Thursday, December 6, 2012

Da Vinci Papers

Every year I require my Art 1 students to write a paper on da Vinci.  Usually it is either a 2-4 page research paper or basically an autobiography about him, but this year I decided to do something different.  Let's face it I knew I could not handle sixty papers that all basically copy and pasted wikipedia.

So this year I decided that they had to write a creative story that somehow put them and da vinci together.  I said they could meet him anyway they wanted, so either in the future or in the past.  They could bring him to our time and ask him what he thought of our time period or they could go into the past and meet him.  I said they could be anything or anyone as long as somehow DaVinci was in the story along with something he either created, painted, design, sketched or basically an idea he ever had.  I did learn that next year I need to require at least 3 facts about DaVinci.

Some of my stories were great.  One of my favorites was the girl who became his paintbrush and talked about her roll in painting the Mona Lisa.  A couple of the students decided to be Mona Lisa and talk about how she met Da Vinci and inspired the painting.  A lot of the students talked about time machines and going back to meet him.  One student built a time machine so she could take me back as a birthday present to meet him.

Below was my favorite story.  It needs some work on the typos and grammer, but I thought it was a great story and I love how he ended it.

My adventures as a time traveler had sent me too many extraordinary places, but none so amazing as the laboratory of Leonardo da Vinci. I was fiddling with my time machines console, trying to program it to take me to Marilyn Monroe’s dressing room, when the temporal engines began to activate. The daft machine was taking me somewhere. I proceeded to yell in excitement at the console as I flipped switches, I loved when it did this. When the sound of the engines stopped, after a bit of thinking, I decided to see what was outside. To my surprise, and the near fatal surprise of Mr. da Vinci, I was in the middle of da Vinci’s workshop.  

“Oh my! Why hello, you’re Leonardo da Vinci, “I said.

“Sei un demone o un Agel? “da Vinci asked in Italian.

“I don’t think the translator has stated working; translator on.”

“Are you a demon or angel?”

“Neither, “I stated, “I am a traveler”

“You must be the one the local lord sent, but I had no idea he would have you make such an entrance. What did you use for those effects, gunpowder? Mirrors? No it must be something more. You can tell me later, for now I’ll have some workers move your luggage and we can get to work. That box you came from is your luggage?”

After some time I was set up with a spacious room and place for my time machine in the corner. I was charged with excitement, I was to be the assistant of one of the greatest minds in history!

For several days I watched him work on inventions and gave him some pointers on aerodynamics. I fetched paint and canvas. One day he told me about a painting he was working on for his neighbor’s wife. I knew this was the Mona Lisa, and I had to see it. I asked for days to see the painting. He would not budge.

“It is not finished.” He argued.

“Yes and it may never be, I must see it” I pleaded “it is your master piece”

“No today we test what I have been working on for years. I believe it is finally ready. And if my calculations are correct you will be the first person to fly.”

“I’ve told you it is only good for a glider. People won’t be able to fly for the next three hundred years.”

“Whether you speak truth or not I must try” he said while the glider for transport.

The plan was to go to the top of the tallest tower and jump off. The glider was a design that da Vinci spent many years on and kept perfecting it. Unfortunately he was obsessed with the idea of human flight, so he made the design able to flap its wings.

We arrived at the tower; it was at the top of a hill. At the top I was strapped in and readied to jump.

“Now remember you must flap the wings with this mechanism and hope for a good gust of wind. If all goes right you will be able to fly across the city. If it doesn’t I will adjust the machine and we can try again later.” He said” if something goes wrong us the parachute.”

“This is a bad idea I’m afraid of falling to death” I screamed as I was pushed off the roof.”

I was sure I would die, when the wind from the fall caught in the wings and I began to glide. It was like nothing I had ever felt; the wind rushing past my face, the ground far below me, the shy above. I attempted to flap the wings but they just broke off. I was spiraling out of control. All I could do was shift my body to steer.

As the ground and buildings became ever closer I panicked for my life. Then I just crashed nothing to spectacular. I just went through the roof of a loft. After words I awoke in my bed with nothing seriously wrong with me.

After I could walk again I said my goodbye to da Vinci and went on my way. The hum of the time machine ready to move again; I could now put a prototype of Leonardo da Vinci’s glider in my collection of mementos from around time.

Unfortunately before I got to the console the engines started again. As they subsided I heard an excessive amount of cheering and music coming from outside. I opened the door and was greeted by Jimmy Hendricks. But my involvement in Woodstock is definetly a story for a different time.

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