I did it

tl;dr I got into a dance program, yay me!

11 May 2016

So. I did it. I got into a program at a very well-known dance conservatory. I’m going to spend next year doing nothing but dance (and, you know, those annoying practical things that are required when being an adult living on my own, ugh).

To be honest, it’s a pretty tiny deal. It’s definitely one of those side programs that takes pretty much anyone who applies (because money). It had no audition and I’m very good at presenting myself on paper. Technically, all that getting in says about me is that I can communicate how much I love dance.

Except, for me, it’s a huge, fucking deal. I’ve spent my life thinking of myself as a Bad Dancer. Or at least, not as good as the Real Dancers. And now I’m about to go to Real Dancer School.

This is a huge fuck you to everyone that made me think I wasn’t a dancer – the teacher that told me I would make a lovely dance critic because I thought too much to actually dance, the students that felt the need to speak to me in condescending tones as if I was such a bad dancer that they needed to teach me instead of the teacher, the director that made it very clear that I was not welcome to do anything other than what she told me to, or the Irish dance choreographers that treated me like a beginner dancer and then had the audacity to tell me my dancing had improved under their (incredibly rude) tutelage.

This is for all the people that told me that, in order to succeed in dance, I had to live and breathe dance and do nothing else. You know what? You were wrong. I might not have it all figured out now, but I can dance and study Finnish and research folklore and read French literature. An undergraduate degree in modern languages doesn’t bar me from a professional dance career, it simply takes me there on a slightly different route.

This is for every moment someone has looked at me and thought that I wasn’t right to be a dancer – all the people that told me to turn out by feet and suck in my stomach, all the side-on glances I got walking into studios, the feeling that I would never really belong, that I didn’t deserve to belong.

This is for my own self-doubt.

Because fuck anything that made me doubt myself for a second. I can do this. I did do this. I have the acceptance letter to prove it.

But this is also a thank you to everyone who believed in me when I didn’t – my Irish step teacher who’s taught me since I was eleven and has celebrated every single one of my successes with me, the ballet teacher that still remembers my name even though I see her at most once a year, the choreographer that told me to never be ashamed after seeing my work and the older dancer that then gave me a hug, and the ballet teacher that told me she looked forward to seeing my work at the Joyce someday. This is for the older dancer that sat and chatted with me when I was at the most toxic dance program ever and so close to absolutely hating dance. And the fellow student that broke me out of an entire cycle of self-deprecation simply by telling me she liked my turns on a day when I was frustrated with myself.

There are so many people who have believed in me over the years. And it’s easy to think of the people that I want to stick my finger up at. And those people have power, they are the reasons for my insecurities, my fears, my doubt, my self-hatred. But, for every awful message I’ve received, I’ve got at least two people believing in me. And I’ve held those people close to my heart as I keep pushing onward, my protection against the negativity.

And right now, I want to go screaming to all of those wonderful people. YOU WERE RIGHT! I DID IT! YOU DID IT! WE DID IT!

It might be a tiny mountain. But I have conquered that mountain.

And there are more mountains to come. But, like this first one, I don’t have to do it alone.

I did it.

You don’t reeeaaallly need to talk about this, do you?

tl;dr It’s necessary to recognize the affect gender has in spaces where it might not appear relevant, such as in a technique class. Sometimes transness, or other “irrelevant” things can deeply affect class experience and are worth noting. 

September 2016

One of the things I get a lot when I talk about being trans in dance is this sentiment that it’s really a silly thing to bring up in class. Like, a technique teacher doesn’t really need to know my gender in order to teach me proper technique, right?

Wrong.

Cis people, as lovely as certain individuals might be, do not realize how ingrained gender is in everything. Technique class isn’t just receiving technical training and corrections. It is receiving gendered technical training and corrections. Teachers expect different things from differently gendered dancers. Sometimes they even change their exercise for different gendered students.

For example, I know I constantly shock ballet teachers with my jumps and battery because I’ve been at an intermediate level for more or less everything and then suddenly I can do something that usually only advanced male dancers do. No one knows what to do with that because they’ve been too busy gendering (and not expecting an Irish dancer in ballet class). Sometimes also, these teachers put the people they consider men in front of the class, or don’t even set the same jumps on the people they consider women.

