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This interview with Anna Padgett was conducted on April 15, 2021 remotely via Zoom. Anna is an early childhood educator based in New York City. In this interview, Anna focuses on what it means to teach in pandemic times, particularly in the transition between Zoom and in-person learning (which happened about a month ago). In particular, she explains what learning with/without touch, access to facial expressions, tactile exercises (like growing plants, physical time together) means for young children (4-5) and how folks in the classroom can come to know one another. Having just returned to the classroom and being able to draw and be together is thus a big and positive change. Anna also discusses the stress of upcoming layoffs (scheduled to happen the day after this interview takes place) at her school as well as other uncertainties in her life including her daughter changing schools, living in temporary housing until her new apartment is ready, not knowing whether she will have this same job, and other aspects that make it hard to envision fall 2021. She talks about what it would mean for authority figures to understand and value the work she does with young children and what they create together.
Emily Mitamura is a queer Japanese American poet and grad student living in Minnesota. Her academic work interrogates the American empire and the construction of history. She is currently teaching a class on girlhood and empire in Gender Women Sexualities Studies while working on her PhD in political theory.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.