Response to question 3

I went to the least diverse public high school in Massachusetts. (Seriously — 99.6% white and ranked 363 out of 363). So, yes, I have noticed a few structures that I am/was complicit in.

 

Perhaps the most noteworthy is the nonchalant propagation of stereotypes through humor. This was far worse at home, but sadly is still an issue I see nearly everyday at Midd. The casualness of these racist jokes are what make them most chilling; it shows how ingrained and “acceptable” racism still is.

 

I have stopped laughing at these jokes, and I will call people out when necessary. Often times these jokes will come from friends who mean no harm, which makes it tricky to police them.

 

Blog Post Prompt 1

There is no doubt that I have remembered much more about the readings from week 2 and 3 because of the movement practices. I have never used body movement or interpretation in any of my school work before as it is usually not part of a traditional education. It took me totally out of my comfort zone but did help me with remembering the readings more. It didn’t necessarily make me understand them more but helped with remembering certain parts of the readings.

Education in the USA – Prompt 1

As someone who has always found traditional schooling effective and comforting, I had a difficult time stepping out of my comfort zone and engaging in the movement pieces. Although I appreciated the break in our three hour class, I feel like I personally did not get much out of that exercise. I instead wish we could have discussed and dissected the material we read; it was very interesting.

Pressure for Movement

Two of my classes this semester focus on practices encouraging increased self-awareness. The movement work in this class, coupled with the daily meditation practices required for my FYS, have exposed to me a structure at Middlebury that I was unconsciously being negatively affected by: the pressure for constant movement and stimulation. I now actively disagree with this culture periodically by taking time to find and enjoy stillness for myself.

Response to question 2.

I noticed that I have some rather strong biases against my White, male, classmates. They spoke their mind whenever they felt like it in discussions and during the design of our group’s dance, not giving space for less extroverted people to provide their own input. Looking back on it, I think that I was looking at, perhaps policing, their behavior more intently because of preexisting biases against White males. On a separate note, while I appreciated the opportunity to move, I was deeply annoyed that the activity was co-opted as a way to bullshit and not engage in real discussion of the readings.

Kye Moffat’s Post

Expressing the readings though a movement phrase challenged me to think about the information we have covered in class in a new way. I had to embody the ideas, which happened to be very difficult to do. Abstracting the reading to a movement phrase also gave me a deeper understanding of the material that we covered in weeks two and three.

Education in the USA Blog Post

I agree that movement and dance are powerful ways to convey emotions and experiences. Dance and movement practices even have the capacity for self-reflection, by exploring and reenacting past experiences to understand more about the emotions experienced during that time. It is however hard to connect abstract academic concepts with movement practices. Rather, the most influential movement sessions explore a shared experience among the group, such as the “act of disagreeing”, where I learned that a “disagreer” will also change his mindset by the person he is disagreeing with, represented by the shift in body positions of both parties, once the disagreeing act has taken place. These kinds of “universally experienced” movement exercises have truly changed my biases, assumptions, agreements and disagreements.

ED in the US TEST 1 POST

Personally. I liked how we incorporated the movement maters exercises into our readings. It was nice getting a visual representation of the material we were learning. Outside of the class I don’t really think about it all too much. Although I will say that the exercise allowed me to become more aware of how I was moving my body as well as how others perceived my abstract movements.

Ed in the US Test #1

Answer to Question 1:

To be quite honest, I did not get much out of the movement matters sections of class. I love the meditations, the individual movements, and stretches, but didn’t get a whole lot out of the sections where we would have to create group movements based on our readings. I recognize that the ability break down these performances is an important one, but I think the way I was raised to think in school conflicted with this exercise.

Exam 1, Blog Prompt 2

Integrated with Philip Jackson’s “The Daily Grind,” the movement classes made me realize how little I think about how my body moves through space. When Maree told us to move with resistance in our limbs, I felt hyperaware of my body’s relation to space. I feel comfortable in traditional academic spaces, however, after watching everyone move through Coltrane, I better understand how differently two people can experience the same space.

Question 1

The exploration of movement we did in weeks two and three of the course have changed the ways in which I view issues related to education and being. I feel the movements we did in class represented our individuality and inner feelings. It made me reflect on the idea that our education system should be more involved in treating the individual, not as one big group of students.

