Monday, October 13, 2008

Workshop Butterflies

I recently taught my first workshop and lived to tell about it. I was extremely nervous about this class for many reasons. The obvious reason is, it was something I had never done before. That is always a little scary.

What I found most interesting was the anxiety I felt when I realized that this was a role I had never envisioned myself in. I was always the kid (and later the adult) in the back of the classroom praying feverishly that I would not get called on. I disliked being the center of attention and have joked that panic would set in every time my geometry teacher said the word “diameter”. I thought for a second I was being called on to give an answer that nine times out of ten I would not know.

So here I was, preparing to not only get in front of 10 adults and speak, but to speak to them because they had paid me to! Fortunately, I was going to be talking about something I was very passionate about and that was hand coloring black and white photographs. It turned out that I really only had to formally speak for a short time because once my students (that feels weird to say) started working on their own images, silence and calm took over. This is what hand coloring has always done for me and I was so happy that other people were having that experience as well.

I was also fortunate to have had the most accepting and generous first class a teacher could ever ask for. These ten women will forever be on my gratitude list.

Now’s here the really strange part – I had fun! I had so much fun I am doing it again. Yes, it would have been easier to have said “ok, been there, done that” and mark it off my list, but I am excited about tweaking the format and really finding out what works best for me and the students. I also truly believe that this experience will help to improve my skills, which is a big part of what this next year is going to be about for me.

Have I mentioned recently how grateful I am to do the work I do?