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Unexpected Mentorship: A Day of Discovery with Aurelia

A chance substitution as a mentor led to an enriching exchange of culture, language, and creativity with Aurelia, exploring everything from the meanings of our names to the adaptability in art and life.

Collaborator   / 

Aurelia (3rd grader at Martin Luther King Jr School)

My unexpected role as a mentor began when Tyler, the official guide, was absent, and I had the opportunity to step in for a day at the KSMoCA mentor-mentee program. This collaborative class with King school students, part of Portland State University's "Art with kids – museum in a public school" initiative, offered a unique platform for engaging and learning with young minds.

On this particular day, I met with Aurelia, and our conversation quickly evolved from a simple introduction to a deep exploration of the meanings and cultural significance of our names. Aurelia's "Golden" and my "Green" led us to discuss the vibrant world of languages, including her experiences in a Chinese immersion program and my insights into the evolution of Chinese characters.

Our dialogue expanded to cover topics from language evolution, comparing British and American English, to the disciplines of piano and gymnastics and how they reflect the need for balance between control and flexibility in life. Aurelia's creative response to an unexpected black ink from a pen that was supposed to be yellow inspired a discussion on adaptability and creativity, leading us to share drawings and laughter.

Although it was a substitute arrangement, my time with Aurelia at KSMoCA's innovative mentor-mentee program was filled with unexpected discoveries and mutual learning. It was a testament to the power of open dialogue and the rich educational experiences that can unfold in collaborative settings like "Art with kids – museum in a public school.

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