RPM Renaissance Man

Let me introduce you to Paul. He is a 23 and a true Renaissance man. Paul is an accomplished speed skater, diver, hockey player, and pianist. He also happens to be a limited speaker with autism. Paul started RPM therapy with on February 21, 2014. Paul picked up RPM faster than I have ever seen and quickly added writer to his list of accomplishments!

Paul's communication on the the letter board is always thoughtful and beautiful expressed.

Paul’s communication on the the letter board is always thoughtful and beautifully expressed.

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Each week, Paul impresses me with his knowledge of the world and his gratitude for all the people in his life.

On March 22, during a RPM lesson about a very determined photographer, we discussed goals and dreams. Here is how our conversation went: What is your dream?  MY DREAM IS TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT MY LIFE. I NEED TO GIVE HOPE TO OTHER PEOPLE WITH AUTISM. What message would your book give?  MY MESSAGE IS NEVER GIVE UP ON COMMUNICATING.  IT IS POSSIBLE. May I help get your message out to people on my blog? YES, I WOULD LOVE THAT. So, without further ado, here is Paul’s work from a RPM lesson we did this week on Michelangelo and the Renaissance.  (*The lesson that I verbally present to my students is in regular font; my comments during the lesson are in italics; and the client’s response is in all capitals.)

Michelangelo and the Renaissance

The Renaissance was known for beauty and art. The term Renaissance came from the French word for “rebirth” and occurred between the 14th and 16th centuries. Many artists of brush, chisel and word flourished in this period. Artists that used brush included painters including Leonardo daVinci. Artists of chisel included sculptors like Donatello. Artists of word included William Shakespeare. Today we are going to get to know more about sculptor, painter and model Renaissance man, Michelangelo.

What does renaissance mean in French? REBIRTH

When did the renaissance occur? 14 TO 16 CENTURY

What type of tool does a sculptor use? CHISEL

Who is an artist of the brush? PAINTER

Who was an artist that used words? SHAKESPEARE

Who are we going to talk about today? MICHELANGELO

Who was Michelangelo? ARTIST

Spell Michelangelo. MICHELANGELO

Florence was the heart of the Renaissance art world. Michelangelo, whose full name was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simon, was born in a Florentine territory called Caprese. Shortly after his birth, his parents returned to Florence where Michelangelo began to pick up the art of sculpture very early in his life. By the time he was 16, Michelangelo had produced 2 famous relief sculptures; Battle of the Centaurs and Madonna of the Stairs. In sculpture, relief means to be “raised” from a background plane.  Think a slab of concrete that has a raised picture carved out of it.

What city was the heart of the Renaissance art world? FLORENCE

At what age did Michelangelo produce his first two relief sculptures? TWELVE (I pointed out that he was actually16)

What does relief mean when talking about sculpture?  How would you describe it? CARVED OUT OF A SLAB OF MARBLE. MARBLE WITH RAISED SCULPTURE

Can you name one relief sculpture that Michelangelo produced? MADONNA OF THE STAIRS

Michelangelo carved his first major sculpture works in Rome, including one of his most famous works the Pieta. The Pieta showcased the art and science being explored by his Renaissance contemporaries in science, philosophy and art.  Look at the picture and observe the mastery of human anatomy and ornamental draping Michelangelo produced with marble. This sculpture showed that Michelangelo could apply art and science with the ability to show a full man stretched out horizontal over the lap of a woman, contained in a pyramid like shape.

Where did Michelangelo carve his first major sculpture works? ROME

What had Michelangelo mastered when producing The Pieta? MASTERY OF THE HUMAN FORM

What stone was the Pieta made of? MARBLE

How did the Pieta Michelangelo incorporate both art and science into his work? IT INCORPORATES ART SIMPLY IN ITS BEAUTY AND SCIENCE IN ITS GORGEOUS REPRESENTATION OF SOMEONE’S MONUMENTAL SUFFERING

Michelangelo may be best known for painting the inside and ceiling, of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. However, he was a reluctant painter! Michelangelo used scaffolding to work high above the chapel floor between 1508 and 1512. The Sistine Chapel project began as a commission to paint the 12 apostles and evolved to include painting nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, the Creation of Adam and Eve, the Temptation and the Great Flood. This project was physically and emotionally torturous for Michelangelo as he recounted using these words After four tortured years, more than 400 over life-sized figures, I felt as old and as weary as Jeremiah. I was only 37, yet friends did not recognize the old man I had become.”

What is Michelangelo best known for? THE SISTINE CHAPEL

Was painting Michelangelo’s favorite job? NO HE FOUND IT EXHAUSTING

How many years did it take to complete his work on the Sistine Chapel? 4

Name one biblical scene Michelangelo painted on the Sistine Chapel. MEETING OF ADAM AND EVE

How many life sized figures did Michelangelo paint? 400

CREATIVE WRITING: Reflect on the Renaissance; a celebration of art, science and philosophy from the 14th through 16th centuries. Humanistic scientific theory and religious reverence were often simultaneously expressed through artistic endeavors.You have commissioned a modern day artist to paint the ceiling of your bedroom. Describe elements that would be represented. People, Places, Things, Personal Interests, Representations of Literature, Music, Sports, Landmarks in your Neighborhood…. Anything that you would want to celebrate and commemorate on your ceiling for all times!

I WOULD LOVE TO PAINT THE CEILING OF MY BEDROOM. I WOULD MAKE IT MY VERY OWN MASTERPIECE. IT WOULD REPRESENT EVERYTHING IMPORTANT TO ME.  FIRST IT WOULD SHOW MY LOVE FOR MY MOTHER. SHE IS MY ENTIRE MOTIVATION TO BE A BETTER PERSON. NEXT I WOULD PAINT THE JOY I FEEL FROM BEING ABLE TO COMMUNICATE ON THE LETTER BOARD. I WOULD INCLUDE ALL THE LOVE I FEEL FOR THE MANY SPECIAL PEOPLE WHO GUIDE MY WAY THROUGH THIS LIFE WITH SUCH DEDICATION. I WOULD REPRESENT MY INTEREST IN SPORTS BY PAINTING BRUSH STROKES THAT SHOW SKATING, HOCKEY, DIVING, AND RUNNING. I WOULD INCLUDE PAINTINGS OF SOME THINGS THAT I ENJOY LIKE PLAYING PIANO, PRAYING, HANGING OUT WITH FRIENDS AND TIME TO MYSELF. DO NOT THINK THAT I HAVE FORGOTTEN NATURE AND ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT GOD HAS MADE. I WOULD LIKE TO WAKE UP EVERY MORNING AND SEE THESE REMINDERS OF ALL VERY SPECIAL GIFTS IN MY LIFE, TREASURED PEOPLE, AND UNUSUAL GLORY FROM GOD.  THE END.

Paul and his mother left today for a month long trip to Korea. Their goals is to unplug, rest and reconnect with family in Korea. In our session, Paul’s mom asked what he was looking forward to doing while they were in Korea. He replied, I WANT TO GO HIKING AND HUG MY RELATIVES. When she asked what he would miss about the United States, he answered, I WILL MISS MCDONALDS, RPM WITH ELIZABETH AND SKATING.

I will miss you too Paul! I look forward to hearing about your adventures upon your return! ~Elizabeth

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