Self expression is healing . I know this because my students show me how true this is every year when they make their films.
For the record, not all of their pieces are like this, thank you! But every year there are students who come forward to tell me about their Adobe Youth Voices projects and I am frequently moved to tears by the hardships they are experiencing. There is the young lady whose aunt is an alcoholic – with unpleasant consequences, and the student wants to talk about this in an audio podcast and poster. There are the two students who discovered they had both been subjected to emotional abuse for years and they want to make a film about this. Then there is the student who cannot live at home – mom is a “bit of an addict” and dad – well, living with dad is simply not possible. She lives with a friend. She is considering doing a piece about this experience. I am moved in ways that reach deep into my soul. I am overwhelmed that so much hardship goes on around us, in good old middle class Canada. And then I am honoured to be trusted such that they would want to talk about these issues with me and that leaves me feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of seeing these projects through to fruition while also asking constantly… “Are you comfortable sharing all of this with the world?” because the students must also be protected.
I think about the software we use – Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and Adobe Premier Elements 9 and I wonder if the software engineers ever think about what their programs address and create. If they were to see what goes on in my class as these projects gently unfold and grow, I suspect they would be amazed and perhaps, overwhelmed. It is truly awesome to watch and to nurture and mentor this whole process. I bet they never talked about this in engineering class. But this is what they are helping to create through their software. Thank you to all the engineers – you make great things possible. And out of some of that, comes healing. The healing that can only emerge from the release from some of your troubles and issues. It is a very neat journey. If any engineers read this, please be sure to pass it along to your comrades. And smile at what you help make possible. As for me – I am delighted that all of this is going on. I can’t change their pasts but I can certainly help to change their futures, and isn’t that what education is all about?