Friday, April 20, 2012

Flatulence and Authenticity--by Anna Hargadon

I teach Fine Arts at a school for teenage girl's with emotional and social disorders, and learning disabilities. When I teach (anywhere) I like to do this thing called "Group Check-In" at the beginning of every class. We come up with a random question (like "if you had a super power, what would it be?" or "what brings you peace?" or "what was your favorite childhood toy?") and then go around the circle. You say how you are doing and answer the question. One night I told the girls to express how they were feeling using only one word. About halfway around the circle one of the girls, completely serious, said, "Flatulent." My insides started giggling, but no one else seemed to register it, not even the other staff in the circle. I nodded appreciatively and listened as she finished her turn, trying to control my internal giggle organs. A number of weeks later she used the word again and this time I couldn't stand it--my face broke into a huge grin. When one of the staff turned to me and said "What does that word mean?" my giggles exploded into a few loud laughs. I turned to the girl, who was trying to hide the grin that was spreading across her own face, and made her explain. She and I laughed together as everyone else processed. 

That month, I learned about authenticity. If I feel that way and someone asks how I'm doing, I just might say, "Flatulent." 

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