Shakespeare joins ES2007S.
This week in the second tutorial session all three groups came alive as we dramatized various interpersonal scenarios. The main purpose was two fold: to give students a chance to interact within possible conflict situations, and to once again put them in a position where they had to leave their normal comfort zone and be spontaneous, albeit with a slightly altered identity.
In Group 7, the Academy Award ballots came out early as we watched Yong Sheng and Yea Wen get right to the heart of the interpersonal matter with commanding performances that clearly connected with their real world experience. Yea Wen saved the day as she consoled her "friend" in what was supposed to be an issue of disappointment with his own academic performance. For drama's sake, Yong Sheng's application of eye drops was just a starter though.
On came Shi Ying and Min Thu in what appeared to be a serious tear jerker. Shi Ying was bawling her eyes out in woe, having been dumped supposedly by her "bf" Sai, when Min Thu tried to help her pick up the pieces, gently consoling her. We all learned that in a case where love becomes unrequited, it's best to just stand by and listen.
A number of masterful performances ensued, many related to the frequent social issue of one team member not playing his or her part in project work. In Group 4's tutorial session, that sort of conflict was precisely the basis for fine outings by Heather and Wei Song.
If you look at the photo above, you can see Heather waxing indignant, presenting a non-verbal barrier in response to the accusation by Wei Song that she hasn't been pulling her load.
In a similar fashion, Patrik prodded Dinh with a low-volume yet insistent position that work deadlines had to be met. If I recall correctly, Patrik was quite skillful in challenging Dinh to explain why he had not been able to complete the assigned task. What's interesting in the photo below is that with his left hand holding his right arm, Patrik seems to be guarding himself (or holding himself back) from Dinh. What do you think?
In Tutorial Group 1, the first round of the dramatic portrayals of these interpersonal conflicts situations for me on Thursday, among many fine acts, the performance that stands out in my mind at this point (two days later) was that of Kim Bongjin, our spikey-haired blonde from Korea, as he tried to resist the request by Dhanya to help her with a statistics program. He had adopted the position of not wanting to assist her, but having a hard time to "say no," he simply grimaced and squirmed and delayed any verbal response. She pushed and pushed, but he neither agreed nor disagreed, in what we all would recognize as stereotypical East Asian behavior. The nonverbals, again, were priceless.
What did I learn from this exercise? That role play is indeed a compelling motivator for students to get on task, and that we have serious acting talent amongst us.
I'm curious what any of you might have to add about the experience. Which performances resonated with you? What did you take away from the session?