College for Creative Studies News

 

We were recently featured on the College for Creative Studies’ news and events page in an article titled, Short film explores game-changing CCS sociology course that helps students tap creative potential. We’re honored to be recognized and look forward to future semesters of “Consciousness, Creativity and Identity”.

 

“If you walked into Molly Beauregard’s classroom toward the end of each session, you’d find the room swathed in stillness and calm. You’d see every student sitting face forward, eyes closed, deep in silent meditation. The scene wouldn’t strike you as particularly unusual if this were a wellness room or a yoga class, but it’s not. It may well be, however, the first academic course of its kind at an American college.

For more than 15 years, Beauregard has taught sociology — mostly, and happily, at the College for Creative Studies. But a few years ago she noticed that her students weren’t showing much interest in the material. They seemed not only disengaged and preoccupied but also exhausted. It is a troubling commonplace in U.S. college classrooms.

“I can’t tell you exactly when it happened,” said Beauregard, “but I started to have this awareness that there was a struggle going on with my students, and I wondered why they didn’t seem to like sociology and why it wasn’t resonating. Semester to semester, it felt like it was getting worse. What’s going on here?”

This question formed the basis of what would become, in 2011, an innovative sociology course incorporating transcendental meditation…”

See the full article here.

 

Introducing the Cutting Room Floor

A common discussion among filmmakers is the ratio between the total duration of footage created for possible use in a project and that which actually appears in its final cut. This is known as the “shooting ratio”. Truth is, sometimes the best stuff ends up getting cut – random jokes, funny accidents, things that are just too intimate to share with a large audience…

We thought it might be fun to share some “lost” conversations from our transcripts. So, we’ve created a whole new blog category, “Cutting Room Floor”. We hope you love reading them as much as we loathed cutting them from the Tuning the Student Mind film!

Figuring It Out

When I first read the following quote, it really stuck with me. Mahatma Gandhi said, “A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, nothing else.” I think why this impacted me is because of how relatable it is to the way people’s lives are looked at sometimes: a series of actions or experiences and expectations. Interestingly, through Molly Beauregards Consciousness, Creativity and Identity class and making sense of my own feelings about it, I feel Gandhi might have been wrong.

I have been told for a long time that people are who they are because of the situations they have gone through in their lives. I heard over and over variations of Gandhi’s words. And I believed this too. It made enough sense. I could rationalize certain situations and boil them down to find the answers I was looking for, whether I was analyzing someone else’s actions or my own. I didn’t really look too closely until after I had graduated high school and began to see those experiences from a different vantage point. I had a typical Catholic, stable, loving, and carefree upbringing. If I really was a product of everything I had done up to that point, then why was I still feeling like I didn’t have a strong footing or really know who I was?

I thought in order to figure it out I would be doing the same thing I had always been doing. But looking back on my life didn’t really do anything for me—and still really hasn’t. It turns out, taking all the pieces and trying to put them back together doesn’t really form a whole me. Thinking about the idea of being the “sum of experiences” now, I get a feeling of being a stranger at a funeral. My life would be equivalent to hundreds of photographs pasted to boards, stored in scrapbooks and looped on a powerpoint projected on a wall. This is supposed to provide a summary of life? Yet, a glimpse is all the photos can be. Just as analyzing the snapshots of experiences someone has had in their lives is only a glimpse into what it means to know that person’s true self. Humans are not simply equations: bad experience plus good experience plus confusing experience equals a whole person.

According to C. Mills, many people become falsely conscious of their social positions. They don’t know they are greater than their experiences, and they live their lives thinking that the things they’ve done and seen make up their whole person—even when they might have not had much control over what was going on. People aren’t just reflections of the things they’ve gone through, and shouldn’t be reduced to that. What is bigger than what happens to us in our lifetimes is the connections between those experiences, and the connections we make with people along the way. No matter what you do to figure anyone else out, you can really never know how they’ve made their connections.

This is why I feel that humans have failed to come up with a solid definition of what it means to be conscious, or to have a soul, or to love someone so deeply that you would sacrifice your well being for theirs, even though it isn’t rational. No matter how hard we try, the human experience cannot be boiled down to an equation able to be repeated. I know humans will continue to try to “figure it out”. There is something about cracking a code that is satisfying. But if in the process of solving this equation, you are reducing people to narrow parts, then you are only getting a glimpse into what makes up a whole person. There will ultimately always be something missing from the equation.

Colleen Arce | Interior Design student at the College for Creative Studies
http://www.behance.net/ccarce

 

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

April 2014 Book of the Month

“A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend.” ~Author Unknown

This book is an old friend. Molly and Chelsea have decided to read it together this month. Please join!!

Written in 1922 by Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, is a gem of a book. The story recounts the spiritual journey of self awakening that a man named Siddhartha undergoes during the time of Buddha. This classic novel grabs the readers heart and opens it to the infinite potential of who a man can become.

TTSM in “Mantra Yoga + Health” Magazine

Tuning the Student Mind is featured in the February issue of Mantra Yoga + Health magazine!!

Check out the article on their website –
http://mantramag.com/tuning-student-mind-chelsea-richer/

Here is where you can find your copy of Mantra magazine –
http://mantramag.com/find-mantra/

Here is the page spread (oooolala!)

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The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

September 2013 Book of the Month

I read The Celestine Prophecy during the first couple weeks of school in my first year at the College for Creative Studies. I had just moved to Detroit and I was enrolled in a Sociology class taught by Molly Beauregard. This is when Molly and I met for the first time (in this life).

I’ll never forget the way she smiled with her hand resting on my book saying, “This is a very good book, one of my favorites.”

This was actually the very first book I read on my not so declared at the time but ever present “spiritual quest”. And with that, I’ll leave you to the wild, wonderful and supremely suspenseful book that is, The Celestine Prophesy…might this be a coincidence?

Now, I know we haven’t posted a book of the month since April, and what excuse do we have?? So here are four books I read this summer that I think you’ll enjoy. I’m not going to spend much time on them as they were just real good summer reads. They’re not for everyone, but each of these held a very special place in my heart over the summer: The Red Tent, The Secret Life of PlantsLight on Pranayama, and Water for Elephants.

Chelsea Richer

 

summer2013booksTTSM

 

Movement

A certain professor once told me that I needed to start finding intellectual pursuits that furthered my growth as a human being and kept my mind off of others. She also said that people were a matter of the heart, and all I needed to worry about was how to love them better. Three months later and I am just now starting to really understand what she meant by that.

This past year has presented some personal life challenges that forced me to look at people in a different light, and it wasn’t positive. I became discouraged and sour, introverted and detached, and very not my usual self. And as a naturally self-aware person, I could only let the charades continue for so long. So, I decided to make some changes.

The coming new year seemed like a perfect time to flip my world upside down and refuse to take any more bullshit from myself. So that’s exactly what I did. I got up, de-cluttered my house, and organized my studio. Oh, and I started practicing yoga. This ladies and gentlemen, is a monumental feat. As I have not only challenged myself to do it every day for 365 days, but I have also began to blog about it.

My intellectual pursuits are now becoming very satisfied, as well as my desire to get into shape and meditate. I’m excited to get back into writing too, another resolution of mine. (The number of birds I’m killing here with this one stone is really starting to add up) As a once anti-blogging, out of practice with journaling, glassblower revs up to write something every day for a year about her experiences with moving meditation.

Whoa, ok. Now that I’ve announced my big challenge, I can move on to the real point of this post. When going to set up my tumblr, I had completely forgotten that two years ago, when I was not so determined, I opened a tumblr account and posted a hidden gem. It was all about moving from the past and coming to terms with my situation. If I’m not mistaken, I was doing a lot of journaling around that time, and also had some family/relationship hardships that I was going through. So it’s very appropriate that I would write something like this.

It’s a very stream of conscious entry, so much so, that I completely forgot and denied that I wrote it for the first ten minutes upon discovering it. But lo and behold, it’s mine (I even goggled it). Oddly enough, it’s still extremely relevant in my life today, just in a completely different way. But this time around it’s so much better, because I’m finally moving and becoming present in my own life.

I hope you can find some meaning or truth in my thoughts. After all they’re not really mine, but more so a collective of thoughts, my words just merely an interpretation.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out my blog @ www.spiritgangster.tumblr.com, and follow it if you’d like.  I’d really appreciate it!

What are we, where are we going, and where are we from? Thy do not tell me in thine stories of fact and foe. For the love of thy soul rests not. I dreamt of a day when the true tale of thus far was no longer real. My days possessed in the soul are those that I cherish deeply and wish to let go, and move on from. They are true inner workings that will always be there. They are the ghosts of my eternal soul. 

I live within, there fore I am. I am within; there fore I am not within. I am, but I am not. Nothing is for certain, and that we can coin with it. We are what we set out to believe and be. What do you want, and how can you get it. Do you know how to get it, and to get it yourself. For you have to be sly and cunning, but not deceiving, honest action and movement. Vivace. Movement. The constant action of the body and mind, which stimulates the senses and keeps the soul sane. 

Different types of work, all creative, all approached from a different angle. What a life. We must strive to be more everyday, every single fucking day. We must strive to be better people, we must adore the earth that we walk on, and we must know what is good for us in our heart. We are the people. We are the life that we want to be. 

I am no more a truer being than what I was yesterday. I am what I am. I am that which lives on and on and on. And I am what will always be in the person next to me. And within me, and around me, and all over me. I am the power. I am the true being. I am the strength. I am. Me. Love me. Love you. Love all.

 

Namaste

Brit Hamlin | Glassblowing major at College for Creative Studies

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School Lunch! Revolutions Don’t Come Easy

“A love for humanity came over me, and watered and fertilized the fields of my inner world which had been lying fallow, and this love of humanity vented itself in a vast compassion.” – Georg Brandes

I believe that it is with compassion that we will change the paradigm of education. This is my life’s work, and no light subject for a Sustainable Sunday post, but stay with me. (more…)

Cultural Rehab

A healthy man needs to see a doctor after spending time around a group of contagious sick people because he too becomes infected. A clean individual who spends time around a dirty drug scene will eventually start participating and use the drug. If that behavior continues and as a result their quality of life goes down, the best thing they could do is seek help. Individuals in this situation need to learn how to be alright without the addicting drug. There is a type of institution for that. Its called rehab.

The purpose of rehab is to remind you of who you were before you started using. Sometimes I wonder if it is difficult for people to admit addiction because they started down the path so innocently. Initially, they may have even believed that drugs were going to be a good part of their life. Let’s face it; everyone likes likes to experiment and live on the edge from time to time. (more…)

Tetris Game Hijack

I came into the “Consciousness, Creativity and Bliss” class after a long and stressful previous semester. The promise of meditation lured me in as the stacks of boxes full of responsibilities kept getting higher and higher in my mind. Now don’t get me wrong, the boxes don’t just disappear when I meditate. Going to school and working is necessary, at least until I graduate. The problem arises when these boxes aren’t neatly stacked one on top of the other but rather dropped at random like a really cruel game of Tetris. Things inadvertently become misaligned.

Every one of my classes has a box of its own. Every family member, with their unique and crazy respective problems, has a box just for themselves. Every hour I log at work is another, much smaller box, but still a very real box nonetheless. Every freelance project, every friend, every car on the road as I drive — all these boxes are messily stacked inside of my mind. At the very bottom there is a really weathered and beaten box. This frail box contains what is left of me at the end of each day. It holds more than it should and, at the same time, not a lot. (more…)

See the Film