Hola mis Amigos — in-depth blog post: my successes, failures, and plans moving forward!

Hello my friends,

We are approaching in-depth very quickly, and with just a month left, it is crunch time! I have met with my mentor four times since the last post, and I intend to keep a similar speed leading up to in-depth. I have remained with my schedule of about 6-7 hours every week, although I am not quite as far along as I expected to be by this time. Luckily, I don’t have to worry too much about the actual night this time, as I will not have a learning centre (which generally take over twelve hours for me to sort out.) I will continue to work on the actual project, until May long weekend. Most TALONS will be away on an adventure trip, so I will have a bunch of extra time that week, without classes. I will spend that time completing the video which I hope to share on in-depth night. 

According to my original plan, I had hoped to interview a native Spanish speaker, and film it to share on in-depth night. I’ve talked to a few of the Spanish speaking international students, but I’m not really great friends with any of them. They have all wished me luck on my project, but apparently aren’t that interested in being in my video. I understand their point of view, no matter how much it affects my project. I might still do this video with my mentor, however I think I will opt for a different idea. 

My new plan, is to film myself talking about the process of my project, but in Spanish, or do a Spanish video lesson. I’d rather do the video lesson, and make it interactive, however that doesn’t really show off any of the skills I’ve learnt throughout these months. I need to find a way to make this fun and interesting, while still sharing what I’ve learnt. This is proving to be a lot harder than my learning centre last year…

 

Since the last in-depth blog post, I have finished my second Spanish research project, where I studied the influence of the legendary Spanish author, Isabel Allende. You should all check out some of her works. I also started watching, learning and reflecting on each episode/lesson of the BBC Spanish series “Mi Vida Loca.” It is a series which simulates travelling to Spain, where no one seems to speak a word of English. The narrator is a little phrase book which talks to you, and explains what happens in English. This helped me with my studies on different dialects, and allowed me to practice Spanish in a semi-realistic scenario. 

I have completed the lessons on Duolingo, and have also been working away with a grammar resource, although it wasn’t in my original goal plan. 

Finally, I’ve been working on unit four of Rosetta Stone for the past little while. I still need to finish units 4, 5, and 6 before in-depth night, which I’m sure will be the root of my stress. 

Anyhow, I will leave you to decipher the Spanish status report down below, which I completed with my mentor. Even though I doubt anyone takes the time to read the Spanish reports, they are helpful for me. 

 

Yo completo buscar por informacíon de mi segundo projecto. Estoy estudiando la influencia de Isabel Allende, creo que sí ella escribe libros muy bien. Usted mira los libros de ella. 

Yo veo “Mi Vida Loca” BBC videos en la telévision. Es como estoy viajando a España, y no personas hablan inglés. The narrator es un libro pequeña. Él habla inglés y español.  Está muy bien por qué yo estudio dialectos diferente. Me puede

practicar Español en un scenario cerca de realidad. 

Yo completo Duolingo y estoy trabajando away with a grammar resource, although it wasn’t in my original goal plan. 

Finalmente, yo trabajo unido quatro de Rosetta Stone por un poco tiempo ahora. Yo necesito completir unidos cuatro, cinco, y seis antes in-depth. No está divertida creo que sí.

Yo necesito translate this into español para ti. No creo que sí personas tienen tiempo a leen mis statuse reportes. Está bien para mi. 

 

Aquí es la statuse reporte del orale

 

“Care about what you write, write about what you care about.” -Emma Fields

Hello TALONted folks! I know its a week late, but I finally had my first meeting with my in-depth mentor, Emma Fields, and can post about it!

I’d just like to start by telling you how much I respect Emma. She started out in the same position I am currently in, and is now an AMAZING poet, being on the team which won the Hullabaloo championships last year. We talked for over an hour, but could have discussed our passion for much longer!

She, like me, was in TALONS and did her in-depth project on SLAM poetry in grade nine. She had a mentor, by the name of Jacob, who she is still close with, and speaks to regularly. He gave her lots of tips, pointers, and notes; which she passed down to me.  Since then, she has performed at multiple events, including Hullabaloo and Café deux Soleil youth slams. She talked a lot about how nerve-wracking it is to go up and perform at slam events, even after years of experience. Certain poems are easier to perform because of the topics. Other poems, no matter how many metaphors you use to conceal the true meaning, are dear to your heart (as a poet), and extremely difficult to let the audience in on those moments. She said, that at a certain point, usually onstage; you have to let go of those fears, and just say, “I’m gonna do this”. Obviously this isn’t easy to do, but she said it helps to think about what each performance will do, “To the development of [your] craft” (Fields).

Emma taught me about the 4 pillars of poetry which include: Topic, Development, Diction, and Delivery. Essentially, you can’t work on the development of your poem, until your topic is solid; this is the same for each pillar. Jacob taught her these same fundamentals three years ago. One major thing about slam, that Emma told me, was that not every poem must be performed. The basic definition of slam, is a poem created for the sole reason of being performed. I just assumed that meant that every slam I wrote, had to be presented to an audience. She claims it can even be more therapeutic to write, and never show a soul what is on your paper. That way, you don’t worry about revealing so many details about yourself, to a group of people you don’t know. While this may seem minor, it has completely altered my view on this art.

Because Emma was in a very similar situation, to what I am in now, it is easy to relate to her struggles, as well as successes. While not every mentor/mentee relationship will be like this, as a mentor, I think its helpful to look for similarities in the people, so that you have commonalities to discuss. Emma made it easy for me to intervene, and state questions, ideas, or even to disagree with what she had said. Although, there wasn’t much that I disagreed with, it was more of me just clarifying details. Emma was personable, and humble, throughout our entire conversation. Perhaps I’m bias, but I think I might have the best mentor.

Until next time,

Mackenzie