Urban Arts – Katie – 2.5 hours

I was in Katie's class as usual this Wednesday, but we had Nikky who is the after school program's director in our class for a fun felting activity. Katie and Nikky prepped for the activity by filling water in container and having all the material ready. By the time the students showed up they were all set. Nikky told them that they are going to have snacks first and then we have a fun activity planned. The students seem to be a little cranky today, when they came in. Actually what I have observed so far is that when one student says something is boring, others just follow the same. Even though they don't really mean it, they are newly learning these expressions so they just complain for a little bit. Nikky told them in a very polite manner about how they reacted. She asked them how they would feel if she entered the class and said," Oh that's boring." Then she asked other ways for them to ask, and talk about these issues. They came up with great solutions like,"I don't want to participate in that activity. Can I 'please' do something else?" and other polite words. Then she told them about the activity and introduced them with the different kinds of felt. She had a great variety from sheep, goat, rabbit etc. We passed the samples around the class for everyone to feel how soft the materials were. This got them excited as well as it was a great introduction to different kinds of animals and fabrics made from different animals coats.

We then started the activity which everyone loved! They got a chance to play with soap, and mixing fabrics with felting. She told them that they can take flat sheets, balls of felt or snakes. They all tried their hand at different shapes and colors. While this was going on students were constantly being picked up by their parents as its an after school program. The activity was great, and it lasted for like 15-20 mins - which is just right for their attention spans. It is interesting that some students just want to rush into the activity and finish it while others take a while to complete it. 

After they were finished with the felting activity, we took them to the gym. I was surprised by how much energy they had! They ran around, kicked the ball and it looked so freeing as they were just having a great time in the gym as they all love to play. 

This week was interesting as I got to see Nikky's way of interacting with them which was really different from what I had seen in earlier classes. She has such a good relation with them and received hugs and their personal stories which was heart warming to see!

MIA – Jenny & Krista – 2 hours 

The Crochet circle met up in MIA this Saturday. There were around 9 ladies who came.  Museum visitors also stopped by and see what we were up to, as we were sitting right by the stairs and entrance, so clearly visible. 

Jenny was the crochet expert as always, who taught and assisted everyone with their work. Krista played an amazing and important role, as she would inform people about what the project was and how we are contributing to a large global project in Minneapolis. 

It was awesome to see the work people made! Some already completed so much of crocheting inspite of just starting their work in the morning. We had forms out for people to submit their crochet work and it was pretty well received. Jenny was also experimenting with VHS tape and crocheting with this material which was fascinating to the public. The crochet circle has decided to meet every last saturday of the month and I can't wait to see how this learning and community building progresses.

My role in this space is kind of interesting to be honest, as I don't really know how to crochet. I tried and learned again but was still getting stuck, but for me what's important is being a part of this project which doesn't necessarily mean by directly participating in the work but being a part of this community and observing them learn and know each other.