left to retire in a state where the governor would like to mess up our retirement system. 
          Recent things have made many teachers feel we have been cited as enemies of the state...and our work not so noble.  We will see nearly 57% of teachers retiring in the next 2-3 years...and it is amazing how short sighted the actions against education have been in light of that.  Many juniors/seniors at the university level have switched their majors.  So where the best and brightest will be coming from shall be interesting to see.  Think classrooms are crowded now!
          Larry


        • The Ericksons
          I am blessed to be at a private school now but taught public many years and then took a child rearing break. When I came back I taught 1 year at a local
          Message 4 of 26 , Jul 13, 2012
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            I am blessed to be at a private school now but taught public many years and then took a child rearing break.   When I came back I taught 1 year at a local public school that has the reputation as the finest in the state.   They publicize their very low teacher to student ratios (20 to 1) and what awesome programs they have.   When I actually got on the inside I found that the special classes aren’t counted in their ratios.  I had 38 in every class and my principal said they intended to take it to 42 students the next year.  I taught in a ½ size classroom ( a classroom that had a wall put up to make it into 2 rooms).   The PE teacher had 75 students in each class with 1 aide.  He gave every student an “A” because he never even learned all their names .    I ordered supplies the day I arrived but taught for 27 weeks with only what I could borrow or bring from home.   My supplies finally arrived after 27 weeks (had to go thru many, many levels of approval in this wonderful school system).   The parents did NOT have a clue all this was going on and believed all the publicity that was generated by the superintendent’s office.   These are the kinds of situations I wish NAEA would use their clout to address……

            Again, I am now blessed to be in a wonderful situation but someone has that job that I left behind……

            Cindy

          • Jeff Pridie
            Cindy it is true that this is happening in schools.  I can give another example of a teacher who has not only a partnership with her principal but with her
            Message 5 of 26 , Jul 13, 2012
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              Cindy it is true that this is happening in schools.  I can give another example of a teacher who has not only a partnership with her principal but with her superintendent.  When the school board was considering cutting the program her superintendent advised against it and pointed to many advocacy examples why.  The advocacy information came from NAEA.  This was in a public school system.

              The reality is that NAEA is aware of the issues that are facing art room teachers.  NAEA's influence only goes as far as presenting position statements to federal, state and local governing bodies.  Sometimes it has great affect and sometimes it does not.  Parents, community members are the troops that need to be enlisted in the fight.  If parents or community members will not take a stand then you only have a few options: Inform the parents and community members using advocacy tools, if that does not work then accept the situation or find another location to teach.  Sometimes the school system has to see what happens when something they have neglected for so long is gone and what value it had.  We tend to enable school districts sometimes because we do not want the students to suffer for administrative stupidity. 

              I am glad you found a better environment.




              From: The Ericksons <familyerickson@...>
              To: art_education@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Friday, July 13, 2012 10:37 AM
              Subject: RE: [art_education] Re: Art teaching load

               
              I am blessed to be at a private school now but taught public many years and then took a child rearing break.   When I came back I taught 1 year at a local public school that has the reputation as the finest in the state.   They publicize their very low teacher to student ratios (20 to 1) and what awesome programs they have.   When I actually got on the inside I found that the special classes aren’t counted in their ratios.  I had 38 in every class and my principal said they intended to take it to 42 students the next year.  I taught in a ½ size classroom ( a classroom that had a wall put up to make it into 2 rooms).   The PE teacher had 75 students in each class with 1 aide.  He gave every student an “A” because he never even learned all their names .    I ordered supplies the day I arrived but taught for 27 weeks with only what I could borrow or bring from home.   My supplies finally arrived after 27 weeks (had to go thru many, many levels of approval in this wonderful school system).   The parents did NOT have a clue all this was going on and believed all the publicity that was generated by the superintendent’s office.   These are the kinds of situations I wish NAEA would use their clout to address……
              Again, I am now blessed to be in a wonderful situation but someone has that job that I left behind……
              Cindy


            • Medfordart@comcast.net
              We definitely need advocacy.  I have been teaching for over 30 years...over a 40 year period.  The arts were always important in our district.  I used to
              Message 6 of 26 , Jul 13, 2012
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                We definitely need advocacy.  I have been teaching for over 30 years...over a 40 year period.  The arts were always important in our district.  I used to teach 5 classes a day, 18 - 22 students with 4 marking periods.  We had 2.5 art teachers in each middle school.  This year, I am the only art teacher...reduction in force.  I now teach 6 classes a day, 30 - 32 students with 5 marking periods.  The "regular" classroom teacher teaches 5 and 3 marking periods.

