Tash’s Book

 

First up in the #ttsmgrad series, Natasha Guimond shows the mockup of her first book, Nellie Knows, an educational children’s book based on mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

Be sure to check Tash out on her website (which is pretty stellar if I do say so myself) and social media profiles.

www.natashaguimond.com
@nguimond

 

Angie Foster | Cutting Room Floor

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One of our favorite past times is catching up with old friends.  Angie Foster is a 2013 graduate of the Tuning the Student Mind program at the College for Creative Studies. She now lives and works in NYC.  Take it away Angie:

 

I moved to Brooklyn from Detroit last August. So far it has been adventurous, sweaty, lovely, hilarious, intimidating, ambitious, and perfectly imperfect in every way. I never know what I am going to see or do, but I just feel this pull that I am moving in the right direction. Within a few months of random freelance work when I moved here, I got my foot in the door of Pentagram, pretty much my dream job.

A two-week freelance gig turned into a 9 month freelance-turned-internship with some great people and designers. It has been an extreme growth period for me. I have questioned everything I know about life and design—and I genuinely love it. I’ve felt proud and appreciated and intimidated and confident, even though (once or twice) I’ve cried in the bathroom.

I still begin each day by meditating for 20 minutes. I ease my way through my morning routine without engaging with any digital screens so that I can set up my mind for the work that lay ahead.

In April, I joined Elle Luna and The Great Discontent in the reiteration of Michael Bierut’s 100 Day Project. I decided to introduce myself to someone new every day and document it in a sketchbook. I’ve met a barista, a professional juggler, a 40-something student, a DJ, best friends, an au pair, a makeup artist, a neighbor, a mutual friend, a bartender, an engineer, and even a celebrity—and I’m only on day 36. These titles are merely identifiers for the context in which I met them. Because each of these people are humans. They are siblings, spouses, parents, friends, employees and they took time out of their lives to talk to me. It’s a humbling, grounding, and liberating experience to approach a stranger without knowing what will come of it. It’s the most dreaded (before I do it) and most fulfilling (seconds after) part of every day for me, so far.

 

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Things that David told me during our chat: His two dogs (who were adorable) are Walnut and Barley. Walnut is bicultural—a lover of all humans and animals alike. Walnut, on the other hand, is a diplomat—he chooses carefully. While we were talking, a woman and her dog came up to us. Walnut proceeded to hop up onto her leg and hug–not hump–it. The dog was giving her leg a mid-western embrace, as sweet as that.

 

 

Every moment in life is exactly how it’s meant to be. It’s weird and great and messy. With the support of friends, family, coworkers, and the occasional kind stranger, I am able to forge on, right into who I’m meant to become.

To view my 100 Day Project #100introductions, follow me on Instagram or Tumblr.

 

Check out part of Angie’s 2013 interview that unfortunately didn’t make it into the Tuning the Student Mind documentary, but was just too good to leave on the cutting room floor (Amazing to witness Angie work toward manifesting her dreams. Congratulations, Angie! We hope you’ll continue to keep in touch. We’re rooting for you here at TTSM!):

 

Chelsea: Last night when I was sitting in on your class I caught something you said to Molly. I’m going to tell you what you said and maybe you can elaborate on it a bit. What you said was “If there is anything I now know from taking this class it’s that everything I need is right here within me.”

Angie: I think just realizing that you’re graduating college and you have to become this person and it’s been this 18 or 22 year adventure. Then you get there and you’re like, oh shit, what am I going to be? Who am I going be? What am I going to do? There are all of these crazy unanswered questions. It almost defeats you every time you think about it.

When I do go inside and I meditate and I go within myself, I feel like I can do anything I want to do. Basically every possibility that exists is already within me. I can make it happen and there is no better feeling than that.

Chelsea: If you had to explain this class to strangers how would you go about doing that?

Angie: I guess I would say; you come to class and instantly you’re reflecting on yourself. You learn meditation early in the semester, then you start to use it in your daily life. Then, basically putting that aside, knowing that you’re doing that and having your own personal experiences, you come to class and you talk about your place in the world.

It just makes me a much more confident person, designer, artist. There is so much pressure put on us in our education to go to college, get a degree, get a job, get the right job, get the perfect job. So when you are able to sit and reflect on yourself you can really appreciate yourself I think.

Chelsea: This is sort of random but I have a feeling you’ll run with it… How does “being love” enrich your experience of education?

Angie: I think “being love” enriches my education because I care a lot about everything I do. And I think that can put me in a really bad spot with class mates or team mates that don’t care as much. I actually feel like a stronger designer when I’m independently working.

But I think overall knowing that “being love” and caring and finding passion in everything I create is just going to inevitably put me with other people that care and that want to be passionate about their work, and who they are.

Rather than ending up in a studio designing the sexiest graphic image, I’m going to be in a place with people that I’m happy to go hang out with everyday.

 

What Makes a Good Teacher

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I filmed this interview at Molly’s house in May of 2013. I remember telling her over tea and through petting her dogs that we were just going to have a conversation about why she enjoys teaching. She was a little nervous as she brushed her hair out of her face and reminisced about me sitting in her classroom just a few short years before. Naturally, Molly quickly forgot about the camera and discussed her love of teaching in the most sincere of ways.

Here is one of my favorite moments from that interview:

Chelsea: What makes a good teacher?

Molly: I think really, ultimately what makes a great teacher is just being comfortable in your own skin and being authentic. Kids remember way less about what it is that you want to teach them then they do about the feeling that is emanated in the classroom. That feeling then inspires them to go out and study on their own.

Maharishi talks about absolute love. He talks about the spontaneous outgrowth of true love which has an unconditional nature. It is not this or that, it is. It’s when you meet someone and you light up in the joy of meeting them. Not because they’re pretty or skinny or young or old or can play the piano, but because there’s a joyfulness in their presence. I think that when you teach from that level, when you teach from that level of truly seeing the whole person and truly responding to the whole person, you create an environment that is inspired for learning.

Introducing the Cutting Room Floor

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A common discussion among filmmakers is the ratio between the total duration of footage created for possible use in a project and that which actually appears in its final cut. This is known as the “shooting ratio”. Truth is, sometimes the best stuff ends up getting cut – random jokes, funny accidents, things that are just too intimate to share with a large audience…

We thought it might be fun to share some “lost” conversations from our transcripts. So, we’ve created a whole new blog category, “Cutting Room Floor”. We hope you love reading them as much as we loathed cutting them from the Tuning the Student Mind film!

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