The Mac Lab

Tag: typography

Gallery 037 — 1011 Desktop Calendars

by on Jan.01, 2011, under Galleries

christopher_c_calendar_01_smThis project was announced yesterday (1231) and within hours I received the first two submissions. I’m a lucky teacher to have such amazing students.

Kudos: Christopher C, fresh back from the frozen Midwest (though how Wisconsin is considered a Midwestern State is beyond me), submitted this apt image for January 2011.

1011 Desktop Calendars


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Best of Both Worlds (Week 13)

by on Dec.06, 2010, under Blog

jenny_s_sp_01_smThe Artist-scientist is one of the Jungian archetypes in mythology. Like all of these archetypes, the artist-scientist is an abstraction of life and the human mind. While never as common as archetypes like the child or the Hero, the artist-scientist is immediately recognizable. They are a builder, an inventor, a seeker, a dreamer, and a thinker. Distracted by their own thoughts, they frequently have to be pulled in out of the rain. They are simultaneously vastly knowledgeable and yet innocent, impulsive yet cautious. They represent the wonder to be found in curiosity, and the dangers.

Now I’m not claiming that anyone in the Mac Lab is a living, breathing, self-aware artist-scientist but we do seem to have more than our share of exceptional left-leaning thinkers thriving by putting their right-leaning brains to work. If nothing else, we’re giving the corpus callosum a good workout as we cross-pollinate the hemispheres.

If you re-examine The 5 Stages of the Creative Process, you may notice a theme similar to that of the artist-scientist’s. Do you see it? The artist-scientist is a creative thinker by definition. Lyall Watson nails one of his or her essential qualities with this gem from Beyond Supernature:

…a childlike playfulness which is one of the hallmarks of creativity. Consensus is rare in psychology, but most workers in the field agree that creative thinkers can be recognized by their ability to entertain wild ideas without feeling the usual need to pass judgment on them.

As you work on your projects today, consider how you might nurture your own childlike playfulness as you pass through the teenage rituals that mark days of this phase of your life. Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince speaks the truth: One never knows.

We may indeed have a few polymaths, Renaissance men and women in our midst. Let’s hope he or she is willing to look beyond the latest craze to find the prize within this riddle:

Long ago, far and away, or always somewhere near
Conductor’s instrumental, sends notes to inner ear
Harmonic reconvergence, improvisation’s planned
To amend the broken page, pour melodies from band
Watering the wildest flowers, a second-handed chance
To trade in white-washed paddock walls, for suit and horse and lance

What starry-eyed boy or girl, dressed in grown disguise
Would spend so much time looking up, the ears, nose, throat, and eyes
Pretending to play doctor, while double-checking chokes
What’s it cost and what’s my change? the warted toady croaks
What distilled in beating heart, could cease and then resist
This night made for remembering, then good sun’s rising kiss
Dream Yet Complete

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

Progress Report: Grades are on the door. If your name is in red, you weren’t in the pink last week. (If you don’t get that, 3 then Me.)

Edublog Awards: I had no idea we were even nominated. Apparently we made the cut and are now contenders for 2010’s Best Class Edublog Award. If you want to vote, do it from home or via your phone as there’s only one vote per IP address. Voting ends December 14.

Galleries: Looking to add exceptional Self Portraits to the gallery. A new Logo Gallery Post went up this morning with one lonely logo. Who will join Fadi with his or her own fabulous logo? Up Next: Posters (details coming soon).

Kudos: Special thanks to Jenny S for the image and inspiration for this week’s post. She’s one of the potential Renaissance individuals of whom I spoke.

1207: Don’t forget to check the Tip of the Day Archives. Today’s tip is an Illustrator Appearance Panel refresher.

100+ New Fonts: I tried to find some cool new fonts for you to use on your logos and posters (coming soon). If you don’t remember how to cycle through the fonts, you’re in luck. Yep! That video’s just for you.

On the Big Screen: Font Video Shorts Week. (Yesterday was too short for a short.) 😉

1208: Not a single student commented on the synchronous theme to one of yesterday’s tweets: Science + Art + Photography = Click

TOTD: Today’s Tip of the Day is packed with typographic goodness. Starter file.

