08 December 2010

I teach.

Tomorrow, my students are putting on an Art Show. It's really more of a final project presentation, because I don't teach art; I teach Humanities and English. And in this course (which is actually 2 courses, one of which is taught by the Amazing Crystal), the final project we assigned the students was to create something (we offered them the opportunity to sculpt, paint, direct a brief film, take photographs, create a religion, write a story/poem/memoir/song...) that combined elements of the course in a personal way that could be understood by others. As it turned out, they all chose to create visual art (though a few poems will also be included within larger artworks), and so...Crystal and I invite you to a student Art Show tomorrow from 2-5pm.

But that's not why I'm posting this. I'm posting this because this is kind of a scary thing: normally, my classroom stays semi-private: me and 15-40 students share a learning experience of varying qualities and quanities for 15 weeks, and then we finish up and go on with our lives. But now we're opening up that classroom to share it with the larger public, and with that brings the possibility for criticism, or press coverage, or, worse, no response at all. It's a whole new level of teaching that I don't usually wander into.

And yet, I'm not sorry, even while I'm slightly terrified. These 17 students have created work of which they should be truly proud. They each individually took in the texts we studied, thought deeply about them, and created something completely unique and truly powerful. I am so moved when this happens (and it does happen, quite often, in a good class), but can rarely share it with peers on any full level. But tomorrow? Tomorrow the whole damn town can come see these students, and the beautiful, thoughtful, sometimes disturbing, always intentional things they've created.

I'm very excited. And very proud.

(photos from yesterday's frosty morning, in our front yard)


Megan said...

Hello! It's been a long time...just wanted to let you know this post makes me wish we were in the land of Facebook where I could click the "like" button. I hope things go well tomorrow!

Jennifer said...

Megan, you should come! It's on campus, and it would be lovely to see you. Nancy H. will be there too!

Crystal Jensen and Nikki Corley said...

I'm right there with you. This is going to be a good thing. A very good thing. It already is, and so are you. Please don't become angry with me because what I said just now could be implied that I think you are "thing" - I think you are amazing, too.

Megan said...

Oh gracious, Jennifer. Really?? And infant and an out-of-control almost-three-year-old? I struggle to even go to the mailbox without complete chaos! Hahaha (And I've become one of "those mothers" who now has a leash for her kid. Yep, that's right! It's SO embarassing, but I've discovered I'd rather take embarassment over abandoning my infant so I can chase after his older brother. Jeesh.) Anyway! I'll just have to rely on you to give your Languishing readers the details on how things went today. And I do so hope they went exceptionally well!

Megan said...

*Can you tell I didn't proofread?! I meant almost-four-year-old. And "an infant." Jeepers