Do I what I say, not what I do…

I’m flying; I’m learning! I’m in class and I’m doing the exercise that I set my students and everyone is working quietly. In doing the exercise myself I find that I learn techniques from the students and see what one does and does not learn from the work and my relationship with the class changes. I also find out that perhaps it is more difficult than I imagine without having tried it.

The exercise: twenty seconds from the song “Romeo wanted Juliet” by Lou Reed and 150 photographs taken from the Baz Lahrman film of “Romeo and Juliet” choose among the photographs and mount them with the music to create a clip. The aim, to learn the language of montage, practice using the program and to prepare the film they are going to put together in the coming weeks.

This morning there were technical problems with the music clip – it was a student (half and hour before the class) that set to and solved it. They help each other when they get stuck.

The problem is the level of consciousness of what they are doing – the depth of engagement with what they are doing; for them everything seems to be reduced to a simple entertainment that does not lead to a deepening perception. This is the level upon which I must work as teacher.

I cannot teach, I can only learn and in exchanging with the student as my equal perhaps we can both advance; it is my insecurity, my sense of not being good enough that hinders this approach – it is simpler to restrain and block activity to what I know that I can do and control than to enter into the unknown and to dare fail. But only in failing can we advance…

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