Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reflections of first day of workshop after summer camp

We started with choosing the emotion that we had gone through from the time we got up till we reached school. We chose colors for our emotion and we spoke about what would be the opposite of the emotion we went through and what color of the opposite emotion would be. Each one of us had our own meanings associated with color. Selva felt love for embroidery so the chose white, love as pure as white. Chandrakala felt joy for meeting nandini, sharath, selva who she doesn’t meet in usual classes. She chose pink, her favorite color for a joyous feeling. Sharath felt happy to know embroidery was starting again, he chose yellow, the yellow of flowers blooming.

Then we made rainbow of the colors that we chose for our emotions. It was arranged in family of colors. We spoke about red, green and blue being the parents and they create their kids (orange, violet etc) by giving ach other their color and its qualities.

We listened to the story where colors quarrel about being superior from each other, each color describing its qualities as better from the other and symbolizing something. In the end rain brings the colors together,unite them and they stretch together to form a rainbow,”a sign of hope for tomorrow”.

We discussed that no one is actually less than the other. Each of us has special qualities like colors.
Then we started with visualizing the emotions we had gone through in the morning. We used lines and colors to depict emotions. Children struggled with what kind of lines to use, how important would color be in a visual. But they started drawing something that they don’t generally draw, something they are not used to drawing before. It was not easy to get the feel of the emotion through lines and colors. There was struggle amongst kids to break away from the usual drawings they draw, and struggle for me how to get them to do that, how to direct them towards their visual. Some communication issues arising-some felt discouraged. Some were in a state of confusion which is not a bad thing, but it was very uncomfortable for them.
It took a long long time to help them with visuals; we are still not done with it, also because I was working with them individually. Coming of arzu helped, she said I can tell them give each other feedback that would make better time management and work faster and it would help children. Children did not start embroidery today, though their heart lies in doing embroidery more.

One thing is that the children need to be clear in their heads what is it they want to show and I need to help them bring it out by asking them questions and giving them some sort of directions.

Conversation with Arzu-
I realized that I need to encourage children more than just telling them “try more”, tell them it’s good. (Arzu)- There are four tools to work with in facilitation- see (VALUE) in something-point out in the visual what is good. Ask them questions-what are you trying to express? Is it coming across? (CLARIFICATION). Tell them what is it you think about what they have drawn(CONCERN)- ‘it is similar to your previous drawing’, give them suggestions what they can do to move further (VALIDATE)
I think it would be okay to do just visuals on Saturday and not push for embroidery on Saturday (Arzu)- what do they feel do more? They showed me their embroideries, it is embroidery that they want to do. What ever they come up with, they will feel happy about it. Let them do it, let them make mistakes; don’t protect them to make mistakes. It’s a game, let them play it.
Get them to give feedback to each other in groups of three.

I am not trying to protect them from making mistakes, I am struggling with knowing when I should tell them yes you can start embroidery, considering the amount of time I have with children. I want them to know what they want to draw and does their visual say that? I know the joy they get by doing embroidery is much more than the tedious task of doing visuals. My struggle is till what level to push their visualization.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Next step

I looked back at my proposal. I decided I won't stick specifically to the dreams and identity aspect.After summer camp, I spotted some of the needs of kids which can be fulfilled like need for self worth, need for encouragement, need to express, need to be listened. After extracting some insights from summer camp, I am trying to get them to say something about themselves that they have never thought about before. what is it that they would want to tell others about themselves? They are unaware about it themselves but through the process of activities that I have planned, they will discover things about themselves.

I have planned activities in such a way that they fulfill the three skills: conceptualization, visualization and technical skills. The activities will connect to the final garment.

They have been given uniforms for each day, I wonder if that makes their identity or is it a loss of identity? (This point came while I was talking to Meera). I am not getting too deep into identity aspect either. What each child discovers about himself/herself will form their identity. what they discover about themselves will make them "them".

Focus points

I have planned further activities keeping in mind all the three skills. the activities have been planned in such a way that they will connect to the final garments in the end in terms of visuals, concepts and techniques.