                 

                This last year was very difficult.  I do not feel like they care about our curriculum anymore...we are mainly a "prep".  Advocacy is needed!

                 

                I feel so bad for my students.  I am not able to give them the time required.  Special Education is the highest priority now. 

              • Larry Seiler
                Wow...medfortart, we are only a prep ...that hit home, and resounds so true. Teaching K-12...I find not so much the high school level, but the elementary.
                Message 7 of 26 , Jul 14, 2012
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                  Wow...medfortart, "we are only a prep" ...that hit home, and resounds so true.  Teaching K-12...I find not so much the high school level, but the elementary.  For the first 8-9 years of my current district, though our contract said we each get a full prep...we, called "specialist instructors" (phy ed, music, and art) did not find the same applied.  On contract, yes...but we were expected to bend...be flexible.

                  I'd get ten minutes here, fifteen near noon...maybe twenty minutes end of day, and most time was spent damage control...that is, cleaning.  As a small struggling district, my attitude is we all on staff do, sacrifice to make things operate.  Not so with elementary staff.  Come h___ or high water, they are going to get that prep!  In fact, last day of the school year...awards assemblies and goodbyes, I find teachers worry about how they're going to get their prep, work me around...even if its not to do art but watch their kids in the gym. 

                  Amazing how that "prep" has become such a sacred cow.  There have been times I have wondered if the one great assurance that the "specials" are kept, is to guaranty those preps for other teachers are met!  Not just speaking our district, but perhaps as applies to many. 

                  Yes...art needs greater advocacy IMO not just to raise value in the community, but for regular classroom teachers to understand more. 

                  The last few years we have gone from block period to regular eight period day.  Not as much time to work on projects, cleaning up and so forth...but I have had a regular prep now.  As a result, I feel quite fortunate...spoiled even!

                • Kathleen Maledon
                  It s hard to go from good to bad in a teaching career...It becomes past the point of burn-out to depression. I share your pain. Where to put the inadequate
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jul 15, 2012
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                    It's hard to go from good to bad in a teaching career...It becomes past the point of burn-out to depression.
                    I share your pain.  Where to put the inadequate budget dollars?  Those of us who teach feel it from all sides:
                    mental illness v homeless shelters, tuna fish v cat food...the choices are slimmer and slimmer and none of them
                    should be choices.  they shoud be 'ands'.  Thank you for not giving up.  k
                    On Jul 13, 2012, at 5:44 PM, Medfordart@... wrote:


                    We definitely need advocacy.  I have been teaching for over 30 years...over a 40 year period.  The arts were always important in our district.  I used to teach 5 classes a day, 18 - 22 students with 4 marking periods.  We had 2.5 art teachers in each middle school.  This year, I am the only art teacher...reduction in force.  I now teach 6 classes a day, 30 - 32 students with 5 marking periods.  The "regular" classroom teacher teaches 5 and 3 marking periods.

                     

                    This last year was very difficult.  I do not feel like they care about our curriculum anymore...we are mainly a "prep".  Advocacy is needed!

                     

                    I feel so bad for my students.  I am not able to give them the time required.  Special Education is the highest priority now. 



                  • Katherine Abrams
                    I agree completely with the move away from substance and towards prep. Even as recently as 7 years ago I taught 5 classes a day. Then it moved to 6, with 30
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jul 16, 2012
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                      I agree completely with the move away from substance and towards "prep." Even as recently as 7 years ago I taught 5 classes a day. Then it moved to 6, with 30 different classes a week. This fall the teaching load will be 36 different classes over 6 days; two entire schools, K-5 or K-5 plus a Gifted class, and we will see the students about 30 times instead of 36 over the year. And I know from this list-serve that this is far from the most difficult teaching load or work situation. I think about those with more difficult situations every day. 

