Friday, January 28, 2005

Blogger is acting funny tonight. I can't seem to get in. Wonder if anyone else is having the same problem or if Watson's not feeling well again. For the last couple of days, Watson's 'net connection especially with blog-related sites has been very slow and it's been getting worse and worse. Hope the problem's with Blogger and not Watson. I can't afford to overhaul him as often as I did before.

I said I wanted to run GP classes according to my schedule, but that's becoming untenable given the little time we have that's quickly running out. Either that or I need to relook my schedule and decide if I'm conducting my course strictly on storytelling or if it's going to be geared towards group oral presentations because I really don't have time to make a smooth transition from one to the other.

Because of the upcoming competition, I'm rushing through my plan to practice the kids in storytelling. I'm cutting corners, burning bridges and the results, if today is anything to go by, are going to be a complete mess.

I tried to do too much today. First a brief narration of a childhood memory using a rough sketch of an object symbolic of the incident. Not to say that the 2 volunteers' stories were uninteresting. On the contrary, both speakers had quite harrowing childhood memories to relive with us. One recalled being robbed at GUNPOINT in her home on Christmas day, the other related quite a disastrous trip up Mt Ophir involving lots of painful accidents and spirit possessions for the different members of his climbing team.

We then had a very sketchy discussion of what qualities a good speaker and a good audience should have, then I distributed a bunch of hastily copied folktales to 6 workgroups and told them to prepare a group presentation inspired by a story of the groups' choice. I forgot that preparation for such a narration involving planning, teamwork and much rehearsal needed more time than the half-hour I allocated.

I had hoped (and I did tell them so) that they may use their imaginations and in the best possible way present their stories as a team, i.e., involving everyone as a presenter. I had expected a variety of formats -- press interview or talk-show involving the main characters, a debate disputing the "moral of the story," or a role-play or something. Everyone opted for the role-play (simplest option, right?). As a result,when the groups eventually presented, I had to concern myself with pointing out basic concepts of theatrical presentation and what I wanted to focus on -- group presentation dynamics, confidence building and speaking without relying on a written script -- went out the window.

I simply wanted to do too much today, did more than I had planned for, and diluted everything in the process. One step forward, two steps back. Oh, bugger.

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