[Note: We were honored to have an exciting and energetic group of young artists from Gault Middle School in Tacoma, WA at this year’s middle school "Explorations" workshop. One of the students from Gault, Jamarae Finnie, was kind enough to send us a journal of his time here. Thanks Jamarae!]
Jamarae Finnie, that’s me! And this is a journal of my time at Centrum.
After a two hour drive spent singing car songs and listening to music, the Gault kids arrived at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA. We immediately toured bunkers once used by the military… and had a blast during a rousing game of “bunker tag”.
At the kick off assembly, we reviewed the menu of courses available to students – theater, dance, creative writing, art, video, and more! A catered lunch followed and then a trip to dormitories….
Our housing was nice, but drafty! Bunk beds, indoor bathrooms… the works!
The two classes I chose as my main foci were dance and language arts.
In dance video production, I used cameras to produce my own video. We
each left with a copy of our presentation. In Language Arts we focused
on the story of our own lives. My teacher, Ben was really attentive
and helpful. I wrote about my flaws, what I really care about and what
I want to be when I grow up.
Everyday after lunch was free time. I spent my time playing football,
basketball and bunker tag. Another highlight was when we saw a
coyote. We “dipped back” (a.k.a. ran quickly) to our dormitories.
The day before we left was Presentation Day. I was nervous because I
had not been on a stage since my 4th grade play. I was in Red Ridding
Hood and played the wolf. I had a great time encouraging the crowd
which cheered for every presentation.
We had a blast laughing and clapping for one another. Out of nowhere,
they played my dance video. I was embarrassed. Everyone liked it
saying my video was unique. I mixed it up, changed the speed of my
dancing, used props… I’ll always remember how embarrassed I felt, but
beneath it all I felt proud of what I had accomplished at Centrum.
That night, we hosted an impromptu dance. Even though we still didn’t know everyone there, we all came together.
On the way home, we ate at McDonalds which I hadn’t had for five days.
I hope to go back to Centrum next year where I will take Language Arts
and Theater classes. Thanks to Centrum, it’s staff and Ms. Cuff for
making our time at Centrum possible.
Gault Gazelles who attended Centrum:
Jamarae Finnie joined Diamond Garza, Jay Nuy, Giang Ngyuen, Rachel
Cropper, Zandra Jones, Abraham Mercer, Diana Zuniga, Kevin Zuniga, Kiva
Allison, Phoenixe S. LaRyce Moaga, Katie Hansen