On the Big Screen: Going gaga for fonts!*

*Okay, it’s actually Going gaga for a typographic family but that doesn’t have the same snappy sound. And a snappy sound is just what this video has! (Blocked, of course, at school.)

1209: I told the kids in 7th period that I heard some of you muttering: Why did he show that video?! Seriously?! Why show you a bunch of design geeks singing about a typeface? Because you’ll never forget it. Because every time you hear anything by or about Lady Gaga you’ll remember those geeks. And maybe you’ll even think about typography.

Geek Disclosure: BTW, I consider that appellation a compliment. Call me a geek anytime!

On the Big Screen: What may be my new all-time favorite music video featuring kinetic typography. (Blocked at school.) The musician has a terrific sense of humor and the digital artist loves Tron. What a dynamic duo! (Don’t worry, I bought the song so we can listen to it every day.)

Speaking of Dynamic Duos: Illustrator + Photoshop = A Wicked Tip of the Day! Note: I took it a few steps further after recording the video and came up with this. (And that’s why I’m wearing my DO IT IN LAYERS t-shirt today.)

Reminder: The Last Mac Lab Saturday School™ of 2010 [gasp!] is this weekend. 6:15 to 12:00 as usual.

1210: Am going to be interrupting you today. To make it up, next week will be (mostly) free from Skockobabble. 😉

On the Big Screen: Would you believe someone made a feature-length movie about a typeface? We’ll be watching a short clip but I’ll be playing the entire movie tomorrow during the final Mac Lab Saturday School™ of 2010. The movie begins at 8:30 sharp. No, you don’t have to watch it but anyone who does will see that it’s actually about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. Well worth the price of admission (hauling yourself out of bed to get down here on time). The microwave will be available for popcorn. (Bring your own bowls and napkins.)

Reminder: Please return any equipment or books you’ve borrowed so everything will be in order prior to Winter Break. Yes, I’ll let you check out equipment over the break (if you don’t owe time and/or you’re not in the red).

1211: Interesting coincidence that I ran into this after our Helvetica talk yesterday. How color affects our purchasing habits. Larger version. Wires in our heads?

Steam-Driven Workflow: This Tip of the Day is the first in a series of tutorials about pushing the Illustrator + Photoshop equation. Starter File.

Someone in Your Seat? Read the board and watch this video.

On the Big Screen: The world premiere of Gary Hustwit’s amazing documentary Helvetica. Well, it’s the world premiere during Mac Lab Saturday School™ (film starts promptly at 8:30).

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Making Time (Week 11+)

by on Nov.15, 2010, under Blog

philip_b_fall_concert_smEvery creative act… involves a new innocence of perception liberated from the cataract of accepted belief.
Arthur Koestler

You know how it is. Each of us faces our own collection of daily deadlines. For the past two months I’ve simply accepted the fact that there just wasn’t enough time in the day to record all the new tutorials I wanted to make for my students. The online Masters course I’m taking from Full Sail University eats at least 20 hours per week. After school meetings aren’t helping either. This week it’s: Tech Council, Monday (off campus, 3:30-5:30), ROP/CTE, Tuesday (off campus, 3:30-5:30), and Team Leaders, Thursday (on campus, 3:00-5:00). Add a little family time and the obligatory household chores and there’s not much left over unless I cut back even more on sleep. (And that’s a sure-fire recipe for disaster.)

So, what to do?

Surrender is so boring. Instead of accepting the “fact” that there wasn’t enough time, I decided to try something new. Last Monday I told you that I’d be making a Mac Lab Tip of the Day every day. On that same day I posted this on Adobe’ Education Exchange (an educator-only community):

Full Sail University is eating all my time (I’m getting my Masters) and I need a kick in the pants to get moving again on the video tutorial front. I figure the best way to fix the problem is to commit to something crazy, like declaring to my students and the AEE community that I’ll be uploading at least one new video tutorial every day for the foreseeable future.

Posting it on the blog was a serious step. Declaring the same to Adobe and my peers on the Exchange raised the stakes considerably. It reminded me of a quote from The Hunt for Red October:

When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships. As a result his men were well motivated.