                      Critical thinking, knowledge and guidance of nearly 800 students, differentiated instruction, IEPs, challenging media and projects, thoughtful assessment...I just wonder how administrators can pretend that all this can be achieved on a high level. Yet I am grateful for a job!
                    • Rachel Stafford
                      Some of us are afraid to rock the boat because we feel we have no power and should be grateful to have a job. I AM grateful to have a job, and I do advocate
                      Message 10 of 26 , Jul 17, 2012
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                        Some of us are afraid to "rock the boat" because we feel we have no power and should be grateful to have a job. I AM grateful to have a job, and I do advocate for my students and the art program. But we have to be proactive not REactive and stay professional, in spite of the conditions some of us work in. Sadly, it's the elementary level where most of us are having the scheduling problems and not feeling the support from the regular classroom teachers.


                        From: art_education@yahoogroups.com [art_education@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of Jeff Pridie [jeffpridie@...]
                        Sent: Friday, July 13, 2012 10:18 AM
                        To: art_education@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [art_education] Re: Art teaching load

                         

                        Larry I remember a study being done by two women that debunked the connection between the arts and improving test scores.  It was not that just having arts programs improved the scores but the thinking skills that take place in the arts classroom that assisted students in performing better on test.  Some of the thinking skills in arts classes are not found anywhere other then in those classes.

                        Studio Thinking was born. Habits of Studio Thinking.  It was the habits that students engage in help students perform better in how they think.  Connecting that to test scores is one thing that they could not determine direct data to.  Not enough extensive research has yet been done.

                        The evolution of Art Education in the US and in the world is at hand.  If we stay with the old think that art is just making pretty pictures and we have to have art because we say so is not going to keep it in the school system.  The value of art must be connected to the bigger picture, more research needs to be done (NAEA is working on that), teaching art teachers how to advocate for their programs with concrete data, and teaching teachers how to realize isolation and not speaking out is not going to save their programs (being involved in the decision making, butting in, being vocal, moving out of ones comfort zone).  We have to stop being the victims and playing the victims.

                        I to am at my career end only having two years to retirement and I worry big time who will replace me and even if my program will not be shut down after I retire.  So i continue to be vocal and shake the tree.

                        jeff


                        From: Larry Seiler <lseiler.artist@...>
                        To: art_education@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Friday, July 13, 2012 8:23 AM
                        Subject: [art_education] Re: Art teaching load

                         
                        Wondering if anyone remembers the two professors, women...that collaborated on authoring a study...perhaps a book forthcoming, addressing one of the main problems that perhaps has come (detrimental) of education stressing one very strong value for the arts in the schools is how it improves students in areas of math...sciences?  Detrimental because this may well have put the idea in district administrator's heads that if this is the reason the arts are good, why not just hire/add more math and science teachers and cut the arts?
                        These two professors worked on arguments going back to the value of art in and of itself...and the danger we have put ourselves in pointing to improved math and science scores as arts underlying value. 
                        Had art carried its own value...and a high one at that, in the collective mindset, we wouldn't be in the position finding ourselves "happy just to have a job" or overburdened having no leg to stand upon to complain, glad for any crumbs that should fall off the table of those dining as REAL core value educators.
                        Is anyone familiar with these two, what became of their studies, their work?  I believe from a university on the east coast...Columbia perhaps?
                        Disturbing and disheartening to read where some folks are at here, and my heart goes out to you.  I am in a small district...where subjects have been cut, teachers leaving and not being replaced...happy I have a job, perhaps half-dozen years left to retire in a state where the governor would like to mess up our retirement system. 
                        Recent things have made many teachers feel we have been cited as enemies of the state...and our work not so noble.  We will see nearly 57% of teachers retiring in the next 2-3 years...and it is amazing how short sighted the actions against education have been in light of that.  Many juniors/seniors at the university level have switched their majors.  So where the best and brightest will be coming from shall be interesting to see.  Think classrooms are crowded now!
                        Larry


                      • Jeff Pridie
                        Being grateful for having a job is exactly what many administrators hope you feel to keep you in check. They know you will not complain about supplies, numbers
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jul 17, 2012
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                          Being grateful for having a job is exactly what many administrators hope you feel to keep you in check. They know you will not complain about supplies, numbers in the classroom and just go with the flow.  So the decision as a professional you make is do you advocate for your program or just live with the the conditions you work in.  How are the students benefiting with lack of supplies, being herded into an over crowed classroom? Some will say well at least they are getting something? But really what are they getting?
                          Between the overcrowding, lack of supplies and having instructors on the brink of being burned out and frustrated again what are students getting?

