CLC/PSU Friendtors (missing Michael and Ambrosia — hopefully I can get photos of them next term and include them in the zine!)
Here is the stop animation video that Taylor, Brad, and I made based on the concept of “something I learned when I was thirteen.”
Is/was this valuable? Why or why not?
I have found this experience to be very valuable. I suppose I had a few preconceived notions about how this class would affect me and the young people I was working with at the beginning of the term. I went into it thinking about ways in which I wish I had been supported when I was their age; with more, validation, encouragement, etc. from my superiors. What was interesting, was seeing in what ways each of the students need and are able to receive this kind of support.
While I only worked closely with a couple of the students, my experiences with both of them were very different. I realized that I can’t impose an experience that would have worked for ME on THEM. Not everyone wants or needs validation in the same way, and feeling out the different personality types and assessing which qualities they find most valuable in themselves was a special experience.
Thinking back on the person I was at their age, I’m not sure how receptive I would have been to a situation like the Friendtorship program. Much of my life was influenced by the actions and opinions of my friends, and I didn’t have much of a grasp on my own independence. I’m unsure if I would have embraced the attention given to me, or if I would have resisted, and sought out comfort in more familiar places (my friends).
Not the point.
The point is, with that being said, it is an honor to be working with people who are so open-minded and ACCEPTING of our desire to support and encourage them. Coming into unfamiliar territory and attempting to develop relationships in just a few weeks could, at the very least, be intimidating. I admire and so much respect their ability to open up to us under such circumstances.
Also, I have to take a minute to acknowledge to Conrad for having the ability to work with so many personalities and needs with such effectiveness and integrity!
How is this education as it should or should not be?
I think that balanced with other types of structured classes, that this is most definitely a valuable form of education. It seems that most of the students enjoy themselves during our meetings, and hidden beneath the relaxed environment, are important skills being learned (i.e. learning to build a concept and see it through from start to finish, collaboration/teamwork, social skills, etc.).
What are the struggles/successes of this class?
The main struggle that I have experienced so far has been in my attempt to create projects that appeal to different personality types, and will hold the interest of the students. At the beginning of the term, my group started a project that it turns out wasn’t something the girls were incredibly interested in. Having more initial input from the CLC students would have been helpful (even though it all worked out in the end!).
Chose one thing about Friendtorship that you are really passionate about or a concern you have.
I am most passionate about being a part of a group and a space that provides comfort and encouragement for adolescents. Surviving through high school can be hard enough, and considering college on top of that might be a scary though. My hope is that the students who have been involved with Friendtors will realize that higher education is something that they are capable and worthy of. Hopefully, their experiences at PSU will have eliminated any fears they might have had about college, and will help them to realize the immense amount of resources and support they have.
After weeks of collaborating, painting, and cutting (and a healthy dose of resistance and disinterest), it was the class before our presentations and my group was more than a little shy of having our project complete.
Luckily, I’m one of those kids that works best under pressure at the eleventh hour, Ambrosia and I decided to drop the original idea all together and start from scratch. We rummaged through piles of art supplies and found objects, collecting items and tools to create our new vision: Friendtorville.
Fifty minutes, a cardboard box, and plenty of hot glue and popsicle sticks later, we had built the foundation of Friendtorville, which (in theory) houses all the Friendtors from PSU and CLC, with our flag centered where we meet in the middle.
Taylor added the finishing touches with a smiling sun and happy smiling clouds, and Violà! We had a complete project that both of the girls were happy with.
CLC - Week 2
Last week we didn’t meet with the CLC class due to a snow day so it won’t be until this week that we’ll continue our projects. Here is the moodboard that the girls and I made during our last meeting. We brainstormed words that we associate with our main characters to better understand how to illustrate them and how to address their stereotypes in our story.
CLC - Week 1
During the first class day with the CLC students, I met two lovely young ladies named Taylor and Ambrosia. For our first project, we’ve decided to create a children’s book illustrated in the style of Eric Carle.
The girls were excited to go home for the weekend and continue writing the story about a fox and a turtle who end up forming a friendship out of unexpected circumstances.
Today I went shopping for supplies so we can start bringing the story to life with paint and tissue paper on Wednesday!