Yeah, you might say that I’m well motivated too. Nothing like putting one’s reputation on the line. I’m also seriously thrilled at the prospect of how this will help all of you the rest of the year. I don’t have time to make dozens of tutorials every weekend any more but one a day will add up quickly… so long as I don’t relent.

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

What “facts” are holding you back? Re-examine Koestler’s quote at the top of the page. What cataract of accepted belief are you suffering from? Instead of surrendering, why not try something crazy too? Engage in your own creative act.

Turn impossible into I’m possible.

They can because they think they can.
Publius Vergilius Maro

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

This Week: Need a break from the self portrait? There’s a number of typographic tutorials in the Tip of the Day archive. Work through the videos in order: Creating a Logotype | Cycling Through Typefaces | Typography Shortcuts | OpenType Options | Customizing Type and Logo Motions. Starter files may be found on the TOTD archive and the individual video pages. When it comes time to design your own identity, check out last year’s gallery and the year before that. Spend some time looking at logos on the Inspiration Page: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 (and watch the video there).

Kudos: Thanks to Philip Behnam for this week’s image featuring some typographic excellence.

1116: I’m curious. Have any of you considered initiating your own creative act? And because I’m not sure you all understood what I meant yesterday, please read this one more time:

What “facts” are holding you back? Re-examine Koestler’s quote at the top of the page. What cataract of accepted belief are you suffering from? Instead of surrendering, why not try something crazy too? Engage in your own creative act.

Turn impossible into I’m possible.

They can because they think they can.
Publius Vergilius Maro

You don’t have to reveal your creative act but leave a comment if you’ve decided to be daring enough to try to liberate yourself from one of your own of accepted beliefs.

Working on Your Logotype? Here’s a page with instructions. Also linked off the To Do Page.

Alignment Strategies: I’d be willing to bet that today’s Tip of the Day contains something useful that you didn’t know.

1117: Typography Tips from FontShop. Scroll down and look for the link that says: Download all Educational materials. (Thanks Judy!)

Mac Lab Fail: Tried twice so far in trying to communicate the following:

What “facts” are holding you back? Re-examine Koestler’s quote at the top of the page. What cataract of accepted belief are you suffering from? Instead of surrendering, why not try something crazy too? Engage in your own creative act.

Turn impossible into I’m possible.

They can because they think they can.
Publius Vergilius Maro

Note: As it says right here, engaging in a creative act — as outlined in this post — is far different than doing something creative in class. I’m still interested in hearing from any of you who are daring enough to try to liberate yourself from one of your own of accepted beliefs. Are you a daring and imaginative individual? Let us know. Leave a comment.

Stroke a Dope: Yes, today’s Tip of the Day will help you claim typographic victory. (Starter File)

1118: Still looking to add your self portrait to the gallery.

Twist and Shout: That’s what I’ll do if you misuse and abuse these special effects in today’s Tip of the Day. (File)

1119: Last chance (before the Turkey Break) to add your self-portrait to the gallery.

Saved by Symbols: Today’s Tip of the Day empowers you flex your symbolic muscles. (Starter File)

An Adobe Shout Out: Kind words from an Adobe Senior Solutions Engineer.

Good Tidings: Have a safe and happy holiday. Be good to one another. If you get lonely for the Mac Lab, don’t fret. I’ll be blogging and adding to The Mac Lab Video Tip of the Day each and every day!

1120: As promised.

1121: And now for something completely different.

1122: Get your head in the game.

1123: A funny thing happened on the way to this week’s post. I had (have) the idea and the image ready to go but yesterday… well, let’s just say the day was rather eventful. On top of that, guess what my first assignment for this month’s Masters class is? Before I tell you, I have to tell you…

Don’t Follow of Comment: We had to start a blog (due tomorrow). Look, I know you can find it on your own so I’ll share the link but I need you to understand that some of the others in the program might not like the idea of students wandering about. But heck, it’s on the Internet so it’s all public information as far as I’m concerned. Just to be polite and to maintain the illusion of privacy for the others, please do NOT follow or comment on my Blogger blog. Okay? Okay. Oh, and the first post had to be titled: BP1_Welcome to My Blog (the other 18 posts this month have similarly thrilling, oh-so-engaging, required titles). Click.

The New Plan: I’ll just use this post for the rest of this week.