That’s just an example. But the point is this: Making a dance class unsafe for trans people can be as simple as an offhand comment about how the “men in the room” might have more difficulty with a certain movement. Saying gender isn’t important in a technique class is like saying it isn’t important in a Finnish class – we may be operating with a gender neutral vocabulary or movement that fits every body differently, regardless of gender, but as long as we, as a society, desperately cling onto binary notions of gender, it’s going to be an ever-present element to what we do (my old Finnish teacher was hilarious to be honest, I’d be quite happily taking advantage of the fact that it’s a gender neutral language to talk about a person without mentioning their gender and her first question would always be “is it a man or a woman?”).

My ballet class the other day was a good example. First, the very weird administrative system put my preferred name on all the induction registers, but not on class registers, so I was tricked into relaxing and then suddenly heard my legal name and had to go back to correcting teachers. From the teacher’s comments that it was strange that I went by such a drastically different name, I emotionally moved to the defensive. I felt like i had to protect myself in case comments that were a lot less neutral were coming.

Happily, nothing came of it. But there is a very vague thing that I can’t quite explain – I can tell when people who are interacting with me are perceiving me primarily as female or as a person. This teacher definitely perceived me as female and it affected my class.

It’s nothing new. It’s not even that horrible. But it does affect the way I move and interact with my body in class. And that affects my technique.

And I think it’s even more important in technique class than in the more touchy-feely-talky dance classes because there is no chance to dialogue in technique. If a teacher misgenders me and I correct them, I am disrupting the class with something that has no relevance with what I’m trying to learn.

So yes, it’s important for me to be out to technique teachers before class starts. And, on an even broader scale, it’s important and necessary that i can communicate with my technique teachers about things that might not directly link to the class, because those things are still relevant.

 

Dancing with anxiety

tl;dr Anxiety makes attending dance class particularly difficult in ways that have nothing to do with actual dancing. So, it’s time to make some changes and start talking about how we can better support dancers with anxiety instead of leaving them at a disadvantage. 

September 2016

So I just came out of a “levelling class” (ie. audition) during which I was so anxious that my legs were shaking for the entire adagio and I could not get them under control.

I’m saying anxious not nervous, because this is specifically linked to my anxiety, not general audition nerves (although I’m completely certain that those definitely had a part in this too). To be explicitly clear, I had a panic attack in the middle of this class and it is not the first time I have danced through one of these in class.

I know that sounds a bit dramatic – when most people think of panic attacks, they think of hyperventilation, or at least something BIG, DRAMATIC and noticeable. I have never hyperventilated and, to be honest, my panic attacks are very silent and easily hidden. For some reason (I’m pretty sure it’s dance, to be honest), I can be in the deep dark depths of ABSOLUTE AND UTTER PANIC, and appear completely under control. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have physical symptoms.

Just to give you an idea of what I’m dancing through, here is a nice list of symptoms courtesy of the NHS. For anyone that doesn’t experience panic attacks/has no real context for what I’m talking about, I suggest choosing any three symptoms from that list and imagine trying to dance in class with them. Then, for this specific circumstance, add it to general audition nerves (because auditions are awful).

I can do it. In the years and years and years of attending dance class and having panic attacks, there has been a total of one instance in which I have had to actually stop dancing.

But that doesn’t make it easy.

We have a culture in the dance world of “going to class”. In the way dance is structured, attending class is a necessity for dancers. Of course, instruction or just outside guidance is always useful for optimal growth (though a committed person can make amazing growth without guidance), but I believe the bigger issue is space. When I studied cello, I had one-on-one lessons, not a class, but I only needed a tiny room to practice in and a slightly bigger one for lessons. Class is a replacement for practice time and the most efficient way to provide instruction, because very few people have enough space to really practice dance in their homes and studios are too expensive to make private lessons cost-effective.

But attending class is a huge challenge for anyone with anxiety. Before class even starts, I need to make sure I get there 15 minutes early, if I show up earlier, I feel overeager, if I show up later, I’m late (my private teacher drilled the 15 minute thing into me) and showing up to class late is Bad. Not only does it mean I’m not properly warmed up, but it means more people look at me than if I’m there before them. It also means I can’t choose my place in the room.

Which comes to point two – I have next to no spatial awareness and I am constantly terrified of accidentally wacking someone else. I need to space myself in a place where I’m near as few people as possible and stay as far away from those people as possible. I can hardly ever dance full out in a dance class simply because I am so anxious about hitting other people.