 

Prompt 3

Witnessing and noticing what’s present is uncomfortable. I dislike voicing my experiences to a stranger, not because I feel embarrassed or exposed, but because I don’t think they care that my belt feels too tight or that I am sleepy. Yet through the piercing eye contact, they reciprocate the concerns and I feel a communal combination of anxiety and trust. Is this happening daily without us realizing it?

I felt like the movement practices were very relevant to our class discussions of “being present” and how the body operates or is ignored in the classroom. It was a good exploration of feeling the movement of the body and my own relation to the space and others around me and went with our readings of meditation nicely. However, I did feel like when we were trying to piece together movement sequences in groups based on the readings, it ended up being a little superficial and mime-like which did not add a lot to my understandings of the readings or the course. The partner-mirroring exercise felt more interesting and meaningful to me, for example.

Test #1 Blog Post

When we are not told how to move, we each put our own biases into movements. They seem spur of the moment and a flow of consciousness, but it has helped me gather insight on how I react to certain directions and advice. Everyone has a different movement, and it reflects each of our personalities, cultures, and upbringings. It reminds me that we are all unique in thought and valuable in our own ways.

Blogpost Question 1

Through movement, I was able to better understand different themes of the readings and provided with  the opportunity to express important ideas. During the movements I often felt uncomfortable moving and interacting. In retrospect I think this feeling is representative of the lack of embodied educations offered to students. The movements allowed for the important physical expression and interaction needed in order to better comprehend the texts and its themes.

 

I feel that I have become conscious of biases I did not realize I had.  As a student at Middlebury, I often witness a divide between academics and athletics (or movement centered extra-curriculars). I now realize that this division isn’t something necessary to a “better” education. I am now conscious of the benefits from incorporating the body into learning, and the possibility of a body-inclusive education.

Winston Kies // Part 1: Question 1

The explorative movement pieces we developed in class have affected my understanding of the texts in an indirect, yet subtly profound way.  The movements themselves, though inspired by the general overtones of the readings, didn’t have many firsthand effects on my understanding of the course material.  However, the exercises are still wonderfully useful; I now have a greater awareness of the numerous ways of addressing any one issue or idea.

Test #1 Blog Post

Prompt # 1

Exploration through movement has positively affected my understanding in the course. While doing the readings, I was confused and also stressed because I had other work to do. However, the movements helped me both learn and relax. They allowed me to understand each topic because they focused on one specific theme. My classmates’ explanations on their movements also made each topic clearer. Meditation movements helped me view issues related to education and being. While working on the reading I felt stressed, however, meditating in class helped everything be put into place.

  1. I have never been in a classroom where a teacher has asked me to not only engage my mind but also my body.  And after coming to Middlebury and beginning this class, I can’t imagine why not.  Students have to be embodied in order to critically explore the world around them and live in a liberated manner. As a teacher, I can only hope that I can bring this lesson to students at a younger age.

Prompt 1

From doing the movements pieces in class, the readings and lectures that we did are much more engrained into my memory. In the same way a certain note-taking style can engage a student, the movements forced me to condense and connect the material learned in a unique way. This different way of thinking allowed me to explain things that may be difficult to verbally, which caused a whole new level of engagement with the material.

 

Education in the USA Movement Post

The exploration through movement exercises enhanced my understandings of the readings because it forced me to feel the themes of the piece. Traditionally, I would only analyze the text with little consideration of how each small piece was part of a bigger idea; however, through these movements, each movement represented a little idea but I felt its presence in the larger application project.

Parker – Unity/Diversity Tension

Stemming from discussion about the tension between diversity and unity that Parkers posits, I have found myself challenging some of my opinions or emotional responses to the ways different minority groups on campus appear to present themselves to the greater Middlebury. Organizations that bring minority groups together to share their common experiences are important in making people from minority backgrounds feel comfortable on campus. However, I personally believe that some of these organizations go too far in creating a divide between the group and the rest of campus, manifesting themselves in an us-versus-them attitude towards to others at Middlebury. Reading Ladson-Billings & Tate gave me a different perspective on this however, particularly in invoking the importance of shared stories in helping minority groups overcome existing in a dominating culture that is ultimately not theirs.

