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Notes on Monday's Discussion

Joie Rose's picture

 The notes that I took are rough outlines of what I heard said in our discussion on Monday. If I misunderstood what was said and I misrepresented your comments please let me know and I will change it. I will also add some of my own thoughts at the end.


Tong: Are we not giving ourselves a chance to confront our own complex personhood? It’s okay when our mindset is not appropriate.


Julia: What is PC- being respectful or adjusting what we say so that no one disagrees with us?

We are much more accepting of others, but it is terrifying to put something of ourselves out there-admitting our faults. And admitting our shortcoming seems to be made real once we put it in words.


Rosa: Speaking in stories leaves a lot to be interpreted and it’s okay that those stories are shared and not immediately understood. It’s okay that we sit with the ambiguity and interpretation of people’s stories that don’t necessarily have a direct or obvious message.


Ton: We try to interpret stories through a political lens because that is the space that we are in


Shira” Stories are really empowering because we’re all coming from our own experiences and stories bring it home for a lot of people


Meera: I feel like I’m explaining and making excuses of where I’m coming from, I’m posturing.


Rhett: Why is that bad? Why shouldn’t we show where we’re coming from/


Abby: There’s two ways to do that; 1)this is my lense, 2) this is my story so you can’t critique me


Sula: Two women talking, how to get to things side by side.

There is an expected course of action that academia is ‘supposed’ to take that things can’t just sit side but side, but maybe we should let these things sit side by side even when and especially when we don’t know/understand the why of it.


Kieres: The only way to communicate with use is through academia because that’s how we know each other. “I don’t know you”


Farida: Do any of us know why we’re going to prison? Even when we meet/interact outside of class, are we still just performing?


Anne: We don’t know ourselves, so how can we get to a place of complete trust where we don’t need to know that complete person because that’s just not possible


Rhett: Do guidelines negate/ tramp trust?


Sylvia: Do guidelines mean we don’t trust the people in the prisons either?


Sula: the guidelines are because we comes from such different places-guidelines are helpful when they’re not stagnant


Kieres: guidelines are more of a way to create group dynamics that states that we are all assuming good will. We may not have the assumption of good will yet because we all just got dropped into this really quickly. Guidelines facilitate discussion-there is an ownership in a guideline because it is a collaborative effort while a rule is an imposed thing. Guidelines allow people to make mistakes which allows me more freedom than I feel I have now.


Rosa: The moments of discomfort are okay so why not embrace them?


Riley: Guidelines allow people to deal with the complexity of their ideas without self-censoring


Farida: Does discomfort require an apology? Discomfort breeds education.


Jody: Intention, trusting our intentions

Caution and trust is the byproduct of other guidelines


Julia/Joel: aspirations to bravery and personal investment; don’t step away from what you say, hold it and be with it and stand with it.


Sylvia: Is it because we are all equals that we feel like we need to censor ourselves more?


Tong: It’s because we care about each other


Jody: Desire, desire is the pas, present and future and we are trying really hard.


Joie’s thoughts:

What I voiced in Jody’s class today was that I feel like I’m walking into a contact improv class, where we’ve all agreed to be in this space together, to be intimate with each other and expose ourselves and our bodies in their most organic forms. But there is also a tension of the unknown. Sometimes contact improv jams are incredible, illuminating, experiences that flow with ease even in our efforts. And sometimes they fall into stilted awkward hesitation. Abby asked why there can’t be both. I think both are valuable and the days when the improv is good and the space is vibrating with the exhilaration of that special energy is only made more special by the past failures that brought us to this point, and the knowledge that future failures await us.

This is a link to a contact improv jam in case you were interested in what they look like:




jccohen's picture

for taking and posting these notes and also for adding your response.  All this is so helpful as we move forward!