And then there’s food. Another huge anxiety for me is not eating enough for class. So, before I go to class, I have to be sure I’ve eaten a good meal, even if it’s a very weird time of day. And, even if I’m fully fed, if I haven’t eaten some kind of snack bar before class, the chance of panic attack increases quite a lot. I never struggle in class because I haven’t eaten enough, but I am consistently struggling because I am worried that  haven’t eaten enough.

And that’s just a few examples.

Note that none of the things I’m anxious about is dance. It’s very easy to forget that dance actually encompasses a large amount of skills and activities that have nothing to do with the actual moving part of it (I’m writing a list because it’s important to me that we recognize dance is interdisciplinary).

But that also makes it feel kind of silly that the things that make dance hard for me are not the actual dancing.

And it makes me wonder about the other anxious dancers. I skip class a lot, because going out is sometimes too hard. Who else is following this pattern? Who else is being held back, not because they can’t dance but because their anxiety is keeping them from going to class? Why the hell is there no support to get us dancing?

I mean – why not have anxiety-friendly dance classes? With smaller class sizes, maybe self sign-in to avoid the timing discomfort, the options to take breaks to eat, stretch, have a panic attack without having to dance through it.

I mean, my anxiety isn’t just making it hard, it means I am not progressing as quickly as my non-anxious peers because I literally cannot dance as often. So why can’t we start trying to make practice space more available and accessible (cheaper? available to non-professionals?, I point towards the Dance Complex in Boston as a model that has worked well for me) so people who can’t get to class can still have space to dance?

I know a lot of my opinions on dance boil down to “dance is great! But we really need rebuild the structures that support it from the beginning all over again”. And, of course, that’s not going to happen immediately. But I do think we do need to start thinking about how dance supports and fails people with anxiety (and other mental illnesses) and we need to start thinking about how to integrate those people, us, into mainstream dance, instead of keeping us out in specialist “dance for mental health! Wheee!” classes (because those exist. But I’ve never gone to them. Because I am professional-track and want classes that will help me build the technique I need to dance professionally). While, it’s great to get everyone dancing, as long as mental health support isn’t integrated into all dance classes, there will always be the image of the Real Dancer and the Person that Dances For Fun.

And who’s to say someone with anxiety can’t be a Real Dancer? (and who’s the say dancing for fun isn’t real?)

Dancing Selfishly

tl;dr Both dance and the way society treats transness are terrifying forms of body control. I refuse both and choose to dance for myself.

September 2016

I want to talk more about the concept of dancing FOR someone and how that links into body autonomy and how that particularly affects me, as a trans dancer. That’s a bit of a mouthful, so here goes.

A lot of dance education operates on compliance from an early age. Very young children (age 3-5) are brought to dance class and taught to listen to a teacher. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? We all have to learn how to listen to teachers and other mentor figures, and learning is a necessary skill for children and adults alike.

But dance class is also about the body. Teachers are actively telling these children how to use their body. Also, not necessarily a bad thing, bodies are funny things and we all need to learn how to use our own one. And habits placed into the body at an earlier age have a profound effect on how it develops. So, it’s always good to start on establishing a physical practice at a very young age.

The thing that scares me about this arrangement is that, more often than not, instead of teaching children to listen to their body and respond accordingly, dance teachers teach their students that authority figures know more about the child’s body than the child. It teaches dancers that other people are the experts on their body.

To make this clearer, here are some examples: A ballet teacher telling me to plie deeper than my legs will physically let me, dance teachers from multiple disciplines telling me to turn out my feet without ever explaining to me what turnout felt like, a teacher yelling at a student for drinking water because it wasn’t a water break yet (the same teacher also yelled at students for yawning), being told I’m not dancing at top energy when I’m doing the best I can in an unairconditioned studio, even the amount of gatekeeping I had to go through to get my pointe shoes (my teacher had told me to get them and then I had to have a long back and forth with the dance store to convince them to schedule an appointment for me, it was ridiculous).

There’s this attitude that dancers can’t take care of their bodies or use their bodies without guidance from someone else. Our bodies are not our own – they belong to our teachers, our choreographers, our directors, our examiners and judges, our audience, even the people selling us equipment. And we are teaching this to children from day one of dance class.