Response to Question #3

The movement work and the course materials forced me to reflect on my passive compliance with a system that strictly regulates how bodies are expected to behave in certain settings. Classrooms give us little choice over the movement of our own bodies if we do not want to be punished for not adhering to the rules. I won’t pretend that I don’t conform to sitting behind a desk, in a chair, in class each day, but I will say that our work with Maree encouraged me to explore movement outside of class that goes against societal expectations. When things feel out of balance, I sometimes feel an intense desire to dance, to stretch, to find ways to move my body just because it feels good, and to do this entire routine outside, in public. It’s a small act of rebellion against society’s expectations for how our bodies should behave in public settings, but it feels liberating to actively disagree with the system.

The individuality of an “experience” (Prompt 1)

I greatly enjoyed in engaging in many of the contemplative movement exercises and practices that were incorporated into our lessons. Using the body was a great way to reach all levels of thought and connect to the ideas of limitation and struggle addressed in those readings. Especially with the partner activities that involved firm grips, I found that I was able to join ideas that I had reflected on through the readings with real life exemplifications. The firm grip, for example, for me, symbolized the lack of freedom students with disabilities experience within the educational system. The school system is this “greater being” that takes control of their “educational experience” with a firm grip, not allowing them to have the means and liberty necessary to flourish. Many of the movements allowed me to express ideas in non-verbal ways, which in turn perhaps enabled me to further understand them. This supplemented my ideas surrounding different educational experiences, considering the individuality and diverse nature, as well as several different approaches (through mind, body etc.) one may take in achieving them.

Prompt 1

Embodying the course material through movement allowed me to understand the readings in a fuller way beyond the surface value. The movement, without incorporating every detail of the readings, encompassed the main themes and ideas while providing a unique personal experience to physically relate to the readings. My initial hesitation with the movement exercises revealed the separation of body and mind that has been ingrained into my own educational experience.

Education in USA — Movement Matters

I have always been a student-athlete; however, it was not until reading about mindfulness and incorporating meditation and movement into our curriculum that I began to understand how beneficial athletics have been to my intellectual development.

Athletics have forced me to understand the strong correlation between mental and physical health and academic success. Further incorporating body awareness into classrooms would support a more holistic and healthy learning environment.

 

 

Quelling the Judgments

Movement integration forced me to re-think my ideas about perspectives and bodies in the classroom. Observing and discussing other groups’ choreographies made me quell my judgments by requiring openness to different interpretations of themes in movement. Through deconstruction, movement actively shows that in a typical classroom bodies are expected to be a particular way for particular learning to take place.

Understanding Through Movement

I believe the movement exercises applied in our class schedule enhanced my understanding of two interconnected themes of our class discussion thus far: recognition of mind, body, and space & a centered mind leads to an open consciousness. These exercises enabled self-expression and honest interpretation of my disagreements and/ or agreements with the structure and process of the current education system.

Ed in USA Blog post

The movement integration of the reading opened up different aspects of the reading. Giving the reading a physical manifestation gave them a different kind of weight. Often times full understanding of an idea cannot be obtained until you experience it or see it physically. While not a complete expression of our readings, the movement pieces helped demonstrate the readings in new light.

Movement Studies: Blurring Lines

The incorporation of meditation and movement into the classroom has blurred the previously concrete line between my physical being and academic institutions. As a ballet dancer, I had always used my brain to understand and perform movements, however, I had rarely used movements to understand and enhance my brain. While before my body served a purely extracurricular role, it was refreshing to see that it could also enrich my intellectual understandings.

Ed in The US Test #1 Blog Post to Question #1

These movement exercises have helped me to gain a different perspective on reflection and understanding. This was my first time being able to express my thoughts and opinions on readings in a non-verbal manner. I tend to hesitate when speaking in discussion, however this exploration through movement has helped me to not be afraid of expressing my ideas and of finding different ways to gain understanding from readings. Thank you.

Question 2

I very much considered school time to be class, homework and “mind time” while athletics were “body-time.” Route 30 enforces this idea by dividing the academic campus and athletic campus. It was not until moving freely in space and specifically considering questions of physical and mental balance that I realized my mind’s ability to function depends on my happiness derived from the body-oriented activities I do.

