Sunday, May 13, 2007

I always have a good time working with Drama. The kids work with so much purpose and when they take on roles of responsibility, they carry them out so competently and with such confidence that these learning experiences are what they really remember from their college experience.

There's so much learning and growing that's taken place in the last few weeks as the Drama Club has been putting Othello together. So much innovation, so much creativity in the publicity machine (lovely posters and T-shirts!), in the props and set design, in the interpretation of characters; and so much hard work and dedication, just for 3 shows that are over almost before we know it. It was a wonderful journey getting there!

But I am quite upset when I hear that their subject tutors won't give them a break, but instead show displeasure or even punish the kids for the odd missed assignment or a tutorial. A person's energy is a finite resource, and when that person is giving his or her all for a cause, it's difficult to be 100% everytime.

We tutors tend to overstate the importance of our subjects without looking at the holistic development of the student. Just because they aren't scratching out answers on worksheets or scribbling essays doesn't mean they aren't learning anything. For example, there's so much historical knowledge to gain from immersing the students in Venice at the time of the Ottoman empire. And such background info will also help prepare them to play out their roles with better understanding as well.

It's the context that learning takes place in, and if we can make the kids feel that it's learning they can use, they learn faster and more willingly. Because it makes sense to them.

I'm sorry that our system makes learning so compartmentalized, so rigidly inflexible. I'm sorry our personalities and egos interpret students' lapses as signs of disrespect or negligience or laziness. I'm sorry we feel compelled to "regain control" of the situation by compelling attention from our students one way or another.

Sometimes, I wonder if we could arrange the subjects that the students take by CCA instead of an arbitrary subject combination by 'tikam' method. Classes will support the CCA by teaching background theory that the kids need to have, the CCA will put their learning into application and practice. That way curriculum and co-curriculum would be more symbiotic, as will the subject combination, and the kids won't have to feel so torn and divided dealing with everything.

Ok, enough rant. Wanna see a couple of pix from Othello?

Chief bigwigs of Venice, the Duke and 2 Senators.

The cast and crew of Othello 2007

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