The time I feel this the most is in repertory class. I have very divided feelings on repertory classes. On one hand, I love watching choreographers work. There is nothing more exciting than to watch a choreographer create a piece in front of my eyes and get to be part of the process. But, on the other hand, being part of the process means my body more or less becomes the choreographer’s play thing – my role is to bring their vision to light in the exact way they want it, so I have to become exactly what they need.

I don’t get to be myself.

My body is not my own.

I started dance late, so that conditioning that makes other people experts on our bodies is not necessarily complete for me. Maybe that’s why I feel it so much more sharply – I’m not conditioned to accept it as a fact. Or maybe everyone feels it just as sharply as I do and just don’t speak about it.

But, here’s the other side of the coin – society controls trans bodies (I’ve also mentioned this before). There are specific images for how trans people are supposed to look (from a cis person’s perspective, so obviously, wrong), and I’m not going to say people who fit those images are treated better, they’re not, I’m saying that society dictates what is an Acceptable Trans Body and what is Not Actually Trans No Matter What They Say (and this is completely driven by the dividing lines between who has easier access to medical transition and can change their gender markers on official documents and all those other Official Capacity ways that define a trans body). I’m definitely in the latter category. Even before I realized I was trans, I understood that my body had to be a certain way, and that I should be ashamed because that’s not what it was. Heck, I didn’t realize I was trans for so long because the messages I was hearing was that I didn’t have a trans body. Society took away the right to understand my own body.

It’s harder for me to write about the trans side of this because, actually, it was a lot easier for me to look society in the face and say “fuck you”.  It only took me a few years to put on my dresses, braid my pigtails, and proudly proclaim that presentation didn’t have a thing to do with gender, that no matter how anyone perceived my body, I was still trans. I was able to reclaim my transness. I’m not quite sure why. I’m going to say it’s probably because loads of other trans people are doing this alongside me. Even when I wasn’t actively talking to other trans people, I was looking at their images and reading their commentary, I was part of a community that was distinctly aware of how our bodies were being controlled and actively fighting it.

It took me a lot longer to come to the same conclusion in the dance studio. It took me forever to realize that I didn’t have to take repertory classes, that dancing in a company for someone else wasn’t my end goal, that my dancing was, first and foremost about my personal expression and needs, that I was allowed to dance selfishly, and say no to teachers who told me to do things I wasn’t ready for, and embrace my strengths.

Of course the two sides of body control are related – even the most “enlightened” forms of dance still operate on binary systems. I’m quite often expected to dance as a “woman” (whatever the hell that means). Coming to the realization that I could dance selfishly also meant that I could dance as a trans person, whereas my dancing and my transness had been two distinct parts of my life before then. For my own self, I needed to recognize that I didn’t stop being trans when I entered a dance studio.

Yes, I am looking at a professional career in dance. Yes, I am well aware of the challenges related to that and that I’ll need to get money for somewhere. Yes, I know that I will have to make huge compromises in order to be successful, as with any artist trying to make it in a market that doesn’t value art to its fullest.

But the one thing I cannot and will not compromise is my body. My body doesn’t belong to a teacher or a choreographer or society. My body belongs to me. And I will always dance selfishly because I cannot give anything to my audience (or funders, wheeee) if I don’t have a body to work with.

My gender is not revolutionary

tl;dr Trans identities are no more political than cis ones and to pose the existence of trans people as “revolutionary” puts a lot of pressure on trans people, instead of challenging cis people to actually consider the implications of their gender identity

 

So, someone sent me this article a while ago. Don’t actually click on that link, it’s full of terf-y, cissexist logic that would make even the most patient person groan and pull out their hair in horror. It’s not worth your time. (And don’t worry, the someone and I have had a long conversation about what’s acceptable to send me for the future, that’s not the point of what I’m saying, and they are still a wonderful friend that I trust because they apologized and really worked through my response).

 

I’ve also been thinking about that new National Geographic thing with Katie Couric called “Gender Revolution!”

 

And take this quote: trans people are the ‘ultimate symbol of a rejection of conformity’

 

And see, all three of these examples, even while one is hands-down vile, another is supposed to be exciting representation for trans people and the last is just attempting to pose some questionable rhetoric as a problem (I mean, I have opinions), have the same problem – the assertion that non-binary and/or trans genders are, in some way, particularly revolutionary.

 

And this is a really dangerous, because it somehow implies trans identities are consciously political and radical.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, everything’s political at the end of the day. Queer existence itself is a radical political act and non-binary existence is definitely part of that.

