Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It Is Officially Official

My interactions with The Antioch School have shaped my life for over 20 years now. Yes, I’m still reading Children Of A Child Centred School. It isn’t a very long book. I should have finished it by now. But, it is like reading poetry. I have to keep stopping and pondering. Stopping and working on myself. Stopping and working on my interactions with others.

For almost a year now, I’ve known that I was chosen out of over 2,000 applicants for an artist residency at The Tower Of London. During my project I will mentor youth in Pupil Referral Units to create spoken word/poems and performance texts in the persona of the walls at The Tower Of London. We will take these texts and transform them into word-videos. (Like music videos but text based.) In essence, during the project, each youth will become a word star - as opposed to a rap star or rock star.

I’m being given an enormous gift. I am being asked to spend time with youth who have been “excluded” from school for one reason or another. During this time, I am being given the privilege of listening to them while also sharing a moment of fun and fantasy. Next week, I have my first workshop. These young people and I will spend six weeks together. So - why lead with The Antioch School?

I have been reflecting on my attitudes towards dealing with youth. More recently, as Imani has arrived and settles into Leeds, I’ve examined and re-examined every success and failure. She’s a superb person. She is so capable. She is so wise. She is everything I hoped she would be, and in spite of my parental shortcomings. (She hasn’t updated her blog lately, I’m sure she’ll get around to it. ) But, those early years at The Antioch School set the foundation for all of these tremendous outcomes.

I used to think, I have sooooo much to teach them! And this book, this exquisite time with my son, this exceptional young woman I am proud to call my daughter and this quiet void which is London has shown me that they have so much to teach me! I’m looking forward to learning next week. I’m really excited! And for once in my life, I feel centred and prepared. Because I am simply open to receive the excellence these children want to give me. I trust our process. Because I trust me.

1 comment:

Becky Ashkettle said...

Ok, Christina...This one made me cry. What a wonderful journey of discovery you are on. Thanks for sharing it with us.--Becky