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Marisa Sanchez

Professor Ward
Art 133
7 October 2015
Vulnerability and Empathy: Strength, Not Weakness
Prior to these past few weeks I had never given much thought to the meaning of the words
vulnerability or empathy. I assumed vulnerability to be a state in which some would define as
weakness or over exposer. I knew what it meant to empathize, however I never took notice of the
significance and relationship that exists between these two ideas. As the unit readings and studio
projects related to the big ideas of vulnerability and empathy, I feel as if I was able to understand
and connect with my peers, and myself, on a deeper level. We empathized, or even sympathized,
with one another as we shared personal stories which then became possible inspirations for our
art making. As we made ourselves vulnerable through our artwork, we made ourselves
vulnerable to each other. The one thing that I now understand most after this unit is that
vulnerability is definitely not a state of weakness; rather, it is a state of insane courage.
As a future teacher, I would consider The Ethic of Caring Holistically for Art Students:
Esmereldas Boutique, by Laurie Eldridge, to be the most meaningful and useful piece of
educational writing that I have ever come across. After reading her story, I already feel a sense of
excitement and passion to become a teacher, almost as if I have been reminded why I chose to
pursue this profession. I had goosebumps and shed a few tears as I read Eldridges story of how a
teacher can have such an influential impact on a students education, life, and future. It is
obvious that there a terrific teachers in this world and there are awful teachers who we question
why they even bother teaching. However, something that will always be true is that the terrific
teachers care about their students, while the awful teachers do not. Therefor when I become a
teacher, and I am assigned my first class of students, I know that I will be referring back the story
of Esmereldas Boutique. As Eldridge states, By changing how we teach, we just might be able
to change the world, (Eldridge, pg 295).
Eldridge, L. A. (2012). The ethic of caring holistically for art students: Esmeraldas boutique. In
L. H. Campbell & S. Simmons III (Eds.), The heart of education: Holistic approaches
(pp. 287-296). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association.

Marisa Sanchez
Professor Ward
Art 133
7 October 2015

Eldridge, L. A. (2012). The ethic of caring holistically for art students: Esmeraldas boutique. In
L. H. Campbell & S. Simmons III (Eds.), The heart of education: Holistic approaches
(pp. 287-296). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association.