 

But as long as we fail to see the political implications of binary, cisgender identities, it’s very weird and creepy to call trans identities revolutionary.  I didn’t wake up in the morning and go “hey, I want to destroy the binary system of gender, so I’m going to revolt and be non-binary”, it happened the other way around, I woke up and went “I’m non-binary, so I’d like to challenge the binary system of gender because it makes my life difficult”. These are two very different things.

 

But we act like some identities are more political than others.

 

Nope. All identities are political. The supposed neutrality of cis identities is, in fact, very very political. It encourages and perpetuates a society in which the what is considered the “default” (cis, here) holds privilege and power over the “other” (trans, here), because the power of the default is so accepted and normalized that it is never viewed or questioned.

 

So maybe before acting like my gender is a revolutionary act, cis people should recognize exactly how powerfully political their own identity is, because that’s what I’m revolting against. The gender revolution isn’t going to come from my existence, no matter how hard I try. It will come when cis people break down the power their genders hold (specific side-eye towards cis men).

 

As long as we blithely call trans identities revolutionary, we’re just pulling away the spotlight from where the revolution needs to happen and shining it on a bunch of people who are, honestly, a bit exhausted from all this revolution forced on us simply through our existence. (I mean, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m exhausted).

Review: Fullout

Tl;dr: Fullout is a great webseries that challenges preconceptions concerning queer women and injury in dance and is definitely worth a watch.

August 2016

Today I want to write a bit of a review. I don’t really know how to write a review, and I don’t think this is exactly it, but I am giving a recommendation for a thing to watch with some extra thoughts about it.

If you have some free time on your hands and a decently fast internet connection (because vimeo is always a little slower than youtube), I highly recommend Fullout. It’s a webseries, five episodes, available on Open TV. And the cast includes both Nana Visitor and Kaitlyn Alexander. So…with that alone, it sounds worth watching, no?

Fullout is the story of a lesbian dancer trying to make a comeback after an injury has kept her out of dance for a long while. First off, this alone is ridiculously important. There’s this weird assumption that the only people who dance are gay men and straight women. I actually remember one time at dance camp, listening to people discuss how surprised they were that one of the boys there was straight when I knew there were at least two gay or bi closeted girls at the same camp who never even got that kind of consideration.

Queer women in dance are invisible. They are assumed not to exist. This means the struggles these dancers face go completely unrecognized and unsupported. It means organizations can claim to be inclusive by simply making use of this myth that queer women in dance don’t exist and thus, wouldn’t be part of that organization anyways.  Dance organizations love to pat themselves on the back and go “yes, job well done, we have loads of diversity and no discrimination here” as soon as they meet their quota in dealing with visible discrimination (yes, all organizations do this to some extent, but I find this attitude particularly prevalent in dance). Or they use the number of gay men in dance as proof that they are diverse and inclusive.

By making the invisible visible, Fullout is showing that yes, queer women dancers exist and face discrimination

If there is any piece of media featuring a queer woman that dances, it’s worth watching, because it is making the invisible visible.

And, above everything else, it is filling the role model vacuum. I remember, at that same dance camp, one of the huge points of gossip among my friends was which counselors were gay. This wasn’t just teenagers gossiping. This was a group of young, queer, mostly female dancers looking at the people that represented what they could become in a few years’ time and panicking because they didn’t see anyone like them.

Fullout is a message to younger dancers that yes, people like them exist. And yeah, there will be challenges, it will be hard, but there is definitely just as much of a chance for them to become dancers as anyone else.

The other value in Fullout (which, to be honest, was a breath of fresh air compared to the messages I experience every day in dance class) was how it discussed injury. Dance teachers, directors, even other dancers, we have the habit of encouraging injured people to “push through” their injuries, to just take pain medication and keep dancing because the show must go on. Fullout is one of very few times where I have seen this attitude addressed as creepy and unhealthy. Even the title of the show, Fullout (referencing the belief in dance that one must always either be dancing “full out” or “marking”, as if there is no in-between place) connects to the damaging idea that dancers must continue to dance at their best, even when faced with injury. The main character’s choice not to continue to form to these expectations is really important. We, as dancers, cannot accept narratives that promote self-harm cleverly relabelled as “commitment”.