                          As an employed person and sometimes the only income in the family an instructor has to weigh how much to "rock the boat" in order for the income to continue to flow.  This is another point administration hangs over ones head.  

                          Scheduling problems run throughout the curriculum.  I have heard horror stories from Middle School and High School teachers alike.  Middle School programs where they are cramming large numbers together or cutting the time with students down from 55 mins down to 30. High School classes that several levels are combined into one class so the teacher is teaching several prep levels, non-art teachers teaching Art classes.

                          So elementary is not the only area of art being hit, but across the board it is happening everywhere.  The schools they have eliminated the elementary, middles school programs all together.  No instruction in the visual arts until students reach high school.  Imagine how that would be.

                          So we wonder why so many are leaving the teaching profession.




                           
                          Some of us are afraid to "rock the boat" because we feel we have no power and should be grateful to have a job. I AM grateful to have a job, and I do advocate for my students and the art program. But we have to be proactive not REactive and stay professional, in spite of the conditions some of us work in. Sadly, it's the elementary level where most of us are having the scheduling problems and not feeling the support from the regular classroom teachers.




                           
                          Larry I remember a study being done by two women that debunked the connection between the arts and improving test scores.  It was not that just having arts programs improved the scores but the thinking skills that take place in the arts classroom that assisted students in performing better on test.  Some of the thinking skills in arts classes are not found anywhere other then in those classes.

                          Studio Thinking was born. Habits of Studio Thinking.  It was the habits that students engage in help students perform better in how they think.  Connecting that to test scores is one thing that they could not determine direct data to.  Not enough extensive research has yet been done.

                          The evolution of Art Education in the US and in the world is at hand.  If we stay with the old think that art is just making pretty pictures and we have to have art because we say so is not going to keep it in the school system.  The value of art must be connected to the bigger picture, more research needs to be done (NAEA is working on that), teaching art teachers how to advocate for their programs with concrete data, and teaching teachers how to realize isolation and not speaking out is not going to save their programs (being involved in the decision making, butting in, being vocal, moving out of ones comfort zone).  We have to stop being the victims and playing the victims.

                          I to am at my career end only having two years to retirement and I worry big time who will replace me and even if my program will not be shut down after I retire.  So i continue to be vocal and shake the tree.

                          jeff



                           
                          Wondering if anyone remembers the two professors, women...that collaborated on authoring a study...perhaps a book forthcoming, addressing one of the main problems that perhaps has come (detrimental) of education stressing one very strong value for the arts in the schools is how it improves students in areas of math...sciences?  Detrimental because this may well have put the idea in district administrator's heads that if this is the reason the arts are good, why not just hire/add more math and science teachers and cut the arts?
                          These two professors worked on arguments going back to the value of art in and of itself...and the danger we have put ourselves in pointing to improved math and science scores as arts underlying value. 
                          Had art carried its own value...and a high one at that, in the collective mindset, we wouldn't be in the position finding ourselves "happy just to have a job" or overburdened having no leg to stand upon to complain, glad for any crumbs that should fall off the table of those dining as REAL core value educators.
                          Is anyone familiar with these two, what became of their studies, their work?  I believe from a university on the east coast...Columbia perhaps?
                          Disturbing and disheartening to read where some folks are at here, and my heart goes out to you.  I am in a small district...where subjects have been cut, teachers leaving and not being replaced...happy I have a job, perhaps half-dozen years left to retire in a state where the governor would like to mess up our retirement system. 
                          Recent things have made many teachers feel we have been cited as enemies of the state...and our work not so noble.  We will see nearly 57% of teachers retiring in the next 2-3 years...and it is amazing how short sighted the actions against education have been in light of that.  Many juniors/seniors at the university level have switched their majors.  So where the best and brightest will be coming from shall be interesting to see.  Think classrooms are crowded now!
                          Larry




                        • Sheri
                          Well said! Remember your value!! Remember the value of Art! Sent from my iPad
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jul 17, 2012
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                            Well said! Remember your value!! Remember the value of Art!

                            Sent from my iPad
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