I gave my intermediate drawing students the assignment "art as message." They could create a drawing expressing a message that was important to them. It didn't have to be social/ political, but that was encouraged. The importance of the assignment was to create an image that gave a clear message visually. No text is allowed in the image. I found it interesting that few chose the theme of war, or deteriorating environments. What was even more interesting was that a few of them chose identity as their message. More specifically, they were thinking about the identity of people close to them and how you don't really know them. I thought this was interesting and a bit sad that my students were thinking about this. It makes me feel like they are having issues trusting people close to them. I guess it makes sense since they are in high school and are faced with overly dramatic, yet real issues. But part of the problem is not knowing or being able to trust each other. The problem is that they don't really know themselves. They look in the mirror and see themselves as inadequate, or plain. In truth, I see kids who have the potential to do amazing things. In time, they will see it. Hopefully.