Fullout doesn’t. Fullout tells the story of what it is to not be able to fulfill the expectations set out by the Dance World. I’m definitely not completely convinced by the whole story of Fullout and the protagonist’s final choice is somewhat disheartening for us queer dancers that want to see ourselves thrive on stage. But I do believe the use of having more than one queer dancing character (shocker, I know) and the value of what it does show is worth it. It challenges the myth that queer women are not dancers and it forces us to reevaluate how we, as dancers, treat injury. And, for that, I highly highly recommend taking the time to watch it.

Fullout is watchable right here: http://www.weareopen.tv/open-tv-originals/fullout

 

Teaching the genderbread person

Tl;dr I taught the genderbread person in a successful way that recognized what a mess it is, so I’m sharing the lesson plan in case anyone else may want such a thing.

August 2016

So, as I get back into the swing of writing blog posts after being too busy, I want to start by sharing something from my time off.

I recently led half a workshop on gender identity and was given the challenge of using the genderbread person. Instead of rejecting the idea and doing my usual thing, I took on the challenge, and was pretty successful. I want to share my lesson plan of sorts (with side commentary) in case this is of interest to anyone else who is done with staring at the genderbread person in horror.

(As a quick disclaimer: Some of the people in the workshop were trans, some had been living with out trans people for 1-2 weeks by this point, some were just really really smart, all of them were high-school aged or older. I did pretty much this exact same thing two days later in a one-on-one session with someone that was a little less read-up on gender and it worked, but it definitely took some tweaking. What was really good about this plan was that it worked for a “mixed-level” group. I was asking people who were familiar with the genderbread person to analyse it and question it more closely, while I was also guiding people through the basic “gender/trans 101”. That said, I definitely think I was lucky with the group and it would require a lot of thought to take this to other audiences.)

The lesson:

(at the beginning, I avoided the word “biological sex”)

Start with big question: What is gender?

  • emphasise self-identification

What is assigned sex?:

  • sex assigned by a doctor to almost every baby born (ASSIGNED doesn’t say anything about the baby)
  • body configurations can impact an assignment, but the assignment doesn’t necessarily say anything about body

What is presentation?

  • How we present ourselves to other people.
  • (The next time I do this, I would include “perception” here too, as it was brought up later in the workshop.)

What is missing?

Answer: Biological sex

(at this point, no one had brought up biological sex, when I did the one-on-one, it was brought up, so I reworded it to be more along the lines of “what hasn’t been necessary to this discussion so far?”)

Hand out genderbread person (I used the original version from itspronouncedmetrosexual as the later versions are just as frustrating, but take longer to piece apart, for this one, the limits are obvious)

What’s the same here?

  • Idea that gender identity is separate from other categories
  • Expression is basically presentation

What’s different here?

  • Terminology (ie. Presentation v. expression)
  • Biological sex
  • Sexual orientation

What’s missing?

  • Assigned sex – genderbread person replaces what is assigned and constructed by society with biological sex
  • Emphasise: Biological sex is not necessary to discuss, EVER. (why is it on the genderbread man? ick)
  • (could also discuss romantic orientation here, I would do it later)

Using the genderbread person:

  • As “warm-up”, I asked everyone to place themself on the genderbread person scales
  • I then asked them to place me on the genderbread person scales, with the disclaimer that I was well-aware we were breaking the rules we set up in the beginning that no one can define a person’s gender except that person (I might have a thing for making people uncomfortable). (side note: I had been living and working alongside these people for 2-4 weeks by this point, but had not been explicitly out, so they had had time to build up assumptions about my identity)
  • We discussed a few of the ways people tried to place me, how people tried to work with the fact that they were being asked to break the rules, what people were comfortable saying, what they weren’t, what assumptions they realized they had about me
  • I shared my personal genderbread person with lots of parts crossed out, dots off the scales, etc.

I used this model and discussion to ask: “how would you change the genderbread person?”

  • sexual orientation scale is super-weird
  • this is where I would discuss romantic orientation
  • gender a lot more complicated than this – impossible to fit into these boxes
  • general conclusion: it’s confusing, we might not be able to understand it, and that’s ok

Final reflection circle – EVERYONE has to say something, it can be stupid or simple, but it has to be something

  • something you learned
  • pronoun

So, it’s definitely not a perfect lesson, and is clearly bound by the situation I was in, but it made a huge impact on the group I was working with. I’m pretty proud of myself for getting this done and for the impact it clearly made on the participants.