Space

The dance sessions showed me the true value I have for space. I found myself trying to find the emptiest area at all times during the free movement. This further applied to me on the soccer field where our coach insisted that we should be aware of our surroundings to find the open space. Applying class to soccer truly created the idea of the student-athlete for me.

Movement matters

I think the movements have been a great experience to learn in an entirely knew way than what I have done in the past. I am not the most comfortable with my body, so some of the time it is hard for me. I feel as if they were great for when we were talking about the good body and how it relates to mindfulness.

Prompt 3

The focus of meditation inherently contradicts the educational structure I have lived in for twelve years. Dependence on the image manifests in learning styles of some institutions. We tend to emphasize what we can relate to; as a result, superficial memory retention can be considered exclusive and indisputable evidence of intellectual development. It pays to focus on the essence of learning within work that may fail to reflect it entirely.

Movement and Comprehension (Prompt 1)

Although reading to memorize is a helpful skill in my science courses, it isn’t in this discussion-based class. Here I need to identify broad concepts to later examine. The movement pieces have helped foster this underdeveloped skill by condensing 80 pages of reading into a handful of motions. Surprisingly, movement can articulate large, academic ideas in a way that aids my comprehension and engages my full body-mind.

Ed in the USA Test 1 Prompt 2

The duo movement practice in silence has made me realize how many different ways of moving one’s body and interacting with another person are possible. The leading and following reflect the dynamic between an individual and society, because an individual makes decisions about how much of herself she would be willing to “open” to the society. The practice has significantly widened my approaches in interacting with others.

Prompt 2

During the movement exercises, I noticed biases and assumptions of mine that I was unaware of. I never realized how unique everyone’s perspective is. I wrongly assumed that the reasoning behind my movements would be obvious to others, because they were obvious to me. I also found myself surprised by others’ movements. I had wrongly assumed all of our movements would be similar because we all had the same inspiration.

Ed in the USA Test 1 Part 1

The movement work has helped me recognize that a student’s body is not just a vessel to transport a brain from class to class, nor is it just a machine used to score points in a game. At Middlebury, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of this simply from how highly academics and athletics are regarded here. The movement work helps you come back to your body and notice it to be much more than a vessel or machine.

Prompt 1

Composing movement pieces to examine the readings was a huge departure from what I am used to and therefore had a very large impact. This exploration made me focus on very specific parts of the readings rather than the overall ideas and arguments. It also made me develop a personal understanding of individual sentences and phrases that I previously had struggled to accomplish through traditional writing or discussion.

Part I

The movement aspect has, in some ways, allowed me to expand on my understanding of the readings in this course.  It is one thing to reflect or summarize something that I have read to evaluate my comprehension.  However, through the composition of a movement or gesture, I had to look at the themes found in the reading from a rather abstract perspective and identify the ones that resonated with me.

Blog Post Prompt 1

The incorporation of movement into our class periods has helped me better understand the ideas. Many of the ideas are controversial and frequently students disagree with one another and by using movement to explain our thoughts and by watching others, we are exposed to a different perspective. It can be difficult to explain issues like the ones we are discussing with words and the movement provides us with another “language” in which to express ourselves.

Blog Post for Education in the U.S. Test 1 Prompt 1

The incorporation of movement into our class periods has helped me better understand the ideas. Many of the ideas are controversial and frequently students disagree with one another and by using movement to explain our thoughts and by watching others, we are exposed to a different perspective. It can be difficult to explain issues like the ones we are discussing with words and the movement provides us with another “language” in which to express ourselves.

Prompt 1 – Movement interpretations

The movement pieces we did in class gave me insight into how things could be interpreted. During performances I saw a certain movement representing a section of a reading while another classmate thought that move pertained to a completely different reading. The differences in view caused me to analyze the movement pattern to understand another person’s perspective. In education I don’t think we look at various perspectives enough like we did in class.

Education in the USA (0115A)

Are you noticing anything new about your own biases, assumptions, agreements, disagreements, ways of being as a result of movement integration with course topics?

I notice an unintentional reluctance to turn my complete focus within, solely observe individual movement and become present in my own body . A fear arises from the uncertainty and the acceptance of how I am in a given moment. When performing a single act or movement, I often find my mind wonder and my thoughts focus on the future- either future tasks or upcoming moves. Movement is a powerful way to connect with and express what is stationary within. In the practice of movement, I begin to recognize the intense concentration and courage it takes to be present in your body and present in life.

