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“Keith! You go to the back of the room, the rest of you students take out your math books and turn to page 106.” This often happened in my 6th grade class. I was sent to the back of the room to work on art projects for the teacher. The rest the class did math- this was great for a 6th grader that loved to draw. However, next year in 7th grade math I found out that I had missed many basics and didn’t understand math to well. I finally made it through high school even learned some math, my favorite subject remained art. From high school I went right into college, taking generals and always an art class because I enjoyed them.
Following my first five quarters of college I went to South Dakota where I lived and worked with the Sioux Indians- first on the Standing Rock Reservation and then the Crow Creek Reservation. I worked with people named Loves War, Brown Otter, Chief White Buffaloman, and Grandpa Straight Arrow who taught me a lot about carving and most of the Sioux language I know. After about twelve months I went to Montana and worked with the Crow Indians in such places as Billings, Crow Agency, Pryor, and Lodge Grass. The time I spent among the Indians was a great learning experience.
I returned to college, soon after which I married the girl down the street; thus it became time to decide what I was going to be when I grew up. I thought “I’m not good in math, but I still love my art classes, and my dad is a teacher” so I came up with art education. Upon graduating I signed a contract to teach art in a Jr. High School. Soon after this I got a letter from my draft board. I decided to join the Navy instead of going into the army. The Navy trained me as a ship fitter, doing welding, pipe fitting, plumbing and also firefighting. The Navy showed me many parts of the world, mostly Vietnam. I served aboard a destroyer USS Somers DDG-34 and the last of my four years aboard a Submarine Tender USS Dixon AS-37.
Returning home I went right into teaching, first in the Jr. High and then High School, all the time working on my art skill right along with the students. During this time my wife and I raised 6 wonderful children- three boys and three girls- all married now and doing, well making me a grandfather of eleven. After 30 years in education I retired to do what I wanted to do from the time I was a young boy in the sixth grade- my art work.