This past week was the last week of Writing Clubs for the month. They all ended on an interesting note. Erin's advertisers shot commercials for their inventive products. Everyone read on screen twice and on the second go round the stars really came out. The kids became actors in each others commercials and it was really cool to watch.
Brooks' class ended on a strange note. I'm very interested to see what Brooks types up. Though it was a struggle, each student did write every class period. Jarmar the most vocal and least productive kid in the class has started dictating a story to me that we will publish as a single.
Kesha and Chris' class ended with thoughts of the future. A telling moment happened right at the beginning of the class where Chris showed the students a picture of the future of the Gentilly neighborhood. As soon at the students looked at it, they all declared that this development would be for white people and the black people who live in Gentilly now would be forced to leave.
It was a pretty intense discussion but the kids approached it quite matter-of-factly. Chris unsure of what to say....was silent. Kesha on the other hand tried to provide a more optimistic and socio-economic outlook. But the reality of black life in New Orleans could not be squashed by these strange assuaging words. The students provided experiential proof that the parts of the city that are built up, fixed, and rejuvenated spell disaster and displacement for african-americans here. I could only listen and think about how I agreed with them. What would I say to them? "It will be ok" "you will change things" perhaps, here is the birth of another Writing Club. "How will you change New Orleans" or something like that. I think Kesha and I could tag team.
Lastly, the 4th grade playwrites will write their scenes after break. We finally got to a really good place and the students seem empowered and excited to get to that part. They have all of the components and details they need to have fun with it. Stiven and I will act as scribes/directors for the scene partners. As they figure out what they want to say and do we will write it down.
After Mardi Gras we will have a whole new group of clubs, leaders, and students!