Coming back to teaching after so long felt like a risk. My uncertainty on day one felt overpowering. I’ve felt echoes of that uncertainty every Tuesday as our class time approaches. I remember wondering during the first session what kinds of thoughts, ideas, feelings, connections would emerge through the semester. If we would collectively do work that felt valuable, useful, interesting, joyful.
Now, as we wrap up, I feel the delight of having taken a worthwhile risk. I haven’t commented on your posts this week but I am sitting with each of them, savoring them. I have especially appreciated working with Matt—our mutual co-thinking process and his support and assurance—as I have learned, slowly, a little bit, to trust myself as a teacher.
I snapped this at Riis Beach with my kids this past weekend; it feels like a fitting image to hold onto as we close this semester. The affirming message etched in stone, the swirls of graffiti layered on top—it makes me think of the complex layers of thought and possibility and hope that this class collectively generated.
I think the thing that has most changed my thinking is to celebrate smallness, and not to discount the seemingly little actions we take. I’m reading Emergent Strategy now and am immensely grateful for that recommendation; adrienne maree brown puts into words so many things I haven’t known how to articulate, and things I sometimes haven’t known how to value.
Thank you, each of you, for being a part of this ephemeral community we call a class.
I have a lot of feelings about this semester. Despite several difficulties and challenges, what I feel most is gratitude. I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me in so many walks of life. William Arthur Ward once said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” With that in mind, I must express my gratitude to this class – both the professors and students. Thank you for this experience.
I know a girl from college who thinks misery is a sign of great success. When I see here, which isn’t often, she brags about having to check her work email around the clock and the weekends– it’s a sort of misery brag as if to say, “wow you guys have moments of your life that doesn’t involve work?” Her implication: that’s pathetic!
While reading this week’s materials, I was sitting with my mom. She asked what I was reading. I told her it was a piece on radical self-care. I went on to describe the importance of self-care in academia– The Academy demands a lot of one’s self. When you’re producing ideas and writing about them, they become extensions of oneself, perhaps more than a project proposal or excel spreadsheet can. Literal products of your mind manifested into the world for consumption– this takes a toll.
But the reality is in our capitalistic world, it appears the concept of a life is haughtily contested and the idea of existing outside the sphere of productivity (of a particular kind) is castigated.
This semester we’ve been challenged to think about The Academy and an idea of schooling that entails doing “less.” I’ve felt seen because so much of my time as a MALS student thus far has been chaotic– doing this on top of work is a challenge (that I wanted and accepted), but I have purposefully introduced another standard of productivity into the part and time of my life that’s meant to be absent of the corporation’s grasp.
This semester has taught me how much I crave a fully cultivated life removed from my schooling and work mainly because it’s taught me the extent of the grip of capitalism on us all. On our last day of class, I’m choosing to take a stand that my desire isn’t underachieving. I shouldn’t let my peer’s misery bragging belittle me. My own time is a period where I tend to feel most fulfilled. That is good and valid and acknowledging that is a form of rebellion in itself. To quote Miguel, I can hold two truths at once: want to be an engaged citizen and leaner, and want to create meaning beyond expectations.
This semester has felt vast and overwhelming, like the ocean, and grounding, also like the ocean.
My Spring 2021 semester is like the bud of a tulip. I have been studying hard to grow in the field of education, just as a plant strives to bear its fruits and bloom a beautiful flower. Although the plant hasn’t yet blossomed, It’s going to bloom soon. Although it has gone through a lot of difficulties, It will bear plenty of fruits to give joy to many.
There have been many moments of self-doubt throughout the semester. Constantly questioning my belonging and worthiness of being within academic spaces. Hence, me feeling uneasy and confused at times……..
I’m grateful for the radical honesty that all have spoken within our virtual learning community. It helped me tremendously with looking deeper and connecting to the texts/concepts. Overall, feeling gratitude and hopeful……………
Even if I cant sleep, dawn will break as I gaze over it
(Lyrics from Yorugaakeru by Given)
This spring semester, I tried my hand at 2D animation for the first time. With no experience, it has been challenging (this GIF took several hours) but it gave me a new sense of joy. A lot has happened over this semester; I struggled with a lot of anxiety, stress and hopelessness…but I’ve found moments of happiness with new friends, new hobbies and imagining a bright future ahead.
夜は明ける literally translates to “the night will get light”
This song is really meaningful for me, and music in general has been a huge emotional support.
I currently feel a mix of apprehension and optimism.
Readings (sent via email):
- Nicol, D. J., & Yee, J. A. (2017). “’Reclaiming Our Time’: Women of Color Faculty and Radical Self-Care in the Academy,” Feminist Teacher , Vol. 27, Nos. 2-3 (2017), pp. 133-156.
Please use the following prompt to guide you in your blog post:
Using any format (an image, a single word, a poem, etc.), please share 1 thing that epitomizes your Spring 2021 semester and 1 thing that epitomizes how you’re feeling right now.
We look forward to hearing your responses and synthesizing together!
Keshia & Janan
I generally enjoy this time of year. In fact, from a climate standpoint, I generally only enjoy fall and spring. There is something about the extremity of the weather in summer and winter that I find off-putting. The moderation of the former seasons appeals to me. The last time I can recall actively attempting to notice what I felt while outside was a few days ago when the sky was on the brink of rain, but the precipitation never actualized. The air was incredibly thick, dense, and discomforting – it was not the spring I affectionately recognized. In some ways, the air evoked feelings of disgust as it felt more like a muggy summer than spring. In other ways, the air awakened feelings of nostalgia.
Perhaps I have taught everyone I encounter to one degree or another. As I internalize information, it permeates through my thought processes and, furthermore, my communication and interactions.