As I entered the classroom, I saw everyone's faces, so nervous. We were all waiting for our first class of Design and Management at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Luckily, my friend from Bogota that I had gone with attended the same class so at least I knew one person there. The time passed and passed, but the teacher did not arrive. The students quickly started talking to each other and asking questions to make sure they were in the right place. Some of them went out of the class, in search for the summer program director, others to their dorms, but a few of us stayed inside. Finally, an hour later, in stepped Ms. Yang. I studied her from top to bottom. She wore only socks and a dress. She noticed all of our faces as she started to explain how she had lost her shoes in the subway and that's why she was late.
As the class went on, everyone could tell she wasn't the usual teacher. She wasn't friendly, understanding, prepared, or motivating. The first activity involved introducing ourselves. The first one who went was a boy who wore almost every color of the rainbow. As he started to speak he moved his hands and touched his hair. Ms. Yang blurted out: “You gay?” and couldn't contain her laughter. Then she got mad at a girl for not knowing how to say a word right. In spite of all this; everyone seemed to like her. We had one month left of her being our teacher and we knew it was going to be an adventure.
The classes passed by so quickly. Ms. Yang taught us all about design and management without the students realizing they were actually leaning. She had so many activities, field trips, and last minute project ideas she came up with that were so valuable and fun. She was not a regular teacher, but was a very good one. It was not a regular classroom environment. She made all the students become friends, and it felt as if you were in your living room, but working and studying harder than I and the others ever had before.
At least once a week, Ms. Yang would make the class create a profile for someone, and then would pick someone to act like that. Through the streets of new york, they would have to act like an actual fashion designer: someone selling fabrics, ceo´s, retail shop managers, etc. This would allow us to actually see the real world. She also had friends through all of New York, so the class got to meet designers that worked for very important brands like Urban Outfitters. We also went to some factories of clothing,makeup, and perfume being made and got to see the whole process.
For the month I was there, I had two incredible teachers. The combination of both, helped transform me from an afraid girl in a big city to a responsible confident adult. One teacher was a weird, inspiring and a crazy New York. The other, was big, scary, and sky scraping tall, but the more time you spent with him the more confident you felt and the more you learned. That teacher was New York; the best teacher I have ever had.