“Less Lecturing, More Collaging” Session at Teaching and Learning Symposium, Centennial College (February 25, 2020)

Facilitating this art session on the theme of “What is Education?” was a pleasure and a privilege. I loved seeing the resulting collages and hearing the participants’ insightful and inspiring comments about their work.

Stories and Collages by Jessie’s Level Two ELL Class

I enjoyed providing collage facilitation and supplies to support Jessie’s lesson on storytelling a couple of weeks ago, and I hope viewers enjoy the illustrated narratives that emerged.

Happy Fruit Store
(Please download the video below for a fold-out illustration of the story).

Crazy DimSum House
Once upon a time, Steven and Johnson were hungry. They went to Crazy DimSum House. By the way, they didn’t take a lot of money. Their money was just enough to buy 3 pieces of DimSum, so they bought 2 pieces. Then, one person had one piece. Johnson said it was not enough, so they got one more piece of DimSum. Then, they fought for one piece of DimSum.
Crazy DimSum House
After that, Jessie saw them fighting when she came in. Jessie said, “Don’t fight! I will take you to eat more DimSum. You can bring your classmates together.” In the end, level 2-1 class friends enjoyed DimSum.
Johnson in the Future 
Once upon a time, Johnson was at work. He was very sad because he lost his job.
Johnson in the Future 
First, he was in Japan looking for a new job and he saw an amazing bicycle in the store. Second, he bought a bicycle and a cat. He bring the cat to go to the park. In the park, he saw the sky and thought he would like go to the future and started his travel to the future.
Johnson in the Future 
Next, he arrived to the future and suddenly, he saw a lot of money and thought the future was incredible. After that, he went to look for a new job with his cat and bought food for him. He enjoyed life in Japan. Finally, he had a new job and was happy.
The Neighbour and The Bear
Once upon a time, there was man name is Tom. He lived in a small house. He had a pet, but his pet was different from other people. His pet was a bear!!
The Neighbour and The Bear
First, the neighbour felt the bear was dangerous, so the neighbour called police, “My neighbour has a bear!! Please come fast here!!!” Next, the police came to Tom’s house to tell him, “You can’t have this pet!” Tom was so sad. But one day, the bear helped Tom’s neighbour catch a thief. Finally, Tom’s neighbour knew the bear was friendly, and so cute. He was sorry to Tom.

Inspiring College Students Describe Their Collages

Near the end of this fall semester, international and domestic students in two sections of a communications course made personal collages and then wrote about them. To celebrate the multifaceted creativity expressed in the students’ work, I have documented it here. I hope viewers find the following images and words as inspiring, charming, and uplifting as I have.

Esteban’s Collage: Blessing to Create

These images represent how important it is for me to cook and see happiness in those who enjoy my recipes. First, the image on the left represents my mother, to whom I owe this passion for cooking. This image remember me when I was a little boy. I went into the kitchen, and I found my mother preparing the dinner. . . . . I spent hours accompanying her, learning every detail of what she prepared.
Detail from Esteban’s Collage: Blessing to Create

. . . . When I see (family and friends) smile, taste, toast, delight, all these gives me great satisfaction . . . It is not only a pleasure for me to prepare something in the kitchen, but to share these moments with the people I value and appreciate. I am blessed to be able to create these moments.
Tri’s Collage
Detail from Tri’s Collage
Chaehee’s Collage

Going to college is very special and a miracle that happened to me because it was a challenge that seemed impossible . . . . I didn’t have the financial condition to go to college, but I came to Canada and saved my money by a working holiday. Finally, I managed to raise the tuition by myself. So, the fact that I am going to college on my own makes me proud.
Devin’s Collage

I’ve liked to take pictures since I was in middle school. I was hated by my parents because I wasn’t good at study . . . and eventually I ran away from home often. And I used to go to rooftops to see the night views alone because it was the only activity that made my mind feel comfortable . . . I took pictures of the scenes with my phone camera and kept them for viewing whenever I remembered them . . . . At the end of high school, I decided to enter the photography program at college, and now I’ve reached my dream. Therefore, my collage is a landscape that gave me dreams and hope.
Rodrigo’s Collage

I love to draw whenever I have free time or whenever I get bored and have nothing to do. I also like trying different art styles. . . . I love to play video games. It helps me get things off my mind when something goes on in my life. . . . I love watching movies and TV shows. . . . I also watch movies with my dad as he likes to watch movies as well.
Chris’ Collage

I am very cultural and like to travel to unique places, such as China, Bora Bora, Hawaii, St. Lucia, and many more places. I like to try many different foods from all over the world that I have never tried before. When trying the food, I like to understand the background of each food and the culture behind it. . . . . When being blessed to travel to many places of the world, I like to take it all in and appreciate what I am blessed with.
Weijia’s Collage

The collage represents that the person has multiple eyes on her. This means I am from a different culture and country, and now I try to adjust myself to many different aspects to adopt the different environment. Also, it means that I am gaining multiple abilities for different situations.
Detail from Weijia’s Collage