Raster to Vector: Today’s Tip of the Day is just a click away.

1124 Whitening Warning: Don’t overdo this Tip of the Day or you’ll howl at the moon.

1125 Prezi Project: Today’s Happy Thanksgiving Tip of the Day is built around Photoshop workflow and leads to a separate project page with additional videos.

1126: Today’s Tip of the Day features navigating about a large PSD plus a preview of tips to come. Fonts | File

1127: Make a Photoshop Resolution for today’s Tip of the Day.

Speaking of Printers: Our old all in one printer finally kicked the bucket so we needed to order a new one. If you’re in the market for one check the Epson WorkForce 610 All-in-One Printer on Epson’s site. Only $60 with $140 instant rebate. After tax and shipping the cost was only $76. Amazing price for a nice piece of technology!

1128: The unthinkable. Skocko shows you how to upsample in today’s Tip of the Day. Starter file.

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To Boldly Go (Week 34)

by on May.24, 2010, under Blog

diana_sofya_smAll inquirers had the naïveté and some had the boldness of amateurs.
Daniel J. Boorstin / The Discoverers

If I were to call you an amateur, would you be offended? In our society, being labeled an amateur isn’t a typically considered to be a compliment. Think about it. We don’t usually say: She’s an amateur. The phrase is usually tinged with shades of contempt: She’s only an amateur or She’s just an amateur. I was so conditioned to this association that Mr. Boorstin’s words caught me completely off-guard when I first read them twenty-some years ago on page 636 of that amazing book. As an amateur (and a naïve one at that) investigating the nature of what seems to be, I took those words to heart.

Diana and Sofya, I say you’re both amateurs! Diana, you checked out a camera and along with your sister, Sofya, managed to capture this image. I say you were just lucky. You were lucky to be together. You were lucky that Sofya found the dandelion. You were lucky the background so complimented the Sofya’s complexion. (And I mean that literally. Think Color Theory.) You were lucky to capture the moment in focus with the macro lens. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

And I’m lucky to have the both of you as students.

When it comes to digital arts and all the new frontiers we’re discovering in the Mac Lab, we’re all amateurs! Myself included. And it’s lucky for you that I’m naïve enough to believe you’re all able to produce professional quality projects… if you’re willing to read, listen, and try and try and try.

You see, when we both do our job, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You really do produce professional quality projects.

Look around the room. Look at these posters. Look in the Galleries. No question about it, Mac Lab students are some of the best high school artists in the world! Are you one of those not yet featured? There’s still time. Use this week to create and perfect your own masterpiece.

Cue the theme music and boldly go where no Mac Lab artist has gone before.

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

Lest you think me hurtful in calling Diana lucky, a guy named Louis Pasteur got lucky too. When challenged, he simply said: Chance favors the prepared mind.

So true.

0525: Since we’re on a Star Trek theme, I figure it’s time to lay this one on the table. You see, I had this idea… Is it good? Bad? Stupid? Fantastic? Only one way to know for sure and that’s to act on it. (In all honesty, I suspect it will be a monumentally great way to drive home the concept of the Rule of Thirds for students next year.)

In the credit where credit is due category, it was Diana I again who motivated me to act with this wonderful example. That example, btw, will lead to another teachable moment in tomorrow’s update.

Stay tuned. 😛

Congrats: Michael W won a copy of Photoshop CS5 for his submission to Week 1 of 5 Weeks of 5. It’s not too late to try your hand at the competition!

0526: Please watch this video (starring another of Diana’s creations) prior to getting on with today’s project.

0527: I’ve been researching how we’ll create our iBook for the final. The process is pretty straight forward but you’ll have to follow instructions. Think you can do that? Sure you can! 3 then Me will be in hyperdrive. We’ll begin next Tuesday. (Tutorials coming.)

Good News: Our iBook will be a landmark creation.

Bad News: Our iBook will resemble a 20th century relic.

Why would I say such a thing?! Well, it’s kinda hard to ignore what happened yesterday…

NOTE: Do NOT go to to see more videos.

The magazine is freakin’ awesome. The future of publishing has arrived… Only it’s not in time to save our initial offering from looking like it was made with two sticks and a rock. On the bright side, we will be going where no high school class has gone before. Our final exam will be presented on the iPad. And it will be sooooo easy to produce! You have nothing to fear. (Except, perhaps, a lack of content… If that’s the case, you better get creating!)

