Post mortem

Here’s the thing about last Thursday: If I had harbored any doubts about the impact of the first workshop and whether or not I was too ambitious about what could be accomplished in the span of one mentoring session (I certainly was), everything came together beautifully during the follow-up session. After everyone arrived and had a bit of dinner, we went over all the concepts I planned on reviewing in the allotted time of fifteen minutes. I didn’t get to the bonus questions, but then again, I didn’t show the final two videos attached to those questions during group. I think in a different context (with a group of older teenagers or in a situation where we didn’t have to put aside time for dinner or evaluations) we could hew closer to my original lesson plan for the first session. The second session, however, ran longer.Here was the schedule we planned on:

5:30 – 5:45p  Everyone arrives and starts eating pizza

5:45 – 6:00p  Review of concepts from last session

6:00 – 6:45p  Work on activity with mentors

6:45 – 7:10p  Presentations

7:10 – 7:30p  Post workshop evaluations

In reality, everyone worked until about 7:10p on their activities, and we didn’t finish presentations until around 7:30p. (The estimate of about five minutes for presentations and a brief Q & A afterward was actually about right.) The group was very flexible about staying afterward to fill out the evaluations.

With the exception of one person, almost everyone took more than 45 minutes to complete the activity. The person who designed his ritual rather quickly spent the rest of the time constructing an artifact related to his ritual while his mentor designed her own ritual. One pairing managed to get through the questions in a reasonable amount of time, but put in a lot of effort designing a poster around the ritual. Two other groups spent a much longer time answering the questions designed to get them to think about their rituals (one because the mentor had to work hard to filter through some silliness and focus issues; the other because the mentee designed a long, elaborate ritual, and the mentor had to write down each detail as he described it to her). One final pair started a bit late, but got through the most important parts of the activity.

I think if that pair hadn’t gotten a late start I might have cut short the artsy part of the activity, but I’m very glad that they asked for more time because everyone ended up using it well (including the young man who finished early, but then decided to design his artifact in order to make use of the extra time). In retrospect, however, I would have wanted a bit more time for Q & A after each presentation–even just two minutes more per presentation.

I know some of you are quite curious about the sorts of rituals that the participants came up with, but in the interest of time, I’ll post each one separately.

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