A couple of weeks ago, I was discussing the importance of play in my childhood and adolescence class. It was a Friday afternoon and, as I looked at the exhausted faces of my students, I decided to give them an extra credit assignment.
Anyone who sent me an email telling me they'd done it (and, in some cases, sparing me details I didn't want to hear) would get a few extra credit points.
Two students sent a selfie from a party. A few spent time with pets or family, or out in nature. Another student, an art student, made a painting just for herself, not for a class. I asked her to send me a picture, and she did.
On Monday, I asked her if she ever sold any of her work. Long story short, I'm now the proud owner of the painting below.
Hailey is an art major. My class is an elective; she could have taken pretty much any other class, but she chose mine. We were talking about play on the Friday afternoon following an art class where she learned about a technique she wanted to practice. On the spur of the moment, I offered extra credit. She took it, and filled it with art.
Any one of those things could easily not have happened, but I am certainly grateful that they all did. I think I'm as excited about buying the painting as Hailey was about selling it.