On June 8th, I taught my first college course alongside my Pre-Texts host, Vanessa. This experience was very nerve-wracking for me initially as I had not met the students before this first course meeting. However, the day before (June 7th), I had a one-hour virtual meeting with my Pre-Texts host – this allowed me to plan the session with Vanessa according to the Pre-Texts protocol and clear up any lingering miscommunications, misunderstandings, and questions surrounding my intern work this summer.
Teaching the course was highly fruitful! I loved following the Pre-Texts protocol while being a facilitator, and I believe that the tangent activity, artistic activity, and asking questions about the central text (The Falling Sky) will be incredibly helpful and conducive to the college students’ filmmaking work that will begin on June 22nd. I am excited to continue to teach these courses every Wednesday and am happy that Vanessa accommodated me in the courses despite initial worries over the inability to allow me to facilitate.
I taught my second course last Wednesday and it was amazing! It went much more smoothly than last time and I was excited to be back to implement the Pre-Texts protocol into the course.
However, I received this email from my host, Vanessa:
We have decided to hold all future workshops outdoors and in a film lab. Because the sessions will be presential and our setup make it really difficult to go hybrid, I’m afraid we run out of options for your participation. I am sorry our schedules did not match up to permit a longer participation from you in April and May.
Thank you for dedicating time to our two sessions. I hope this time was useful for you.
Best wishes for your Pre-Texts training and certification.
I am extremely confused after receiving this email – although I understand Vanessa’s inability to accommodate me, I am unsure what I will be doing for the remainder of this internship. I would love to be able to design a potential Pre-Texts course for college students, specifically focusing on my interest in sexual violence prevention. This could be very fruitful for connecting my advocacy to academia, and I would enjoy it. Much more to discuss!
Tomorrow marks my first workshop session with Victoria Mena – a workshop that focuses on gender and race equity for Colombian peacemakers using the Pre-Texts protocol. I am extremely excited about this workshop and have met with Victoria and her daughter (who helped translate between us) two times to prepare for the workshop. Our first session will include introductions to why Pre-Texts matters and what Cultural Agents is, a breaking the ice activity for the participants to feel comfortable with each other, reading the text (Antigone) out loud while drawing, asking questions about the text, and ending with “What did we do?”. We then will prepare the artistic activities for the next session, depending on what participants want, including preparing for the tangents and an English learning activity. So excited about this workshop and will keep this blog updated!
After completing this workshop, I was amazed at how brilliant the participants were! We utilized the Pre-Texts protocol for five different workshops, implementing literacy, artwork, and citizenship building. Initially, we introduced the participants to the Pre-Texts protocol by explaining its principles and where it originates from — Cuban tobacco factory workers listening to stories while they worked. We also discussed the Cordel literature and how Pre-Texts has implemented the “clothesline” in in-person sessions that imitate this principle. Then, we read the text out loud while having the participants doodle and ask a question about the text. After this initial introduction to the text, participants could implement their artistic activities, such as making a collage or implementing a mock trial.
Furthermore, between each session, we implemented the “tangent” or “branches” activity where we connected the main text (Antigone) to other forms of media, like songs, poems, or movies. This activity was a great hybrid implementation between Spanish and English. I believe this activity improved the English skills among participants, and even helped me learn a bit of Spanish as I followed along with what participants were saying!
With each following session, we opened up with this “tangent” activity, completed an ice breaker activity such as discussing a book everyone hated, and followed with artistic activities that participants wanted to facilitate!
I enjoyed the cross-cultural lens Vicky and I added through facilitating, and I am proud that we implemented a gender and racial analysis of Antigone! I loved the group and look forward to working with these fantastic academics in the future!