Students and Teachers Create Woven Tribute
This student-created weaving is a tribute to an adventurer, a colleague, a teacher, and a friend. Patrick Braxton-Andrew was passionate about connecting with people from other cultures and he brought that passion to Woodlawn. One of those cultures was the Rarámuri in Mexico. Patrick shared common interests and values with the Rarámuri people — his passion for running and his generosity and kindness towards others, to name just two.
Rarámuri means “runner of foot” or “they who walk well”. Walking and running long distances are necessary parts of life for the Tarahumara. The terrain of their homeland is filled with many foothills, deserts, gorges, and rivers -- all at a high altitude that make using pack animals very difficult. The Tarahumara find it more efficient to travel by foot (often barefoot), sometimes covering five miles just to reach the next neighboring farm. In addition, money is not a driving force in the Tarahumara economy; people use a type of bartering system to acquire goods and services. This type of co-operative labor is fundamental to the community.
The Rarámuri are known for their bright colored clothing and their craft of basket weaving, woven blankets, and sash weavings. The weaving, "Love, Light and Hope" is inspired by the indigenous cultures and people of Latin America that Patrick was interested in learning about. It intertwines messages, artwork, and colorful fabrics and fibers to symbolize a life filled with love, light, and hope.
Patrick Braxton-Andrew started at Woodlawn School in 2012 as a substitute teacher for Spanish and math. The Woodlawn students and faculty quickly fell in love with him as a teacher and individual, and he continued to teach various classes during his time at Woodlawn. One student favorite was his senior Spanish Conversation and Culture class. Upper schoolers eagerly awaited senior year so that they could play Taboo in Spanish, tell stories, and hear about Pato’s travels. Even if students didn’t have Señor Pato in the classroom, they flocked to him on campus and cheered with him at all of the home basketball and soccer games. Patrick will be remembered within the Woodlawn community for his daily charisma, passion for exploring the world, and the meaningful relationships he created with everyone that crossed his path.