Part 3: Student responses and reflections - 1

I invited students to participate with me through chat or share in their reflections by email. Some thoughts, we also discussed over our one-on-one meetings in MS teams or over phone calls. Some others would happen on individual chat boxes as we considered this conversation in relation to their own projects, creative work, evolution of skill, or building new practice. Others choose to remain silent sharing a recognition and acceptance taking their own time to find words and thoughts. Diverse formats, voices of reflection have evolved here, aided by the possibilities of technology and the way time and space works in a chat app. We have each messaged and written when our hearts are full, thoughts are bubbling, others are silent. We have spoken in our own time and spaces, allowing time to embrace and weave in and out of our conversations creating new meanings and relationships.


I shared the exposition as it was evolving with all my students and invited them to work with me in a mindful manner understanding the underlying thoughts and my own pedagogical work with them. I decided to approach this process as a metacognitive conversation, where each of us would be able to bring our perceptiveness, our approaches to the whole process, our emotions and thoughts and allow for a transparent and reflective engagement learning from each other.  This I felt would also keep an active and participatory conversation alive in order to find our individual as well as our group languages.

As a time right after the final submission of my doctoral thesis, as I wait for the final defense to be set up, I am in an in-between space that is overwhelming. The journeys of the last six years have come to fruition, and yet I am mentally and emotionally exhausted by my work for the thesis and my work at the college and all the other personal struggles in between. However, my students embrace my struggles, coming along on this slow gentle walk of a painting with me, allowing me to calm down, gather myself and find new beginnings.


I am deeply grateful for this time that we have shared together and the welcoming space and the kind of culture we created together. These reflections are strangely promises we have made to each other and ourselves. In reading these, the utopia that we set for ourselves does not seem far-flung or impossible. It seems natural and right in our grasp.

Select quotes from each of their reflections has been placed on this page. However, to engage with their internal journeys, art explorations, and range of thoughts, a pdf copy of the book of Student reflections and responses is also available for deeper and closer engagement.