The two mouths show that I need to learn a second language to help me be able to live in the different country with better life. At the same time, I go to school to study fine art.
Hong Sheng’s Collage

In my collage, there are three aspects: fried chicken nuggets (loving food), Elsa (loving animation), and a painting (loving drawing). Firstly, I like any delicious food, whether it is fast food or Western food. I don’t think food has ranking; only they are delicious or not.
Detail from Hong Sheng’s Collage

. . . . In conclusion, my collage is showing that it is time to jump out of the sofa to pursue my dreams — food, animation, and drawing skills — and look to my sky future.
Yubing’s Collage: Entertaining Myself

Games assist me to keep connection with my friends. . . . I can’t always share all my life with my hometown’s friends when I came to Canada, but . . . I believe that our friendship still exists. Finally, music can be my best friend during my daily life, especially violin songs, since my mother always played it in my childhood. For example, I prefer to have some music when I am working on my artwork because it will help me to make sure how much time I spend instead of checking the clock all the time.
Gissell’s Collage

I love animals, and I want a better planet for them. I used to have a white bunny who was so intelligent. I wish I had the ability to fly like birds. . . . I love to go to any beautiful place, sit and just watch the sunset, all the colours, details. Every time is a different experience.
Isaiah’s Collage

So today in English I did a collage . . . Firstly, I put Shadow Clone Jutsu on . . because I’m currently watching a TV show called Naruto and that’s one of his superpowers. I chose everything that is blue on my collage because it represents my favourite colour. The three stars at the top represent the stars in my heart that I will let out one day.
Detail from Andrew’s Infinite Loop Collage

The reason I made this collage is because I love mechanics, technology, music, space, science, and the feel of nature.
Detail from Andrew’s Infinite Loop Collage

I put an image of nature because nature is important and I like the look of it in the fresh air.
Natalie’s Collage (1)

The birds in the background are supposed to represent thoughts coming and going . . . (and) the black and white scenery represents you ignoring/blocking out things around you.
Natalie’s Collage (2)
Mariana’s Collage: Art Is Health Care

My collage reveals that I am a very artistic person. If you were to ever meet my family, you would realize where I got that from. In my family we are visual artists, fashionistas, musicians, music lovers, dancers and singers . . . . I think I am the only one who does act ha-ha. In this collage you will see a ballerina, paint, eye makeup look, and a dress, but you will also see that it says fitness. As a dancer of any kind, your body is your line of work, your gift, your reason for creating, you instrument, so it is important to keep it well-nourished . . . and train it for any circumstance. . . . I actually enjoy working out, I feel empowered, strong and seeing the results I want . . . helps with my confidence and how I now view myself.
Detail from Mariana’s Collage: Art Is Health Care

Now, the collage also says music. I was in a music conservatory for 8 years for piano. I did competitions and recitals. I have been singing since I was very little, started dance when I was 7, quit, continued at home, then started hip-hop dance when I was 15 . . . Any who, this is my artistic collage showing my artistic self.

Sasha’s Collage

Collage is an art. And as an art it reveals our inner self. My collage started to be just a drawing but turned out to be my self-portrait. . . . First, I love bright colours and my favourite piece of jewelry is my mom’s pearl earrings. Second of all, I put some quotes from an astrophysics book with colours from paint samples. For me it is a philosophy: the universe is full of math but it is an art. I wanted to do physics before art, but decided to go to cinema college instead . . . . and depict the beauty of the universe.
Detail from Sasha’s Collage

Last but not least, I put a red ribbon on the corner. Red is my favourite colour, and also this colour has a lot of different meanings: love, blood, purity, and revolution. All these are connected to me, and I think the quote “Fear Nothing” is my go-to quote these days.
Mint’s Collage

I made the collage that shows the aspects of my life and my way to the country that I always dreamed about, Canada. First, I used an elephant to represent my country, Thailand, because elephants are our important animal, and the Thai and elephants have had a deep relationship for a long time. Moreover, once an elephant used to be on our flag.
Detail from Mint’s Collage

Second, I flew to Canada as a bird. I flew over the sea to the country that has a beautiful red leaf symbol. Canada is a super cold country, so the bird has a hat and scarf to help it (me) stay warm. Actually, I wanted to make it wear boots and a jacket too, but it was hard to find the material.
Detail from Mint’s Collage

Finally, I put the bird holding a maple leaf. I hope that I can succeed in my career in Canada even though there will be obstacles like wind and snow, and the fish is my cheerleader (ha ha). In the nutshell, this collage presents my aspects of my country, Canada, and my desire.

Summer Images

Liberty, Missouri
Front Step of a Home in Hermann, Missouri
Liberty, Missouri
Liberty, Missouri
Liberty, Missouri
Mural on the Ceiling of Patron-Overflow Bus,
Southwest Diner, Saint Louis
Bus Mural, Southwest Diner
Daniel Boone Home Historic Site
Blue-tailed Skink at Daniel Boone Home
Streaming into Detroit at Dawn on the Greyhound Bus