Mrs. Harvie in Her Own Words by Nuala G.
During my first semester at Julius West, I had Ms. Harvie for my art class. I quickly learned that she has an interesting personality and has a lot to teach students about art. I asked her if I could write an article about her and she agreed! We had a fun conversation, and I learned a lot. Let’s see what she has to say.
You have a lovely accent, where are you from?
I am from South Australia. I grew up in the country there. Every state has a different accent, so even in Australia I have an accent. I lived there until 11 years ago.
Why did you move here?
In 2004, I came to the US as an au pair (like a nanny). I lived with a family and nannied their children. I did that for two years, and I also met my future husband. I went back to Australia after my visa ran out and waited to get my new visa. When I came back to the U.S, I got married.
When did you first find your passion for art?
I have always been creative. I also loved teaching children. Teaching kids helped me develop my love for art even more. I have always had a passion for art, but it was only recently that I discovered that I wanted to teach art.
Who is your favorite artist?
Frida Kahlo. I don’t love her artwork as much as I love her as an artist. When she became an artist, there weren’t many other female artists around and she lived a very challenging life. She had polio when she was little. She had a lot of difficult relationships. Her car crashed leaving her paralyzed, and her leg was amputated. She had many things against her, but she was still true to herself. I find that very inspiring.
What is your favorite kind of art?
I love street art like murals, adding color to something that is usually ugly - like brick walls or alleys. I also love street art because it’s a way to show art to people that would usually not go to a museum and it colors the world. I even love graffiti, even though it is a little naughty.
What’s your favorite kind of art to make?
Printmaking. It’s my jam at the moment. You carve into wood. Then you ink it up and place it onto paper.
Can you tell me a little about how you came to Julius West?
I found out that Julius West had an open position, and I wanted to apply because this school has such a good art department. I also wanted to work in my community because I wanted to run into my students outside of school. Currently, I also work at Earle B. Wood Middle School! At Earle B. Wood Middle School, I am teaching digital art. I teach 6th and 7th grade.
What are your thoughts on virtual learning?
We are going to do our best with what we have. I am excited to still teach, but I want to get back to in-person learning when it’s safe, so we can do hands-on art together.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about teaching middle schoolers?
I know art can teach people through change and growth to express themselves. I am hoping to catch people at an age when they will take risks and need a little help to express themselves.
How do you prepare for a class?
I drink a lot of coffee! I organize, chat with other art teachers, and make my slides for class. I try to make my art class as fun as possible.
What do you want your students to learn from your classes?
I want my students to learn that everyone has a story, and people want to hear their story. Art is a successful way to express that.
Have you ever heard of Vogue 73 questions?
I informed Mrs. Harvie that it's a fun way of interviewing somebody and asking a bunch of questions to get to know them. I asked her to participate in my version, which is only nine questions.
What’s your lucky number? 33
What’s the best thing about living in COVID-19? I get to do a lot of art at home.
What did you want to be when you were 12? I wanted to be a school teacher.
What’s a habit you want to break? Biting my nails.
In three words, how would you describe yourself? Talkative, creative, and caring.
What is an important piece of advice you have been told? Follow my dreams and do what I want.
If you had a superpower, what would it be? Super hearing. But selective. I want to listen to people’s conversations.
If calories don’t count, what food would you eat every day? Cadbury chocolate from Australia and Australian lollies.
What’s your spirit animal? A koala!
As you can see, Ms. Harvie is an amazing teacher and a great person who loves art and interacting with children. I hope everyone learned something new about one of our JW teachers!