What: What do you know about the center of the world from the perspective of those you are working with? Or do you have a Green Banana story: Something you learned from people at your community partner site that you would not have known or understood without this experience?

I’m not sure what the center of the world is for the kids at Venetia Valley, but I’m pretty sure it’s to learn and be successful in life. From the first day at orientation at Venetia Valley the instructor said to not talk about our personal life or to talk to the kids about their own life, so I’m not completely sure what the center of their world is. Since their in school I would like to think they strive to be lifelong learners trying to make a difference in the world. I also haven’t really learned much at Venetia Valley, but the kids sometimes impress me with their knowledge at such a young age. Like I stated before, I am not allowed to really talk or get on a personal basis with the students of Venetia Valley.

“…it may be important to offer students a perspective on their own immediate center of the world by enabling them to participate sensitively as cross-cultural sojourners to the center of someone else’s world” (Batchelder, 14).

So What? Why is it important that the voices, experiences, knowledge, and skills of the people at your community partner site are seen as valid and meaningful in a living democracy? In what ways do you see them being supported or limited by specific larger structures and systems?

No voice should go unheard. Everyone has input and different insights that would benefit a living democracy. To satisfy the peoples’ needs everyone’s input should be taken in and noted. It isn’t a Democracy if the peoples’ voice is not heard. Structures that support are: government officials who were voted by the people, unions, and other social groups. Structures that limit are: racism, stereotypes, economic issues, and oppression of the weak.

Now What? Olivia Gude articulates the ways in which art builds the democratic capacity to engage with complexity and develops skills to understand the “meaning-making of others” and the “nuances of meaning” (4).

“Arts education develops the capacity for nuanced and eloquent articulation of experience, for developing the methods by which self and shared meaning is made” (3)

I really like the art projects in my CLQ class. It’s what makes this class unique and also pushes my creativity to create works of art I thought I could not even do. However it is just not art I am creating, but also a message I am trying to send to the viewer. In this it, feels as if I am writing an essay not through words, but instead through pure creativity and craft. As a Nursing Major, it is almost like a breath of fresh air to pick up a pencil, not to draw, but to create and portray messages through lines and curves.