It doesn't get any better than this.
So, here's the story. At my recent state art teachers' conference, I had a wonderful Saturday night. It all began at the before-dinner cocktail reception, when we started chatting with fellow blogger Jen. She introduced me to a coworker/friend, and she and I hit it off when we discovered that for a couple of years, a LONG time ago (early 1970's), we were both students at SUNY New Paltz. New Paltz, in those days, was a little slice of hippie heaven, and for those of us who were there at that time, it was a unique experience, something we'll remember forever. A hint of that era - these were my education texts: Teaching as a Subversive Activity (I'm not kidding); Sexism in American Education: And Jill Came Tumbling After ; The Open Classroom; and, of course, Viktor Lowenfeld's Creative and Mental Growth. And some strange little art crit book. Anyhow, we had a lot to reminisce about and share about our time in New Paltz.
Anyhow, after cocktails we headed to the award banquet, and the conversation continued. As the awards started, I recalled a time, probably 8 or 9 years ago, when the annual gift for the Art Teacher of the Year was an Art Teacher Barbie. I always wanted one, but I knew this was an award I'd never get. I drooled whenever they handed out the big prize. You see, I grew up playing Barbies, but it seems my mom had ditched them all (vintage Barbies!) when I was in college. At one point I even checked them out in a store and decided that, 1) I shouldn't buy it for myself, and 2) they always were blonde. I even tried telling my husband and son that I wanted one for a gift, but I think they thought I was kidding. I WAS NOT.
The conversation continued into the party AFTER the banquet, and it was a fabulous fun night, filled with laughter and in particular, one kindred spirit of a new friend. I shared that I was retiring, but that I expected to continue to attend the conference since it is always a highlight of my year. My new friend said she wanted to send me a gift, and asked for my address.
And there it was, in the mail today! Not a new purchase, but something she has had, evidently for years, not just Art Teacher Barbie, but Barbie AND her sister Kelly, still in the box, apparently never opened, both brunette, like I was until my hair turned silver. And my new friend wants ME to have this!! I'm honored, and humbled. I mean, she's had this wonderful thing all these years, and she met me ONE NIGHT and sent me this TREASURE?? I'm and totally thrilled, and can't imagine a more wonderful gift.
By the way, I've looked online, and it is apparently a 2002 version of the doll. A more recent version has Barbie in a smock with an easel and a palette. MY Barbie (in the picture at the top of this post) comes with a stool and a drawing desk and some art materials, and is dressed a little strangely for our messy job (what, no apron?!!), but, heck, she'll be coming out of the box and I promise I will make her some new clothes. Seriously.
I'll post again, I promise, and will show you my Barbie's new look when it is complete.