Re: Mixed bag for henna class at library- advice please?

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Posted by Christine on August 17, 2002 at 03:17:47:

In reply to: Mixed bag for henna class at library- advice please? posted by Lauren on August 16, 2002 at 13:35:22:

: Last night I did a class at a local public library for their teen
: program. About 20 kids showed up, about evenly boys and girls,
: 10-17, most of them black. I was all excited, hoping I'd finally
: to do some of those neat-o african designs from Alex.
: Anyway, most of them were only vaguely interested until I passed
: around the pattern books. Then the littler girls started
going "Oh,
: GROSS" when they got to the pages in Spellstone and Africa with the
: breast designs. I've always been sort of uncertain about those
: pages. I mean, I love the designs but I'm afraid someday a parent
: going to go ballistic on me for showing them to her kid. Is there
: way to have the designs without the boobs?
: Then there was the group of about six more-gangsta-than-thou older
: boys who were obviously there to make trouble. They heckled me
: the very beginning, asking rude questions and talking over me.
: I finally gave up on the history part and handed out the henna
: they kept complaining about the smell (I used eucalyptus) and the
: color and the texture. Between the six of them they used about 50
: alcohol wipes and then kept asking for more henna cones. Call me a
: silly animist but I didn't want to share my little cones of baraka
: with them. The facilitator told tem if they didn't cut it out they
: would be asked to leave but it never happened and eventually they
: wandered out on their own. How do I deal with this? They were all
: about a foot taller than me and fairly buff and I'm fairly flabby,
: plus I was wearing the baby. I was pretty intimidated and didn't
: know what was appropriate to say or do, so I just ignored them.
: Once I started handing out the henna, the fun began. Some of them
: took watercolor pencils and started sketching out designs from
: books. Some people did freehand stuff, some copied from books. We
: got some terrific Warrior Princess designs! Some people chose song
: lyrics like the poetry pages from Erfan's book. Then I got a herd
: little girls asking me to do designs on them, and they all wanted
: traditional Indian. All of them were really dark-skinned and I
: they come back to the library and get their pictures taken so I can
: see what the color they get is. One girl in particular showed a
: gift for design and came up with her own piece that looks a lot
: the opening picture on this page. One kid had two perfectly good
: designs done by someone else but he didn't like them and kept
: pestering me to do one for him, which I eventually did because he
: very polite about it.
: It went okay, I guess, and of course it's a learning process
: a good class toether, but what would you all have done with this
: group?
: Lauren

First of all , those unruly kids just wanted attention, and like most
kids their age, try to "intimidate you" they are still in part
children. I did a class recently at my library yesterday (India
Independence day) I had a small crowd.It was mostly believe it or not
a lot girls from Latin america,not one Indian .I use some pics from
the Dover clip art series Aztec/Maya glyphs (which are hard for me so
I did simple ones) I also got a lot of requests for Cherries a
simple design of 2 cherries, (I have no clue of the meaning to the
kids except to me they are good on top of ice cream)and american
flags, and the WTC which I did on one girl who lost her father. She
said it will help her heal. I said okay why not.I normally don't do
the WTC I don't have them in my design book. how could I refuse
her,to her the henna is a healing process. To this day it does have a
big impact in my area of CT since most knows someone who worked &
died there. BAck on subject (sorry) It was a volunteer type event. I
didn't get to involved in the history, I did more of a demo type. 2
hours I will never forget,I stayed a bit longer to finish the WTC
design. this group was so polite and more interested on doing henna
vs. history. they took thier cones and lemon/sugar mix cotton ball
home. Yes, I finally switched and learned to make cones took me a
awhile. I'm still faster on the jaq bottle though since i wasn't in a
hurry cones suited the purpose. I kind of envy a lot of you. With my
real job(at 50 hour a week or more work schedule) and dance class. I
have sometimes very little time to do henna I do parties here and
there. When I do henna, I take my time to enjoy it.Don;t let those
few kids ruin it for you.
Bright Blessings, christine


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