We started out our second session by attempting to discuss what they listened to this week, but it quickly became clear that that wasn't going to happen. Instead of following the email link to the web version of the story, most of them tried to find it on their podcast apps, and ended up listening to things that were definitely not 21 Chump Street from This American Life. So we tabled that one (lol).
We moved on to our first listening session: Not the "Right" Kind of Gay from Radio Rookies. The story is about a queer kid who identifies as femme, and is trying to navigate the gay community as a femme male identified person. We ended up having an awesome discussion about identity, marginalized identities within marginalized identity groups, interviewing techniques, and audio storytelling in general.
From there, we did a free write. A free write is a 10 minute stream-of-consciousness write whatever is in your head even if it's not relevant at all technique. Our prompt: What part of your identity is most important to you? Why? The students ended up enjoying it way more than I expected them too. They said the free flow writing allowed them to discover some thoughts and feelings about their identity they had never really articulated before, which was awesome. Our free write transitioned us into talking about our This I Believe stories, which are very personal statements about our daily life philosophies.
We entered into our This I Believe lesson by listening to three This I Believe essays: Be Cool to the Pizza Delivery Dude, The Essentials to Happiness and I Believe in the Car Radio. Then we did an activity from the This I Believe High School Curriculum. The four students each silently read a list of statements and indicated whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement. The statements were things like "Life is fair" and "What goes around comes around." Once they had all gone through their lists individually, they found one statement they all agreed on. Then they each told a story that illustrated why they believed what they believed.
For homework, they're listening to the Making Waves This I Believe essays from the past two semesters. The first drafts of their essays are due next week.