Quita had a breakthrough on Wednesday. She'd been feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to pick a story, but thought that she might like to talk about seasons. She described what she loves about summer, and then, suddenly, she said, "I want to talk about bugs!" We're going to record some bug sounds to add in on Monday.
Rick'ayshia was working more on editing her high school stereotypes piece, but when I came back to check on her after recording with Quita, she told me that she wanted to change her story. I wonder if this was because I mentioned that the stories would be shared with the class, although I'm not sure if that is really the issue. She said that she would rather talk about her best friend and I saw that she had done some writing. We will record on Monday and go from there. The editing should be straightforward because she is already comfortable bringing together tape from multiple takes.
Overall, I feel so fortunate to be working with these two young women. Both have really wowed me with their moments of off-the-cuff courage and voice. It's great to hear them reflect on their high school environment, and point out the things that they like and don't like. The challenge has come in the moments where I try to help them reflect on their own voice/story. Especially the past couple of sessions I've wondered: What is the best way to help them hear without telling them what to hear? It is beautiful to watch them listening to themselves though. It seems that now, when we're so used to seeing digital pictures of ourselves pop up in social media, it takes something different, like sound recording, to really notice yourself in that way.
Rick'ayshia has chosen to work more independently, but it's been great to have Quita open up to me a bit. She's asked me about college, and shared her aspiration to study to become a nurse, and eventually earn her graduate degree. I've heard her talk about how tired she is from working at Red Lobster til pretty late on school nights, and how disappointing it is when she can't go to basketball games with her friends when she has to work. It must be difficult to balance things as she does. I've realized how early the opportunities I've had began.