Prompt 1: Movement and Discovery

Our movement exercises, led by Maree ReMalia, allowed me to explore the ways in which I process and interpret information. Tied with her session on Gaga as a part of the 2015 Clifford Symposium, the movement exercises encouraged me to discover connections between issues in my mind and discomforts in my body. For example, by delving deeper into my physical handicaps through the movement exercises, I was encouraged to find new ways to move without hindrance. This reminded me that pressing matters on my mind — both related and unrelated to education — could have solutions, so long as I took the time to fully understand with the initial problem at hand.

Prompt 1: Expanding the meaning of ‘Interaction’

  1. Many of our readings have highlighted the power of interaction within a classroom, both between a teacher and students and between the students themselves. I had always understood this in a purely academic sense, where students and teachers participate in small or large group discussions or share ideas. However, our movement pieces showed that constructive ideas could be shared not only in classroom discussion, but also in movement.

Prompt 3 – Trying to own my education…

I am at Middlebury because my body has cooperated in schools for the past 17 years. My adherence to the hidden curriculum must be a product of my rule-following ISTJ Myers-Briggs, my non-confrontational immigrant parents, and/or my birth-order as the oldest. Regardless, I’ve nodded politely all the way here. I’m sensing now that blindly following maybe is not as critical anymore. My self-assigned challenge is to make this education not exist merely in response to others, but take its shape in response to me.

Education in the US movement reflection

I was skeptical as to whether I would find any meaning in the movement pieces, but soon realized that they brought out my emotion about different topics. By letting my mind stop, and allowing my body to do the “talking”, I found that the readings and class discussion came to life. It’s oftentimes hard to vocalize an emotional response. However, movement seemed to capture it in its raw and natural form.

Learning through moving

The exploration through movement has definitely changed my perspective towards understanding and interpreting the course material. Through these movements, it has become so easy to understand the significance of my body in a learning environment. Additionally, participating in these movements provided me a challenge and a source of slight discomfort that I was able to acknowledge and actively attempt to overcome. I think this perfectly connects to my goals as a student and my personal academic growth.

Do we move in our classes at Middlebury?

The movement pieces have affected how I’m understanding movement related to education not just in this class, but in other classes too. Movement in our class is the only movement that I have in any of my classes. In my other classes, I am not once asked to even change seats – I spend all of class in exactly the same chair. How does this lack of movement affect learning?

Prompt 3

When I study in the library, I take off my shoes and socks and sit in all sorts of positions. As a result of movement practice in this class, I’ve realized that postural variety is my passive protest against the convention of apparent physical stress in the library. I affirm my unwillingness to be mentally overwhelmed by physically arranging myself differently from my peers who lean forward with hunched shoulders.

Movement in Class (Prompt 2)

Movement integration in the course material has significantly changed the way I’ve assessed self-expression. During disagreements, self-expression would take form of anger and animosity instead of understanding and acceptance of contrary opinions. During movement integration, however, remaining fluid and calm in thought, taught by fluidity in movement, is the only way bias attitudes can transform into honest self-expression.

Confusion to Control

I have always considered myself a pretty straightforward person in relation to my academics. I do not think I have ever been in a classroom where I am forced to get out of my comfort zone and try to understand or even use my body in different ways. At first, I think I used the movement time as a period to relax and let my mind wander. Towards the third week, I began to notice how constrained by body actually is during the day. My body can move in many interesting ways, but I have found that I rarely use my body to its full potential. When I got into a new position, I realized that it was not actually a new position at all but instead something that I have been taught or done before. I felt like I no longer had any control over my body. With this realization, I recognized that my mind is the same way. Everyday I sit in a classroom and retain lecture information while furiously scribbling down notes. I have not taken a moment to stop and think about the structure of the class. Is it actually beneficial to have a professor talk at me for an hour or would I get more from a conversation about the subject? I do not know if I have an answer to that question, but after the movement workshops I have allowed myself to question the typical schedules that I am finding myself trapped in.

Prompt 2

Through our movement exercises, where the main focus is to mentally be connected and attuned to our bodies, I have become much more aware of my biases and assumptions. Not only is this awareness mental, but physical. Being in a room with multiple other people, who are also trying to seek their centers, creates an environment of equality. For those few silent minutes, we are no longer separated by biases, opinions, and arbitrary differences; we share the unique ability to experience our bodies in similar ways.

