Friday, 27 June 2014

State of the Workshops

We've been having our workshops for a few months already. Some of them we'll be dropping next week in order to make room and time for other activities, so let's take this opportunity to have a look at what's been going on and which of our workshops will be seeing the warm light of July!

Easy readers had potential, but unfortunately I wasn't able to reach the right audience and participants or make it clear that the workshop was for advanced learners or speakers of English. A lot of the people who expressed interest were really looking for a way to improve and practice their language, and to that effect most have discovered that the English conversation group on Wednesday is closer to their needs. Next week will be the final round of this little workshop that could.

Vicente started his film projections a few weeks ago. So far we've played To Kill a Mocking Bird, Platoon and Midnight Cowboy. Next week's film is still undecided; follow our facebook and twitter to stay posted. Tuesdays at 16:00 in the American Corner.

Vicente's other workshop, Spanish Culture in the Spanish section has been a limited success; we have to say however that we've had a few very devoted participants, which is encouraging. At the workshop itself we have passed over We even went to watch Vivir Es Fácil Con Los Ojos Cerrados together a few weeks ago at the opening of the 21st Spanish and Latinamerican Cinema Week organised by Instituto Cervantes and some of the embassies and consulates of the countries represented. The workshop will live on into July; Fridays at 16:00 at the Spanish reading room, as usual.

Zanda had a great success with her Saturday Native American Art for Children workshop. I didn't go that often because it was relatively early the morning  (three cheers for Zanda for all the sleep she missed!) but I know that it was a sensation and attracted lots of childrens as well as parents to our activities.

On one of the days fellow EVSers Florian and Gabi, normally working in Montana with puppets, took over Zanda's workshop:

Florian next to me, Gabi next to Maria

Unfortunately, Native American Art for Children is another of our activities that has run its course, but you never know!

My personal favourite has been Maria's Creative Magical Writing. This one I have attended a few times and each and every one of them I came out having written something beautiful and, indeed, magical. What we usually do is have a bit of free writing to loosen up our hands and minds and then we are given a topic to write about but under the pressure of the ticking clock. Our creative magical topics have included first-person narration through the eyes of a butterfly; being Death; painting a multisensory picture of what Summer means for us; and more.

We have new participants joining every time and Maria keeps coming up with great ideas to keep things fresh, so two thumbs up for her. You can join us on Saturdays at 13:00 in the American Corner.

Last but certainly not least, and even though it's not exactly part of our regural schedule of workshops, it's worth mentioning that the English conversation group has been given a second hour during the week, namely on Thursdays, in order to split up the participants into smaller, more manageable groups and in this way help more people have the opportunity to speak for longer. With this change, we thought it would be a good idea to also divide the group into two different levels, in this way providing speakers of varying confidence and aptitude with a choice.

On June 11th, we had close to 25 people in this small room.
Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
 So, from now on the schedule's going to be like this:

Wednesdays 17:30 advanced group; Thursdays 17:30 beginner group - throughout July at the very least.

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