Saturday, June 28, 2014

lost in translation

so my very friendly and gracious student B with very limited english skills returned to my feldenkrais class, with his friend. apparently he liked the class so much last week, that he told another woman about the class..and she showed up and brought a friend too..i think she said there were a couple other people who she thought were going to show up..just as well they didn't. it was enough to have 4 on the floor and one sort of doing the lesson in a chair.  there were 2 people with very limited english skills..especially when it comes to feldenkrais directions..and one of the women on the floor would sometimes translate for the other two..though she had no felden experience either, so i hoped her interpretation/translation made sense to the others. i still had some pointing and demonstrating and a lot of repeating to do..but i made it through the lesson. unscathed.

for now, i have to let go of my ideas of how to teach these lessons, and just be happy to get people to follow basic instructions (moving slowly and resting not in their minds yet) by any means necessary. (Feldenkrais classes are normally taught with all verbal instructions and no demonstrating or adjusting students.)  It is so hard to tell what the students' experience of the class is while they are doing the lesson. I see them working too hard, not resting, and moving faster than they ought..but at the end, when someone tells me that they feel relaxed and feel the difference where they should, all i can do is be thankful that the felden lessons work despite language confusion.

i also told myself before the class that i was not going to freak out over what people can or cannot understand..i do need to start picking up some basic spanish vocabulary..just so i can connect with the non english speakers a bit better. and i need to find some spanish language info on feldenkrais..It is going to be a challenge to teach this group this summer. 

I felt ok after teaching this time, unlike last week's post class freakfest and emotional exhaustion over not feeling understood (and i don't think it was just about teaching the class). i won't be able to be at all ambitious in terms of lessons i teach for the rest of the summer if this is the new "group" of the class..but so be it. i think i was partly annoyed last week at feeling like i had to backtrack (how dare students need something other than what i wanted to teach!)..but these folks have never done feldenkrais before..and that is enough of a challenge, even without the language issues. now i am glad that i will have a couple classes to sub in august..i can teach a bit more involved lessons to that class. 

Saturday, i hibernated at home. watched the exciting second half and then overtime and then tiebreaker penalty kicks to break the tie for brazil v. chile. it struck me that i have really been enjoying watching the world cup with spanish commentary..commentary that i cannot understand..other than names of players..and gooooooooooooooooooooaaaaallllllllllllllll!!!!! tone and volume of voice conveys a lot already. so maybe not all things need complete verbal comprehension to be enjoyed and understood.