I think I learn very slowly. I’m not a fast learner. It took me years to learn very basic code. I still feel very naïve when I’m coding. I think most people learn that way, and we as teachers are often forced into situations where we need to be very efficient with our lectures and our assignments. That’s really stressful.
I think the common mistake of a beginner teacher is giving too much: too much preparation and too much energy, too much love. They end up feeling burned out easily.
I learn best when I see a teacher working on a problem. If you have a code problem, you’re stuck, and you have an error, what do you do? You open up Stack Overflow. How do you search it? How do you fix things? Learning how to work through a problem is way more important than doing it the “right way.” I try to teach the emotional roller coaster of coding, which is similar to the experience of working on art and having breakthrough moments.
I teach because I want to be a student. I still go to classes a lot. Right now I’m learning American Sign Language, which is completely changing everything. I also do yoga. My yoga teacher is an amazing teacher: very generous and supportive. My teacher also takes other teachers’ classes. I think reciprocity is about always learning and respecting another. That’s the only way you could actually offer something.
It’s pretty sci-fi, messy, and quite Ab-ex. Living in a female body is like Alien meets Jackson Pollock.
I believe the value of art and living as an artist lies in the freedoms you give yourself. The freedom to be contradictory, to have a long weird path to where you are now and to know that the ground on which you stand is itself a path to someplace else; the freedom to be two people, speak with many voices; the freedom to be both wrong and right at the same time.
Artists experience more of the human spectrum and inhabit the gray areas that are off limits to many. That’s the tragedy of… whatever you want to call it, capitalism, Western culture, tradition, gender binaries, racism, sexism, these human structures that have evolved around us—they end up cutting off our realm of possibility, the very things that make us human. Art is a record of decision-making, and in that way, it delineates a breadcrumb trail leading outside a structure.