It had been a few days since my interview. A few agonizing days of not hearing back. I knew it would be at least a week, after all I was the first interviewee, and they had 2 more to interview the remainder of the week. Despite this knowledge the days passed slowly, I checked my e-mail and phone constantly, I just needed to know one way or another.
After a few days of waiting I decided it was time to find a way to keep myself busy. I knew there was no way I could stop thinking about the what ifs following the interview, so I opted to do a project that related to my worries.
It was my last chance, my last ditch effort to convince them I was right for the job. It was time for heartfelt and handmade thank you cards, sent the old fashion way through the mail. I gathered a few supplies during a lull in class, and began constructing my final plea.
I felt slight guilt making these cards in class. As my students came and went from my table during class they left behind a layer of oohhs, ahhs, that’s so cute, and what are those for? I couldn’t tell them the truth. I couldn’t tell them I was considering leaving. I simply brushed off the compliments and satisfied them with vague explanations. I continued my work trying not to consider the past or the future, focusing on the present.
I felt satisfied with my final products, 3 quirky, fun, and obviously meaningful cards. One card would make its way to the principal, one to the sculpture teacher, and one to the drawing and painting teacher. I added personalized messages to each, thanking them for considering me, gushing about their program, and between each line I hid a little bit of job seeking desperation, please hire me, please hire me, please……
I went home that afternoon, cards in hand, addressed and stamped. I tucked them into the mailbox and let go. I couldn’t have done any better, I couldn’t have done anything else, this was it. If I didn’t get the job I had to accept it was meant to be. I would like to say I mailed off my worries, anticipation, and angst with those letters, but the next three days were just as slow and long. But in three days I would have my answer and I could finally move forward.
- Visual journal
- Rubber cement
- India ink
- Thin paint brush
- Book pages
- Construction paper
- Blank cards
For this visual journal page I recreated my thank you cards using the left overs from the original. After I completed my set of cards I gathered up the ripped up paper, extra watercolor splatters, and set them aside for this page. When it came time to put it together I began by gluing down three blank cards I had on hand. I wanted the cards to still maintain their individual characteristics, but come together to create one image. I felt the best way to achieve that was to overlap the cards at the top and fan them out at the bottom. To help the cards blend into my book I glued down ripped up book pages and pieces of construction paper around the edge of the cards and overlapping the cards.
After the base layer was complete I began recreating the components of each card. I used India ink and a thin paint brush to paint the tree and branch silhouettes. I painted them on a separate white sheet of paper, this way if I messed up I could easily start a new one without ruining the entire page. Often when I create these small painting I paint a few versions, and pick my favorite to use on the page. After the pieces dried I cut them out using scissors and an Xacto knife.
Before gluing down the silhouettes I layered construction paper and splattered watercolor to add decorative elements to the cards. After the base layer I carefully glued down my India ink paintings. To complete the page I added one more tree silhouette to the bottom right side of the page and wrote the word “thanks” next to it in sharpie.
Create a thank you card on your next page. It can simply be writing, thanking a person, place, or thing for something significant in your life. You could add an actual card and write in it, or you can create your own card and leave it blank. Take time to think of what you are thankful for and include it in your journal!
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