Well, boys and girls, there’s a little more to this blogging thing than i anticipated.
I thought I’d get right back for the next installment and here it is three days later. Our first week has been rough and emotion-filled. Two of the four teaching artist are going through the program for the first time, and the red tape can be a little exasperating. There are background checks on top of background checks, rules and regulations surrounding what can and cannot be taken into the facility, then finally adjusting to being on your feet and at your best @ A.M and the frustration of having one of your sharpest prospects choose to work instead of participate because she is working towards being better at honoring her commitments (how can you argue with that logic from a teen?)
Both tracks (male and female) are releasing into the process: movement, theatre, and community building in one session and music, theatre and community-building in the other. As you can see there is a whole lot of community building going on. In an environment where trust is an issue, imagine having to establish the ground work for building a performance based on openness,vulnerability and respect with a group that has known very little of any of the three.
Slowly we watch as our participants select poetry from books by Sonia Sanchez, Langston Hughes, Tupac Shakur and Saul Williams to drop a few names and struggle through various levels of reading and vocabulary skills to find connections and resonances to their situations and lives.
Over the past week, their questions have morphed from “Can you teach me to write a poem like that?” to “How did you like that metaphor?” The behavior has changed from laughing at one another’s’ struggles to congratulating a shy student for taking a risk and starting to come out of their shell!
Having students removed unexpectedly from class for dental visits and trips to the nurse make it nearly impossible to have the whole group at the same time but somethings are to be expected.
From time to time i will post a piece of writing from one of the students. as i have said anonymously:
the challenge of being a teen. while not stepping on a crack to
break yo mamma spleen
the challenge to know the righteousness of life
to continue to know what’s wrong and what’s right
the challenge 2 be someone different
while making a difference and an honest living
the challenge to have female friends
all different colors w/o any beef
the challenge if only they knew they were all queens
the challenge to experience life itself
to not be anxious but…..
calm and confident
the challenge to be awesome
yet wise within your mind
the challenge to change how they think about our situation,
and how we spend our time.
to show our ability!
until next time: