Eric Bryant

Meisner Class Journal 6.25.2024

“You’re so…FRENCH!”

We continued with Independent Activity work last night. I had brought in two options, and decided to go with the one that involved a lost lottery ticket. Alex was my repeater. Overall I felt like the activity went well. I definitely felt filled up with the circumstances, to the point where it took me a few minutes to be able to react to Alex’s behavior. The lost object part of the exercise went well, although Jolene mentioned that at one point she didn’t think I had searched a folder of paper sufficiently given the importance of finding the ticket. I think it’s a fair observation, though in the moment I thought that the folder was the least likely place for the ticket to be. The class feedback was very positive, as was Jolene’s, however I flubbed a bit when she asked about my crafting. I had re-crafted this particular exercise 3-4 times, and when I started to explain the crafting I described an earlier version of the exercise, not at all what I had prepped. Chalk it up to Monday.

One other thing that happened that I’m having a hard time shaking is that during the exercise I got very frustrated both with the activity as well as Alex’s lackadaisical response to my frustration. He seemed very aloof, and when I was trying to find the word to describe his behavior, it didn’t come. I ended up saying, “You’re so….FRENCH!” Everyone got a laugh out of that, including Alex, however it’s been bothering me because 1. being French is not a behavior, and 2. more importantly, I was commenting on a stereotype of my perception of a French person. It feels the same as if I had said to T or Joseph, “You’re so…BLACK!” While I don’t want to quash any impulses and I want to be true to what I’m feeling in the moment, I also want to make sure that I am not contributing to an unsafe environment. I don’t know…maybe I’m overreacting and am being plagued by trying to be too PC. It can be a fine line…if we don’t confront and talk about the uncomfortable stuff, it perpetuates. I think mainly I don’t want to be seen as xenophobic (or racist, misogynistic, etc.). I may be reacting to my concern over what others perception of me may be. I’m going to reflect a bit more.

During the second half I was partnered with T as his repeater. Again, I felt like the scene went well, but I again got the note that I’m not letting myself be affected by his behavior and trusting the exercise. Frustrating. I’m working really hard to keep my entire focus on my partner, and allowing myself to be open and vulnerable, but for some reason that isn’t translating. More work to do.

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