Friday, November 13, 2015

Lindsay Sees Social Work

Hi All,

Sorry I've just been the worst blogger ever this week! It's flown by for some reason!
This Monday, I, with three of my classmates, facilitated a two hour workshop all by ourselves for our 12 other classmates and 5 Talawa Theatre Creating Routes guys.

The workshop was on Planning and Structure (how do you plan a workshop on planning and structure - the mind BOGGLES - it's the inception of facilitation). It's amazing how much you learn from doing (which is sort of the whole point of applied theatre). Main concerns were to keep things moving so no one is bored, but also give them enough time for all the tasks. Be conscious of variety of how people reflect -  either all in one circle, or in small groups, or in pairs. There's this amazing concept of 'shapes in a room' so either everyone's in a line, or in a circle, or in two groups, or walking around the space and changing those often enough keeps people engaged which helps with the learning.

Once we'd settled on our activities and the order, I put together this handy pdf guide to our lesson. It basically tells who is facilitating, the nickname of the activity, a short description, how the people are grouped, what shape it makes in the room and how long.

I think it went splendidly! We were really pleased at how smooth it went and lots of people gave us really positive feedback. It's also sort of nice to start it out cause now we get to enjoy the next three sessions!
Tuesday was great as well. In the afternoon we had a lovely workshop with Taz from Tender which is an organization that promotes healthy relationships and early awareness for abuse. He used statistics and made it into a guessing game where you had to find a corner of the room that corresponded with a specific abuse-related statistic. We also did some lovely work with a continuum of healthy to unhealthy and  were given cards to place along the continuum and discuss. Followed by some role playing and identification of 'abuse excuses'  - for example, woman blaming (you make me so angry) excuses (I just love you so much), learned behavior (my dad used to hit my mom so...) etc. What was really illuminating for me was this idea of control and how many abusers make an excuse of lack of control when, in reality, they have plenty as they don't normally abuse their boss, or strangers. Blew my mind.
Then, Tuesday after class I had a meeting with my placement host which I can now talk about! The company is called Knot Arts! They hold sessions every Saturday geared toward kids on the spectrum - sometimes with communication issues, sometimes not. But it sounds really great. They're sort of a newer company but it sounds like I get to be hands on, which excites me! And I get to go and observe tomorrow (Saturday) - so I'll let you know how that goes!
Lastly, this morning was quite interesting as I volunteered to help out with students at Goldsmiths studying social work by being an actor for their role play and assessment before their placements! We were given a short scenario - name, age, and circumstance for being referred to the social worker. Mine was that I had three children, the eldest whom was acting out at school due to a divorce in the works at home. There were two people assessing - one staff member, and another person who's experienced the care system first hand - and then I was interviewed by four different prospective care workers. It was fascinating! An excellent exercise in empathy as well as assumption and what framework we bring into the room. And so cool to be a part of another's educational venture!
Whew! This is a long one - I'm out for now!


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