Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Exposures 2011: day one

In the middle of getting my course shined up for the new academic year, First Exposures started again. I missed it.

first day of FX, 2011

Jenesh is back, and this will be our last year together. She's come back from the summer calm, focused, and thoughtful about the year ahead. While I was worried about her running herself ragged on the same academic treadmill that I was on at her age, she seems to have been able to step back and assert herself in surprising ways. I will never ceased to be amazed at not only how quickly these students can change, but that they can change to be even more awesome than they were before.

Naomi is also back this year as a junior mentor. It's so rewarding to interact with her again, this time as an adult. Since she's been away from the program for a few years, she doesn't know many of the newer students and mentors, and she wound up clinging to me a bit as she navigated the altered landscape. Because it's Naomi, however, it took her approximately 4 minutes to make friends with almost everyone.

We did our usual first class icebreaking.

first day of FX, 2011
first day of FX, 2011
first day of FX, 2011

First project: create a photo story using our shoes (one of the younger students deadpanned, "who comes up with this stuff?!" which broke up the entire group with laughter).

first day of FX, 2011
first day of FX, 2011
first day of FX, 2011

The program has really been stretching itself out of the regular comfort zone. The students we've been taking on have all had their own unique challenges, but that reaffirms that what we do is good and important and necessary. I give a lot of props to Erik for keeping the mission vital and adaptable. This will be a great year.

first day of FX, 2011

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