When, you ask, will we be able to follow in Wired’s footsteps? Read:

And this reality is sooner than you think. During summer 2010, watch for new publishing technology on Adobe Labs that helps publishers to transform InDesign CS5 layouts into compelling applications like the WIRED Reader. (via)

Looks like just one more way the Mac Lab is going to rock next year!

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

Warning: Heading in early to register CS5 on all computers in the Mac Lab. Because I’ve been up since 1:40, I’m going to guess that it’s probably a really good idea to stay on task today.

Sleep-deprived teacher + misbehaving students = Danger, Will Robinson! 😉

0528: Mac Lab photographers, there’s an Old School Photo Challenge up on Kelby’s site. Since you’ve all grown up in the digital age, I’m not sure if you’ll get it but it is for a good cause. If your folks like photography, show them the link and dare them to try it. If they want to donate to the orphanage, here’s where that happens.

CS5 Central: Learned any new skills lately?

International Update: The United Republic of Tanzania is country number 152 to visit the Mac Lab since April of last year. We also recently passed 100,000 visits from 5,000 cities around the world. Here’s a look. Note: It says 153 countries but one of them is called not set.

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The Elements and Principles of Creative Freedom (Week 10)

by on Nov.07, 2009, under Blog

john_c_01_smOut of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
Albert Einstein / The Three Rules of Work

Interesting, isn’t it, how those words ring true when coming from a legend rather than Skocko? A quick search reveals that I’ve asked you to simplify your ideas 17 times in the past two weeks (here and here). I’m sure you’d agree that I’ve repeated it in class too many times to count. My search for an appropriate quotation to frame the importance of learning and following rules was cut short when I encountered the above. It’s a new quote to me as well. You’ll be applying it to your projects. I’ll be applying it to my students. Working together, we’ll add to this collection of excellence and make this the best year yet in the Mac Lab!

On Friday I announced that Earned Creative Freedom™ would begin on Monday. To qualify, one must have a minimum of 300 positive minutes, art in all three galleries: Self Portrait | Logo | Poster | and abide by the rules in the Mac Lab. I added posters (John C) to the mix because it’s the final (initial) required project for Digital Arts students. Three additional projects will be required of students in 3D. (I’ll explain in class. Don’t worry. You’ll want to do these.) All students are required to employ and explain the Elements and Principles of Design as well as Color Theory in the poster project. Your explanations will be incorporated into your portfolio for all projects from this point forward.

I’m going to repeat this because there’s simply no escaping this responsibility: You will employ the Elements and Principles of Design as well as Color Theory in all projects from this point forward. I will give you more specifics as the week progresses. For now, you need to read and begin to become conversant in the Elements and Principles of Design as well as Color Theory. Are you catching my drift? I’d bookmark those pages if I were you… NOW!

One More Time: Read the Elements and Principles of Design and Color Theory right now. This is NOT optional. Read those pages and embrace the fact that you’re going to learn and apply this information… for the rest of the year. And yes, acquiring this knowledge will require you to do some independent research as well. Wikipedia is the starting point of your research, not the end.

Must Watch Video Info: Christina P is a first year student who joined the class late. She’s worked hard, listened to my suggestions, and has earned my eternal gratitude for providing this golden teaching moment: Watch this video. Please watch this correction and clarification. 3D students, you’ll also benefit from watching this Digital Arts video. Digital Arts students, you’ll definitely want to watch this 3D video. Clarification for 3D students (and anyone thinking about employing 3D into his or her workflow). And just in case it wasn’t self-evident, ALL students should watch ALL of those videos.

As for posters… 01 | 02 | 03 are example galleries. When in doubt, keep it simple and elegant. Students in 3D will want to check these galleries 04 | 05 (under construction). No illustrations in 3D. Use pure typography. Digital Artists might also try typographic solutions as well. Oh, and did I mention the Elements and Principles of Design and Color Theory?

Participation and Your Responsibilities: Watch this video.

