The Evolution of Dumbo

I’m not sure if you saw before, but I’m doing a series of blog posts on the artistic aspects of the Transylvania community.  If you missed the first post, click here. Now you’re all caught up.  YAY!

Anyway, as a child, I was the polite, soft-spoken type up until I went to kindergarten—then everything changed.  All the sudden I blossomed and became the talkative, probably-too-energetic kid I still am today.  Although I was about 4 feet shorter and had the ears of Dumbo, I think my ears were a physical manifestation of the social butterfly I was becoming.  I had broken out of my cocoon, and I was ready to fly… or at least, I thought so.

My teacher had other plans.

Believe it or not, teachers don’t always appreciate class disruptions, so she didn’t appreciate my constant attempts to draw on the board, my affinity for climbing on everything other than the playground, or my occasional belief that I could use my ears to fly.

Fast forward through puberty and (luckily) growing into my ears.  Now I’m at Transy, and I have a secret obsession with art. If you’re involved in the Lexington art community in any way, shape, or form, you’ve most likely heard of Kremina Todorova and Kurt Gohde. 

Dr. Todorova is an English professor, and Dr. Gohde is an art professor; however, much like the Planeteers, their powers combine in order to make some extraordinary things: their Community Engagement through the Arts and Creative Disruptions classes. 

One of the dolls from the 1,000 Dolls Project on Limestone St.

My interest in these classes not only stems from their artistic nature, but rather from the engagement/disruption aspects.  In Community Engagement through the Arts, the primary focus of the class is to engage Transylvania’s northern neighbors through large-scale art projects.  Most recently, 1,000+ dolls were scattered along a major road near campus for whomever to pick up.  The dolls were showcased, and I actually kept one for my room (if you look closely at my previous pictures, you’ll see my Cyclops-doll hiding behind the flower my roommate made).  These art projects are super nifty, and pictures shall be provided.

The class that interests me most, however, is not the Community Engagement through the Arts, but the Creative Disruptions class.  Founded in 2009, the Creative Disruptions Class is based on an antiquated economics principle which suggests that innovation in a Capitalist economy stems from creatively challenging the norm.  Yes, an English professor, an art professor, and an economic principle create possibly the snazziest class on Transy’s campus.

Let me clarify, this class isn’t just spiffy due to the atypical curricula. It’s spiffy because each day of Mayterm (our current, month long term) you’re given the task to creatively disrupt the Transy and Lexington communities.

Students rent a public parking space in downtown Lexington.

Their projects include things like setting up a comfortable space and reading a book with three other classmates in a public parking spot.  You rent the spot, so you technically pay for it, but you challenge people to reevaluate why certain actions are not permitted in very specific public areas.  They also do something called the Anti-Feminist Day. After reading feminist texts, the students of the class are encouraged to live their lives for one day as if the Feminist movement never happened.  This may seem like a great thing for the men in the class and a not-so-great thing for the women in the class; however, as the day progresses, it becomes more and more difficult to keep up the not-so-popular facade while interacting with your peers, and according to Todorova and Gohde, most of their students find that the social experiment requires a lot more from them than they originally thought and develop at least an understanding of the Feminist movement that they hadn’t had before.

Yeah, I’m going to take the class as soon as it’s offered, and I am more than certain that it’ll be an amazing experience. Where else are you not only given the opportunity to be a disruption, you’re encouraged to disrupt?  I feel like my elementary school teacher may have a conniption just imagining it.

I’m just glad that at Transy, Dumbo is encouraged to fly.

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