Happy third day of class! We returned to Mount Pleasant Library on this beautiful day minus Ivan but excited to see our now NINE students! In addition to our original four students Keion, Moises, Alexa, and Deborah, we got 5 new students who enrolled in the class! We welcomed Sophia, Michael, and a brother and sister duo last class, and we welcomed Kristenelys this class. What I love most about all our students is how they radiate such positive energy and they’re genuinely happy to be with us taking pictures and having outdoor adventures in their community. Keion especially has come up to me and expressed how much he looks forward to coming to class and taking pictures outdoors. Today we had a smaller class, but Keion, Deborah, Sophia, and Kristenelys brought enough smiles and enthusiasm to compensate for the missing faces.
We always start by writing “Welcome to Community Lens” on the white board in the basement of Mount Pleasant Library where we hold our photography class. We greeted all the friendly, familiar faces and then got started with our first activity, sharing favorite images from the week before. We had so much fun outside that the students didn’t have enough time at the end of class to share their favorite photos, and we wanted to give them the opportunity to have their artwork, as artists, praised. After sharing, we started our introductory game, “Two Truths and a Lie”. We sat in a circle and everyone shared two true things about themselves as well as a lie, and we each had to hold up a finger to signify which statement we thought was a lie. It’s a great way to learn some interesting things about people that you wouldn’t get to learn otherwise, and we got a bunch of laughs from the students- laughter is one of the best sounds in the world. It’s especially important that we start with an ice breaker with our students because most don’t know each other, and at the ripe ages of 7 to 12, it can be harder to step out of your comfort zone and it may feel awkward being outnumbered (although not anymore!) by college students. We’re lucky to have such happy, eager students who opened up to us so quickly and who actively participate in all our games and activities. 😊
Our students’ favorite thing to do is to go outside and explore. Before we left the classroom, we gave them a Scavenger Hunt list of things for them to search for and take pictures of. It was not a competition of who could finish first, but a challenge for them to find the things on the list and take the most interesting, beautiful pictures in their eyes. They couldn’t wait to take more pictures of nature and animals and houses, so when we took them outside, they were elated and starting taking pictures of everything they saw: flowers, animals (especially dogs!), trees (there was a beautiful weeping willow by the Pleasant Valley Stream we walked to), and houses. It melted my heart when a few students and Nick, our professor, started talking to the construction workers working by Pleasant Valley Stream who allowed our students to take their picture. It’s my favorite picture thus far. They love taking pictures outside so much that it was hard to get them back inside when the class was over! It’s safe to say they’re looking forward to our activities for next week, and we’re looking forward to seeing the world through their community lens this semester. 😊
Claire Rigaud, Providence College Class of 2019, Math Major