Take’n it slow

OK, I’m panicking… and that’s not helping anything. I want to get too much done over the next year/during this program and if I keep this up it will back-fire. So… I’m going to try and visualize what I want to achieve, today, in simple terms:

My issue of interest: Education

More specifically: The way institutionalized education systems do not respond to every students’ needs.

Why is this of interest?: Because I was one of those students, and education as I experienced it was more damaging to me than it was nurturing of my talents.

My thesis project plan, as I’ve been suggesting in reports for this program thus far, has been to develop an advisory group of students who will help to shape a class project that they would find appealing and together with a teacher and new-media creator, develop a class project for a grade 9 geography class that would offer a ‘hands-on’ approach an assignment.

In addition, I would be harnessing opinions of education by students that would end up on a website. This site would a portal of alternative educational practices, and podcasts with students regarding their stories of how they interpret education, what they love learning, what and/or who inspires them to learn and personal anecdotes.

Now, I’m beginning to think I’m nuts.

The idea is exciting but might not be practical a this stage. I need to address my interest in the problems of systemic education–at this moment–from a more personal angle.

Collecting personal stories of education and what (and who) inspires teenagers to learn etc… is a keeper. I need to hear this and I’d love for students to discover this from each other.

Villa Maria high - road to main entrance


I walked this beautiful path every morning.

Now, there’s a twist. I need to go back to high school and face my daemons. This visual, is a recurring one … and documenting recurring visions in my mind have proven quite successful so far.

I also need to produce an assignment for that grade 9 geography class in a way that would have made sense to me when I was 14.

So there’s the ticket; I need to direct more attention on me… for now.

About cayoup

Colleen Ayoup was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. She has been engaged in media creation for nearly twenty years. After attending the Dawson Institute of Photography (Montreal), she worked as a commercial photographer for several years until the craving for different creative pursuits gave way. This desire led to two subsequent degrees in Psychology/Film Studies and Film Production (B.A., B.F.A) at Concordia University in Montreal. Her short fiction films and documentary, Kings (2001), about drag-king culture in Montreal toured festivals internationally. In 2004, she joined the National Film Board of Canada where she coordinated Doc Shop, a program designed to give emerging filmmakers an opportunity to learn trade skills from industry professionals and produce a short documentary for broadcast on CBC. She also contributed to the development and creation of CitizenShift (citizenshift.org), the NFB’s first social-media website that she subsequently coordinated for five years. She is a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program in Documentary Media at Ryerson University (Toronto, ON)