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Re: Anger management

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From: Vivian Komando (komandv_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 31 2001 - 11:29:43 PST


Hello Larry,

"It is tough for anyone, let alone kids....to have to
filter thru and process
all this and even begin to get proper bearings on what is

"good"...and what
is meaningful."

A lot of what you expressed is exactly why I feel we can
use the arts as we teach personal expression so our
students can become empowered. I feel the arts can help a
student discover who they are, and no pun intended, but
also color the world they live in - so they can make
wiser choices.

As I have worked with themes of identity this year, I am
writing my final paper (for my seminar on Psychological
Foundations in Art Education) on identity. The effects of
our visual culture certainly contribute to the identity
chosen by the student. And contrary to that Sprite
commercial - where we live - Image is everything. Or so
the kids believe....

The following is part of a unit I did this year with my
sculpture class:

Someone said that POWER IS THE ALIGNMENT OF YOUR
PERSONALITY WITH YOUR SOUL. AUTHENTIC POWER CANNOT BE
TAKEN AWAY ONCE YOU CREATE IT. This same person said that
an empowered individual uses his or her energy the best
in loving and giving.

Finding your power means examining your emotions. A real
sense of power is not from outside things like your job
or money. These can be taken away or lost. Power comes
from within you. It comes from those things you possess
within your spirit that cannot be taken from you. We can
use art to find those things that empower you. Art is the
perfect place to examine this since creation comes from
the feelings an artist possesses. Art is a reflection of
who we are, what we believe, and the times we live in.
Art tells us about ourselves and, hopefully, guides us in
the future. Art makes you feel. Artist create based on
feelings.

Our emotions carry information. Emotions are not
obstacles or enemies. Painful or negative emotions can
have power over you and direct you in a certain way.
These emotions can have power over you when you allow
yourself to feel pain. An example would be anger and
acting upon the anger. You reaction is controlled by the
anger. How many times have you done something you would
not normally do because you are angry? Would you have
reacted differently if you were not angry? What is really
beneath the anger - disappointment, hurt, distrust? It is
sometimes easier to be angry than to face the pain or the
underlying emotions.

Stop and think of your fears and the emotions that exist
beneath the anger or the feelings that come from being
frightened. Examples of fears could be the fear of not
belonging, of not having a place that is yours, or that
you will not find true love, etc. Ask yourself "What are
you afraid of?"

Then STOP and ask yourself, "Would I want a decision to
be made by a part of me that is frightened? Ask yourself,
"What would I do if I were compassionate and wise?" THEN
you can decide whether to follow that decision. YOU HAVE
A CHOICE! THERE IS LEARNING POTENTIAL IN THAT DECISION.
THE RESPONSIBILTY OF CHOICE IS ON YOU! -- THAT IS THE
AUTHENTIC POWER THAT YOU EACH POSSESS.

So, I believe we do have more power to teach our students
how to become more than just vessels that we pump
knowledge into so they can fill in little circles on a
scantron sheet. We may not see it right away - but our
students will come back, and they will tell us that what
we have taught them - and usually they don't mention
taking a test, but rather how they look at life and find
what is important.

Thus, I would like to ask you, if I may quote you (and
what you wrote) in my paper?

Vivian

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Increase the Peace ~^~ {^}Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. Robert F. Kennedy

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