I attended the Promising Practice seminar in the hopes that I would be able to learn something that could help me with my career in education. I’m extremely sad to say that I found the workshops to be a waste of my time. While the guest speaker at the event was great and extremely enlightening the workshops that followed did not provide me with any kind of use. The two workshops that I attended were “How mentoring relationships improve resiliency of our youth and our workforce” and “Healthy Lifestyles: Your health, your choice”. I was excited going into this because I felt like both of these topics could have a lot to offer me. I was sad when this became a flop.
What made me the most upset was that the guest speaker that came was fantastic. Dr Robert Brooks was well prepared and well spoken and by far the best part of the day. He told us some great stories of his life and how it affected him and his decisions in life. All of these things turned out to be a precursor to a huge waste of my time. What makes it worse is I spoke with some of my other classmates who took other workshops and they loved theirs. I’m happy that they found something useful but upset that I just felt like mine were not done right at all.
My first workshop “How mentoring relationships improve resiliency of our youth and our workforce” sounded like it was going to be great I was excited to go into the class. It sounded like they would be addressing things similar to the Big Brother Program. Instead the first thing we did in our 45 min workshop was went around the room of about 20 people and talked about ourselves and why we took the class. OK; I’m OK with this but then she asked us to talk with another person in the group for a little bit about someone who is a mentor to us. We didn’t share this with anyone they didn’t elaborate on this with their own thoughts, nothing it just took up more time. Finally there was a PowerPoint presentation to wrap up the workshop. The thing that was the worst in the class is they had a younger girl in the room from a rough high school that they were mentoring. Instead of letting her tell us her story or what the program did from her they had her read two slides of a presentation that seemed extremely insincere. She seemed like they asked her to come and read what they wrote on the presentation. She was struggling with some of the works on the board the “she” was supposed to have written. The whole thing seem staged and lost credibility to me. The girl in the class however could be related to Kristof's story about his friend Rick. This girl was said to be smart and now back on track with their help however, before she entered the program she was just like Rick. The girl was always acting up and getting in trouble, but instead of suspending her now she gets help and i think Kristof would be pleased with the goals. I guess if I was to take what they were saying at face value and assume that the girl was just not into the presentation, which is why she would have came off insincere, I would say that Oakes would make a strong case of change here versus just charity. However if this program is what I saw and this girl might have been getting help but nothing is changing its just another case of charity.
I left the first workshop and was talking to other people I knew that had taken other ones. They seemed happy and excited still, so I got my hopes back up. Maybe this second workshop would be better; maybe it would be like what the others had experienced in their first one.
It sure wasn’t. It was worse than the first one! The second workshop “Healthy Lifestyles: Your health, your choice” was a much smaller class so I thought maybe it would be more personalized. Maybe this would give tips on how to be more nutritious or physically active, even the basics would be nice but I had my hopes up for nothing. They had a few interesting facts to throw at us but the entire time we were there they were pitching us. In other words, I felt like they were trying to recruit us to work for their group. I could not believe that I was just sitting in a room for 45 minutes again and listening to them talk about their company and how if we wanted we could work with them too. Even though I felt that this was worse than the first experience however, looking back I cannot help but realize that Delpit would look at my actions and see the rules and codes of power. Even though nothing that came out of the presenters mouth was important to me and I felt like it was a waste of time I knew that I needed to stay in the class to finish my assignment and receive a better grade. This kept me from leaving the room even though if I has left no one would have said a word and there would have been no way anyone would have known. So the Code of power made me consciously stay in the room.
I don’t know, I could just be looking at this the wrong way but to me I was disappointed. What I thought had such great potential turned out to be a waste of a Saturday morning. I will always be open to giving something like this another shot but I might want to have a way to find out more on the workshops first.