urbanter

Student blog of the Stanford University Urban Studies Department

the beginning of farewell

Last week, I said goodbye to the brightest stars in my orbit after an immensely successful final week of class, against all odds! We had a huge set back early in the week. On our way up to the Bronx on Tuesday, Christy and I got a text from the teaching artist, Christina, that she left her purse containing the class hard drive with all of the interviews, materials, and animations…. on the train. Stress is an understatement.

The purse has yet to return, so we had to figure out how to work with what we had. We have audio from all of the interviews, some photos, and video from 2 of the interviews. So from there, Christina managed to come up with a plan to have the students produce all the art that we would need for the lapse in video. It was a really ambitious plan, but she organized the days really well and they got through all of the content!

This week I really started to see some of the compromises in learning that the CUP model necessitates. In exchange for a really polished, reusable product, the teaching artist has to take a really strong vision in the last stages of the project. There’s just not enough time in the projects to walk students through the process of writing a script and brainstorming ideas for what to film and create. They needed every last second to create the art that we needed for the video. I have no doubt that with a lot more time, they could have come up with awesome ideas to bring the information we gathered to life. Unfortunately, funding is already tight and extending the time means using more money.

This is going to be a problem in my project as well, I already know. Luckily, my overhead is a lot lower than CUP’s, since I don’t need to pay anyone. But I will be battling time, since Courtney, my host teacher, has a lot that she needs to cover in her curriculum. I can see a lot of the work that I’ll be doing between sessions as interpreting and packaging the generated materials to help students internalize the information during the time we have together. I guess my battle in the next few weeks of curriculum development/revision will be to pin-point what the most important learning goal is for the project so that I can make sure I’m trimming the right fat out of the process.

I’m going to save the sappy end-of-internship post for next week, after I’ve left New York and feel at my most intensely nostalgic. So be ready!

In the meantime, here are some excerpts from my snapchat story from the last few days of class. See you next time!

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last day selfie!

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hooray for civic engagement day!

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my favorite doodle from the class… transit tales featuring the bean bag people.

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