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12ARTIST12Genepursuedworkasateacherachoicethatwouldde4nehisprofessionallifefromthatpointonandopennewartisticavenues.Genetaught4neandindustrialartsatthehighschoollevelforseveralyearsbeforehewasaskedtoleadanadultcarvingclass.The4rstsessionmetin1989andthesubjectwasbirds.x1cItseemedlikebird-watchingwasjustbecomingpopularandthatx19swhatpeoplewereveryconsciousofatthattime.SoIofferedaclassonbirdsandpeoplesignedup.Ix19vestuckwithbirdsbecausetheyx19resmallx14studentscan4nishabirdcarvingin10weekswhichisaclasssession.AndIlikebirds.x1dYoucanseeGenex19saf4nityforbirdsinthefourbirdfeedershangingfromthetreesinhisfrontyardstrategicallyplacedforoptimalviewingthroughthebaywindowintheWesterbergx19skitchen.x1cIwatchbirdsconstantly.YouhavetowatchthemtogetthefeelofthemIthink.Youhavetostudyx14Ihavealotofbooksagreatlibraryonphotographsofbirds.Thesearenx19tartistsx19conceptionsofbirdswhichIdonx19tgetmuchoutof.Iliketheactualphotographandthedifferentposes.Iworkmainlyfromthese.x1dHisapproachisobviouslyeffectiveGenex19sadultclasseshavebeenrunningsteadilysincetheirinceptionovertwentyyearsagoandtheseatsarealwaysfull.Genex19ssuccessteachingadultsisnottheonlyexampleofhisartistryintheclassroom.Inthemid-ninetieshelefthispositionteachingataschoolinElmhursttoworkwithat-riskyouthataspecialeducationschoolnearAurora.Thesestudentsclassi4edasBDbehavioraldisorderhadbeenremovedfromtheirpublicschoolsbecauseoftheirtendencytowardviolence.ButGeneknewjusthowtochannelthatdestructiveenergyintosomethingpositive.x1cIwentandsetupashopanddidallkindsofhands-onthingswiththemandtheyacceptedthat.Theylikedit.x1dOvertheseveralyearsheworkedwiththistroubledpopulationhoweverGenetaughtthemmorethanjustshop.Hegavethemaskilladirectionandsomeonetotalkto.x1cIlearnedanawfullotaboutgunsbecausetheywereexperts.TheywouldtellmeeverythingaboutthegangstooandIwouldlisten.Thatx19spartofteaching.Youlistentothemandletthemtellyouthings.Andyoucanx19tjudgethembywhattheysay.x1dNotlongagoGeneranintooneofhisformerat-riskstudentswhonowworksconstructionandtinkersoncarsoneofthetalentsbesidescarvinghepickedupfromGenex19sclass.x1cIgotanoldpickuptruckfortheclasswhichtheytoreapartSomeofGenex19scarvingsareasdelicateashummingbirds.