Tag Archives: Elizabeth

American Lit: Octavia’s Brood: Sci-Fi Stories From Social Justice Movements (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Read 25 short stories written by 20 different authors inspired by Octavia Butler, including one written by the South Seattle musician, writer, and hip hop artist Gabriel Teodros. (I’m going to work on having him come as a guest speaker.)

Celebrate diverse voices and stories.

Dive into the blended world of sci-fi and social justice. 

Engage in rich discussion about how to envision and build the world you want to see.

This will be a read-aloud and discussion class. There will also be short writing assignments along the way to practice diving deeper into content and themes.

Octavia’s Brood, exists in part to redress a historical bias toward white male writers. In the 1960s, a poll to find the greatest science fiction novel of all time featured not a single female author… Science fiction “has responded to minority writers as society has responded- slowly.” This is thanks in no small part to the female African-American science fiction pioneer Octavia E. Butler who is commemorated in the title of the anthology. Specifically, the editors name-check the “Octavia Butler scholarship, an Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, and all the work the Carl Brandon Society has been doing since 1997” as examples of science fiction’s slow progress toward equality across barriers of gender, race, and sexuality, of which Octavia’s Brood forms a part.

“[Questions of social justice] have deep roots in history and they are our responsibility to figure out with more focused attention than a sensationalized 24 hour news cycle allows. We chose to collect short stories that could be read quickly but ask important questions that stick with our readers. Where is home? What is justice? What makes life worth living and fighting for?” Speculative fiction interrogates current societal values through its portrayal of alternative paradigms and social structures, and the editors feel that traditional narratives allow for these complex parallels to be developed to their fullest.”

–Excerpts from an interview with the editors, Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown

 

 

Required texts/materials:

Continuing Sex and Health Education (year long) (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Here is the description from the beginning of the year to reground you in what is to come.

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Sexual health and healthy relationships are things all people, especially young people, deserve. In this class I will do my best to be inclusive of a wide variety of genders, sexualities, experiences, and perspectives and focus on the real world and real life experiences.

Relationships and sexuality is a life long journey of learning about ourselves. Here in this class, I want to create a space where you can learn relevant information about sexual and relational health. Talking about sex and our bodies openly and honestly can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.  It can also be enlightening, informative and exciting!

I will be utilizing two different curriculum sources. One will be Be Real. Be Ready. is SFUSD’s (San Francisco Unified School District) comprehensive relationship and sexuality curriculum for high school students. And S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna as well as various educational media pieces and articles as they relate to the topics.

I Need Self Care (elizabeth ortega)

I invite students who have taken this class every time it was offered, as well as students who feel like taking care of themselves in new and maybe even kinda strange ways. Spring Term offers a simple opportunity to slow down, check in with yourself, and engage in practices that help you prioritize taking care of your whole being: mind, heart, body, and spirit.

This class feels more important than ever. Our nervous systems and hearts have been overloaded with stress and anxiety throughout this global pandemic. We need to repair and take care. What better time than to slow down and figure out how to be well through this?

We will come together to take care of our hearts, bodies, and spirits, and get to know each other and ourselves a little better. We will meditate, listen, breathe, make art together, go outside, write, do some yoga (not too much!), stretch, and create our own little sanctuary space in your rooms/homes where you can take care of yourselves right now.

You become what you practice. Let’s practice together.

MS Current Events (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Every week we will dive into a different topic. We will gather opinions about what global issues, political matters, current news, we want to explore. We will read articles, watch short videos, listen to news segments, and look at photos regarding the issues at hand. The content will be relevant to what is going on in the world and we will do our best to keep up with the events of this time.

You will have asynchronous time to complete an assignment each week and then, the following week, we will engage in small group discussion in a socratic seminar style.

What did you learn? What surprised you? What activated you? Do you agree with your classmates? What do you still wonder?

Sex and Health Education (MS) (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

We will work to create a space where you can learn relevant information about sexual and relational health. Talking about sex and our bodies openly and honestly can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. It can also be enlightening, informative, and exciting!

This class will be a place to build confidence and friendly curiosity, rather than shame and judgment. Cultivating a relationship with one’s sexuality and body is a journey – and it’s better if you feel informed and aware along the way.

We will utilize the book: Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and You “This candid, inclusive, stereotype-defying, and absolutely wonderful primer on sexuality and gender identity embraces diversity in all of its dimensions.” To further inform the curriculum we will also use the age appropriate curriculum: The Get Real middle school curriculum.

Please reach out if you have any questions about the content of this class!

Embroidery and Diverse Voices (elizabeth ortega)

This class is for both returning students and students who are new to embroidery! (I will work with new students to catch you up.)

This class is 2 parts: EMBROIDERY and DIVERSE VOICES.

Embroidery. This is the craft of decorating fabric using a needle and applying thread or yarn. It’s a hand-eye coordination craft. You can decorate anything from a jean jacket to a handkerchief.

You can decorate with words, designs, images, shapes, etc. It’s bunches of fun, requires patience and intention, and is very rewarding when your masterpieces are completed. You can frame your pieces, wear your pieces, or decorate with them.

Diverse Voices. We will listen to various podcasts, Ted talks, and media pieces centering voices that are typically marginalized. We will hear from a variety of folks, from many different backgrounds, across all different identities and life experiences. We will engage in small group discussion during synchronous classes.

I challenge you to join us for some hands on art, listening, connection with each other, and creativity.

This class is for you if you’ve already taken and want to continue to improve your skills and for those who are just beginning and need some extra support with embroidery.