A Thought…

Where was the wrap-up? Why haven’t we discussed the results of our mini work-group sessions? What is the message? Yesterday I heard a lot of these questions after breaking for the day. Members of our group were left wondering what the “point” or “message” was of the session; of the day; of the week…

Instant gratification is a way of life now; it is expected. We as people want to know answers or the final message quickly without having to wait. Electronics feed this problem by getting faster and more sophisticated all the time. They give people the ability to look online for “answers” to anything imaginable, at any time. Even the media will tell the news story along with a larger message directed at “red” or “blue” listeners to bring them to an end result of “what they should hear”.

Because of this if “the point” is not reached fast enough people can get frustrated and I started seeing slight indications of that from others involved in iSwoop yesterday. What is the end message that I should take home? I realized at that moment we are actively experiencing the learning style that we (being interpreters) are going to be attempting to deploy ourselves.

Perhaps the largest challenge in the weeks ahead will be balancing the open-ended active learning techniques and providing the visitor some sort of answer that they desperately look for. What is the right mix? How does someone “un-train” the general public from wanting the answer quickly, and rather help them develop the process to arrive at an answer? Questions that are very difficult…

The idea of engaging someone through questions and helping them to develop their own ideas from observations I think is a valuable one; but I see it like fishing. All you can do is drop a lure in the water and see if something bites. A visitor should never be frustrated or left wondering like some of us have…

3 thoughts on “A Thought…

  1. Helpful. Let’s take time in small groups this morning to reflect on Thursday and to take stock of where we are now. In some sense Monday to Thursday were a focus on the “what.” Today is a fine time to move into the “so what?” And “now what?” M

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  2. In regards to your last statement, I think there is a big difference in being left “frustrated” versus being left “wondering.” Frustration stifles growth and learning, but wondering opens doors. Why not just whet an appetite, rather than spoon feeding? As interpreters it really is a learned skill to read your audience to figure out where they are on the spectrum of frustration v. wonder.

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  3. I think you will all feel where you are comfortable with this balance, but I hope you will challenge yourselves in your programs to wait out some of the silences. One example might be when a visitor asks you a question that the answer is not so clear, or currently unknown…why not meet the challenge and try to work out some possible answers and how you might test these possibilities. This is essentially hypothesis development. I don’t think you will have an entire program of this style, but you will find your balance. I agree with Ellen, we want to minimize the frustration, while fostering the wonder.

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