After having finished the two-week manifestation, it occurred to me that focus seemed to slip among the teachers’ faculty – from being immerged in the sensuous universe with all the industrious, imaginative, playful thinking and experimenting which it entails to staying in the teachers’ backstage all the time – except for teaching hours and conference.
Maybe people sought refuge from speaking an awkward English, or from being confronted with the rest of the staff and the challenges of their risk-taking, or maybe they were just lazy and felt that this experience was for the benefit of the students – and, let’s face it, the more geeky teachers among us.
The whole point of making a full-blown unheimlich universe with strict obstructions is to challenge the way we think, act, plan, communicate, etc. If you do not accept the challenge, you will not gain new experiences.
Yes, English was an obstruction for everyone (save one) – of course it makes you tired and want to stop talking, so why don’t you? Great opportunity! Also, evaluation belongs at the end of an experiment, not during. If we agree to play, we play. Then we argue in the locker rooms post-fight.
Yes, the additional staff took on risks, moving the limits of accepted behaviour for the benefit of the students and teachers. Was that not freeing to you? No matter how excentric you’d dare be, they would still keep you safe within this universe. It was a free ride! – Some members of the additional staff were asked to act as teachers and were seriously challenged doing that. The teaching staff have massive experience in that area, so we were safe there – thus, the tables had turned.
As for the lazy attitude: the playfulness inherent to a sensuous universe combined with the experimental nature of our methods led to the presumption that this would never mean serious business – considering a new paradigm of knowledge and teaching was as insignificant as it was futile. The seeming arrogance of this attitude is merely a shadow of the lack of belief in one’s own power to make changes. The vision of the sisters asks you to let go of that attitude – and kindle that belief in change.
My only wish is that future faculties take on the full set of ideas proposed by Sisters Academy and risk everything – if only for a fortnight.
When will you ever have that opportunity again?