Sunday, October 28, 2007
A Pretty Amazing Weekend
I have just finished unpacking from my teaching weekend at the OHCG School in Ancaster. My class was called "Wide and Wondeful" and although it wasn't my original choice of class name, it has turned out to be the perfect one.
From Thursday evening until 1:00 today - Sunday - I got to spend my time with 14 wonderful women. I'm not sure who learned more, who had more fun, or who walked away happier. But I guess that's what makes the whole thing so truly special.
I must confess to having been a bit nervous about the weekend. I was facing 14 different "wide cut" projects - no two of which were the least bit similar. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the diversity of subject matter was a teacher's wish fulfilled. Every time a specific issue presented itself with respect to one rug, there was a teaching opportunity for everyone present. We had faces, and primitives, and proddy and pictorials and just about anything you can think of. We had things that I had never experienced myself before, so there was a good amount of learning for me as well.
I had a detailed itinerary of mini lessons and the accompanying hand out materials, but I think the impromptu learning was better. Instead of being "theoretical", these were real life, right there examples of things that they could learn from. Pretty amazing all around.
I'm not sure how often an entire class "gels", but this one did. There was certainly a diversity of ages and personalities, but almost on sight, these 14 women formed a bond. And it held strong and fast all weekend. Not only did they spend their class time together, they tended to eat together and talk after class. No cliques in my class! It was all about the sharing - of knowledge - of stories - of lives - all through the common denominator of rugs.
The only teensy fly in the ointment of the weekend was a wicked case of laryngitis, or "teacher's voice" or just a bug that literally took my voice away. However, my students were supportive and caring and even came forward to help me in a pantomime presentation on Saturday night. It was funny, unusual and I believe quite memorable. I doubt that will ever be repeated again either.
As I told them, and anyone else who would listen, this was a magical weekend that I will remember forever. It was my first solo teaching weekend. I know that there will be many to follow, but none will compare to this "virgin" experience. Every workshop I give will be compared to this one. Every group of students will remind me of my very first group.
And I will never forget the women in my Wide and Wonderful Weekend.