Friday, October 23, 2009

October already!

Time flies when you're having fun -- and I am!

The M.Ed program started in September and has been keeping me pretty busy since then. Although we meet only once every few weeks, there is much to do between the official class sessions. The first course is entitled "Embodiment and Curriculum Inquiry" and seeks to bring an awareness of how the body intersects with every aspect of our lives. In the paraphrased words of one paper, our bodies are the first contact we have with the world around us, so knowing how our bodies interact and respond with that world will make us more aware of what we are experiencing (and thus better able to learn). As teachers, knowing the process involved (by using it on ourselves) we will be able to use the process on students to help them learn in a more all-encompassing way.

With activities designed to increase the awareness of our senses (touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight) we have been dancing, going on walks through the woods, eating good food, listening to music and more. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Add to this, though, the need to all of this while totally aware and mindful of what you are doing, and then be able to express what you have experienced, either verbally, visually, or both.

Solitude is another important aspect of embodiment, for it is through the moments of solitude that we can finally begin to process what we hav experienced and relate it to other events in our lives, triggering memories and thoughts that can lead to artistic inspiration.

Reading is a big part of the studies -- both assigned readings and self-directed readings. My brain is full to overflowing with new ideas, and I have already started to translate some of them into a final project. Work is progressing steadily on an altered book which has allowed me to organize some of those thoughts and ideas into a readily avaialable format that is easier to absorb than a written paper. Once I have finished sorting the current batch of thoughts onto those colorful pages, I plan to work on a bigger visual piece that relates to Identity. My hope is to have that piece combine the ideas generated by all my reading, the knowledge I have gained in the past few weeks of figure drawing (in my "free" time I have been attending figure drawing sessions), and fabric art -- a media that keeps calling out to me. Once complete, I will post the results...