Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 7: Theatre of the Oppressed Pt. 2

"God has given you one face, and you make yourself another." - William Shakespeare

My perspective of class has completely changed since yesterday. I really enjoyed class today, and instead of feeling uncomfortable like I had yesterday, I felt fine. I felt good expressing my opinions and I felt comfortable around my peers in class. The odd things we are asked to do finally makes sense to me. I had talked to Lisa Jo Epstein about my initial reaction to her class and she told me why she was making us do the things we are doing. 

She said that a lot of it was to break up the classroom and make us more comfortable with ourselves and with the  others. Our class is divided into cliques and because of the strange exercises our class was able to become more comfortable with each other. 

Lisa Jo is facing a challenge. She is trying to teach us in two and a half days what she typically teaches her TO students in 5 months. I now understand why things may feel rushed or why I reacted yesterday the way that I did. It is because everything is so new and sudden. I understand why we are doing the things we are doing and how they relate to social justice. We must first change ourselves before we can change our communities or the world. She is teaching us to break out of what society has taught us, which is to be the least resistant.

For the most part of class we divided up into the groups we had formed yesterday, my group being the racism group, and created a forum using movements and words. All of the forums were very powerful and we would stop the scenes and take the place of characters if we thought we had a solution to the conflict in the story. My group did a forum on an interracial couple in high school who are bullied by their racists peers. When trying to defend their relationship, they are shut down by these bullies. And when someone else tries to defend the couple, they are ostracized. Even when a teacher witnesses it, she ignores the problem. The issue of the hate projected onto interracial relationships is then never solved. 

Class was a lot of fun today. I enjoyed doing the scene work and I found out a lot about myself. I liked learning more about my classmates and turning strangers into friends. 

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