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Melancholy Awards

Discussion in 'BoM Blogs' started by Vorona, May 4, 2013.

  1. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    It's weird, but I actually enjoy feeling melancholy. It's one of the reasons I miss the rain so much and hope to move somewhere where it rains more. Tonight was our high school prom. It seems odd that such a night would make me feel melancholy but it did.

    With the play, I ended up forming some rather strong bonds with my theatre students. I didn't even know it was happening. But one of the girls in my class is moving to another school.

    Tonight, she was very friendly to me. When I was dancing near her group she urged me to join them, even though I was fine dancing on my own. And later, she asked me if I was okay while I was sitting alone.

    I'm so sad she's leaving.

    I understand her reasons, and she's probably right, but I worry about her. She doesn't have a lot of confidence. She was the star of our play, and I hope she continues with theatre in the future, but it will be harder in a bigger school because she'll have to audition and everything.

    And her father is kind of a jerk to her. In our parent-teacher conference, every time I had something good to say about her, he had to switch it around and make it into a negative or ignore what I said to refocus on something she needed to do better. I was so upset with him. I don't think he's abusive or anything, and I really think he wants what's best for her, but the impression I got was that he was going about it all the wrong ways.

    And that reminds me of an experience my mom had at a grocery store. We have two stores that are from the same company, but they're very different. One of them is the best store in town. The other . . . I'm not sure if it's the worst, but it sure comes close. It turns out that at the good store, the management puts all the good feedback that they get from the telephone surveys on sheets of paper for the employees to see, so they know what they're doing well.

    I think that's really important. I think it's necessary to tell people what they do well, because that gives them encouragement. I gave an award to every single one of my theatre students. I don't believe in giving fake awards, though. This is something that I don't think a lot of people get. You can give an award to everyone if you really find something they actually did shine at. I think it's wrong to give fake awards just to give out awards or make someone not feel left out. That's not a reason to give an award, and people know that it's not a real award. But that doesn't mean you can't find something to celebrate about someone. You just have to sometimes look a little harder.

    For example, I had one student in the play who did not know many of his lines. He was late and sadly ended up being a laughingstock to the audience. Before the play, he was terrified, and yet, he went onstage and did it anyway. That must have taken tremendous courage. Not only that, but there is this one moment in the play where his character is angry at another character. There are no stage directions, but he took up the glove and threw it at her feet. This was the best scene in the entire play. So, I gave him an award for the "Best Single Moment." Because it really was the best single moment in the whole play. It was a real award, a real acknowledgement of something he did very well.

    So many people say we're doing our students a disservice when everyone gets an award. That's true if the awards are meaningless. But if they have meaning, they can be a powerful motivation.

    Wow. I had no idea that that's where this post would end up when I started it. I'm still sad that my student is leaving. And in some ways, I'm enjoying that sadness. It proves I made a connection with a student. And in the end, that's one of the things that matters most.
     
  2. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Congratulations on feeling melancholy then. ;)
     
  3. Dice

    Dice ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    This is so good Vorona. Beautiful really. Thank-you for this small piece of truth. Positive reinforcement is the only real way to teach someone something of value.
     
  4. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    Thank you, to both of you.
     
  5. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Nice post, too bad there's no Like button here!
     
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