For each workshop we’ve healed so far we have made a program as the one you can see above and a more detailed process-script where we write down such things as what materials we need, who does what and instructions to the different tasks.
Since this was not only our workshop with the students, but the very first time we met them, it was very important for us to give a good introduction about ourselves, tell them that it’s ok to not understand “The Swede” and make sure that they all understood that they and their expertise is crucial for us as to be able to do this project. We also pointed out that this is a free-space where no question is stupid, that we don’t care about if they spell things correctly and that we are always there if they want to talk about anything. (Later on that day it turned out that it was good what we made all of this clear from the start seeing that many of them just wanted to talk to someone who wanted to listen. Some of them came up to us and opened up about their lives, their hobbies, their goals and dreams)
After the introduction we all participated in an energizer called “The Evolution”. This is a good way to start the day since it breaks down a lot of the barriers, and makes it ok to look and behave a bit as a dork. The rules of the game goes as such:Everyone starts out as an egg, and waddles around going “Whobble, whobble!”. When an egg finds another egg they play “Rock Paper Scissors”. The winner will evolve to a chicken, and hop around making chicken noises until they find another chicken to play “Rock Paper Scissor”. The loser will become an egg once more; an egg is the loses species one can be. The winner of the chickens will evolve to become a dinosaur. The dinosaurs walk around looking like dinosaurs repeating “Auh, Auh!”. The winner of the dinosaurs match will go on to become a human being. As a human you walk around with your arms waving around in the air repeating “Ultimate being, ultimate being!”. The loser in the dinosaur match becomes a chicken. Once an human has won a match against another human they are either out of the game or can choose to continue to try their luck.
Like with all things time past too quickly when you are having fun, so we figured we’d give them an extra 5 minutes to play.
After the 5 minutes had passed we introduced them to the camera exercise. We gave them 6 cards showing 6 different situations for which we wanted them to take at least 2 pics per situation. After this we let them run around as they pleased. It was nice to see that they took this very seriously. We had asked them to help us understand what places they felt comfortable in, and they were more then happy to show us.
After about 35 minutes they all came back, flickered through the cameras deciding which pictures they found to be of extra importance. During the break we printed the pictures they had marked. After the break we handed them their pictures and asked them to write down on post-it’s what these spaces were good for, and why they were good. This forced them to reflect over what spaces they preferred instead of just going “Because..!” We found out that many of the students liked softer areas where they could find a position where they could relax and focus. One of the interesting things with this is that many of them have a tendency to run around, teasing other students when they loose focus, while they seem to find there centre while sitting in something like a sofa or a fatboy.
When this was finally done they were asked to choose 2 pictures and build a quick model of the spaces. Each model was allowed to take about 20 minutes. Here we could truly see the students different skills shine through. Some were really good at finding what they wanted to portray, but not so good at building, others were really good at building and coming up with new ideas, while others were really good at seeing shapes, forms and colors. There were some who shone a bit extra, amongst others one boy who earlier that day had stayed in the background, not making as much noise as most of the others. He was excellent at coming up with new ideas, matching colors, building and explaining what he was making and why he did what he did.
Now it was time to present what they had built. Everyone gathered around in a half circle in front of the whiteboard. During the presentations we asked them to write down positive feedback to watch person presenting. After the person had presented the students listening read their feedback (or “gift” as we like to call them) out loud and gave it to the person who just had presented. Doing this the students truly had to listen to what was said, and they were and active part of the presentation which helped them to keep focus, and the person presenting didn’t feel the pressure some of us feel while talking in front of a big bunch of people.
After every one was finished we all helped with putting the models onto a shelf for safe keeping. Then we gathered everyone around in a ring, including the teachers, and asked them to take a step into the ring with the right foot and the right arm at the count of three and together shout “Thank you for today!” while shaking everyones hand.
Now it was time for them to eat lunch and us to head back home to reflect on the day