Free Software: For Mac Users (last 3 days). For anyone: Sync your files from the Mac Lab to your computer at home (PC or Mac). I’ve already installed DropBox on our computers so you can just sign up for your free 2.25GB account here if you’d like to use it. You’ll have to download and install DropBox at home to complete the circuit and get the extra 250MB of storage.

1110: Since I know for a fact that some of you blew off yesterday’s assignment, I’m giving you a second chance to read, watch, and follow the instructions (above). Your projects will reveal whether or not you’re holding up your end of the deal.

1112: Since we’ve spoken about getting inspiration from others and compared Microsoft’s packaging strategies to Apple’s (Remember: Microsoft, not Apple, produced that video), I thought I’d share an atypically candid comment from an MS manager: One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it’s very graphical and easy to use. What we’ve tried to do with Windows 7 — whether it’s traditional format or in a touch format — is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics. We’ve significantly improved the graphical user interface, but it’s built on that very stable core Vista technology, which is far more stable than the current Mac platform, for instance. (Via)

Please, no Mac/PC flame wars. As I’ve said in class, I hope Windows 7 is stable and slick. When companies are forced to compete, it’s good for the rest of us. We all get better products!

Speaking of competition, how’s your own coming along? Remember, you’re competing with that person in the mirror, pushing him or her toward artistic excellence. Yes, the Mac Lab’s not your typical classroom and it’s about to become even more unique because I’m not going to be around for a while. I’m depending on all of you to hold up your end of the deal this week and next. It’s going to take teamwork and perseverance. Help one another, work hard, and stay on task!

The classroom will be open each morning around 6:15. I’ll be in this morning and next Wednesday to Friday to open the lab. Today, I’m flying north to say goodbye to my dad. Services are tonight and tomorrow but since the burial won’t happen until Tuesday, there’s no Mac Lab Saturday School™ this weekend. Sorry. Next week I have Final Cut Pro training on Wednesday, an all-day Arts, Media, and Entertainment Pathway meeting on Thursday, and a CS4 Seminar that Friday so you’re on your own for the next seven school days. Can you all hold it together for me? I’m depending on you!

As for updates, I’m at the mercy of WiFi. See the 0804 entry here for details. I expect to provide daily updates but as The Little Prince says, “One never knows.”

Motto for this Week and Next: You’re Never Finished in the Mac Lab!

Work on your posters, logos, self portraits, and Websites. Strive for excellence, watch the videos, and help one another. When all around you agree that your work should be in the gallery, email a correctly composed JPG that’s at least 1,000 pixels wide or tall to and I’ll either put it in the gallery or make suggestions on how it might be improved. Do NOT send anything that AT LEAST three others haven’t confirmed to be worthy of inclusion in the gallery. Remember: 3 then Me. In your email, INCLUDE THE NAMES of the three who agree with you. Unsure? Watch this, this, this, this, and this video for posters and this video for logos. Simplify!

Still confused? Scroll down and check out prior posts. Here, I’ll make it easy: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Galleries: Self Portrait | Logo | Poster | And don’t forget the Elements and Principles of Design or Color Theory (details above). See? It’s all right here for you.

Danny O, Christian L, Samantha P, and Christopher F are still on for the CETPA Digital Learning Symposium next Tuesday. You’ll be representing the Mac Lab, Valhalla, and the Grossmont Union High School District at this state-wide conference. No pressure. 😉 Be sure to say hi to Jack O’Connell and the other Edu-bigwigs who stop by to see what you’re up to. Alternate transportation is being arranged and I’ll have an interesting lesson for you and all Mac Lab students next Tuesday. Sorry I won’t be there but this is a perfect opportunity to prove that our online model works with or without my presence.

The lesson? It’s a secret. It will, however, pit the four of you against all the other classes. 😛

Psst: Got DropBox?

1113: Wow! It takes a lot of time to reply to all the student submissions. Reminder: There’s no loophole in the 3 name requirement. If a student doesn’t want his or her name included, he or she probably doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. Everyone: More attention to detail! Spot the obvious mistakes and fix them. Make the most of today.

Helpful Tip: Don’t rely on your friends for gallery submission approval. Go to the kids you think do the best work in class and ask for their opinion. Save us both some time. Then, and only then, keep those submissions coming!

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Learn it all.