Prompt 2

Never before had I truly thought about how my physical body interacted in my immediate environment. It was more common to connect my ‘being’ or my character to a situation, as opposed to understanding the implication that my physical presence had in that moment. By integrating movement into my education and the topics we cover in class, I have become more aware of the consequences of my body in my everyday life.

Prompt One

By exploring the readings through movement, I was forced to readjust my thought processes for the themes of the readings. Abstract thoughts needed to become tangible so that I could represent the idea through my body. My ability to accomplish this task provided me with new insight on my privileged education. Someone spent time making sure that I was able to not only understand but also apply meaning to readings.

Prompt 1

Our exploration of the readings through movement offer an alternative way of understanding the material, a method that is not utilized in more traditional classrooms. I think that this movement is just as valuable in understanding the reading as a class discussion on the topic would be, forcing us to extract what we individually found to be a central theme, and then combining the movements in a way that reflects a wholesome conclusion on the topic at hand.

From Embarrassment to Empowerment

There’s a special kind of self-consciousness that accompanies the realization that all attention is focused on your body. Once I overcame my embarrassment though, the movement workshops left me empowered. As nervous giggles and adverted glances were replaced with insightful reflections, I realized my classmates were undergoing similar transformations. This shared experience fostered meaningful connections that we were able to carry with us back into the traditional classroom setting.

Exploration of Movement

For a long time, my interpretation of school was that students had to compose themselves to a desk and remain there unless told otherwise; your body turned off and your mind turned on. Through movements, Blakeslee and Blakeslee’s concept of “your body and your brain exist for each other” shines through. To fully grasp and embrace an educational experience, the body and mind must be thought of as one.

No Longer One-Dimensional

I have always been a one-dimensional learner and never quite understood how individuals could express themselves through dance. In the body integration exercises, I saw how translating my knowledge of the readings into movements gave me a greater understanding of the connotations that certain body movements carry with them. As I moved with the readings, I was able to truly experience rather than simply read the texts

My learning experience (Prompt #1)

One concept that revolutionized the way I view engagement in classrooms is learning through movement. I connected this idea with the hands-on experience that often engineers have to acquire in order to further understand concepts they learn in a book. Similarly, learners like me who often benefit from this technique, absorb concepts that remind us that it’s not all about the mind, but rather, the body-mind that enables us to further enrich our educational experience.

 

 

 

As one student moves, the other follows, fingers stretching and uncurling, arm dropping slowly, every action exaggerated. Both are fully aware of themselves and, in a way, of each other on both conscious and unconscious levels. The movement exercise brought home the idea of peri-personal space that is mentioned by Blakeslee and Blakeslee that extends consciousness of the body beyond the physical self.

Movement Workshops Reveal My Own Biases

I initially felt very uncomfortable and out of place during the movement workshops, and struggled to understand how they helped me synthesize or better understand the course readings and curriculum. I’ve also felt that I learn best from the traditional manner of reading and then discussing what I have read. The workshops made me realize that just as I felt awkward and confused during the choreography, some students feel that way during school. I too frequently assume that how I learn, or how I do anything, is the best way for everyone, when in reality it varies on an individual basis.

Moving in the Classroom (prompt 2)

I had a lot of trouble with the movement exercises at first. I couldn’t really see how jumping around would help me understand institutional racism. Plus, while moving, I had trouble maintaining a focus on intellectual concepts.

Then I recognized that part of the power of movement within a classroom environment is that it addresses an entirely different method of understanding, one that you cant quite articulate verbally.

This practice has opened my awareness to a broader range of understandings in the classroom. I mainly see its effects in how I conduct myself in small group discussions – I’m much more intentional about trying to understand different viewpoints and making sure everyone has a chance to contribute their unique perspective.

Standing My Grounds

Confrontations daunt me. Disagreeing with the more knowledgeable in the vertically hierarchical environment I grew up in was punished. The Aikido moves we learnt in class has caused me to reflect on my discussion style. Despite my tendency to consider the perspectives of my attackers, I am yet to develop the level-headedness to stand my grounds, causing them to succumb, instead of resigning in the face of their aggression.

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