Dec retreat: Learning at its finest

This weekend has been one of intense learning and progression. My group and I learned more about each other and we were able to collaborate and share ideas as we had previously had been limited in. I was apart of my groups discussion about what our group did that worked and of what didn’t work over the past few weeks. During this conversation we established the need for real in person conversations and the quick easy flowing nature that isn’t easily obtained through a medium such as google hangouts. From this conversation I gleaned that my group is one of highly flexible as well as motivated people. These conversations with my group, even the ones that wandered away from our topic and into something else altogether, taught me how to have greater ease and fluidity with my groupmates.
When we as a cohort came together to talk about camera work I originally anticipated that the conversation would be one that reviewed what I had already learned, I was very wrong. The basics of camera mechanics have remained the same but with the presentation by Mr. Mittell, My knowledge in this area vastly increased. This journey I am certain that my groupmates as well as the rest of the cohort shared. I look forward to applying some of the techniques that he discussed as well as how they will improve the end product. Constructing a compelling narrative story is something that I became well versed in while working on last years project so while we covered this, I used it as a refresher about some of the finer points of story making. Clara and I repeated an activity from last year in which we both interviewed the other. With only a sentence to go on, we exchanged details of our stories and practiced the art of keeping someone talking. In this regard we both had it easy as the neither of us required much prompting to continue our stories.

Conversations I had with other students during dinner were engaging and funny, as well as having been shared with great company. I can’t remember the specifics of our conversations but I do recall that many of us touched on what our group projects are and where we are with them. As a supplement to the things we learned about in constructing a compelling narrative, when we watched the ted talk many questions came to mind. These were questions such as; how do we frame our story in a way that allows us to avoid assuming moral righteousness but also convince viewers to inspire the change in which we seek? I think that this question will continue to be an important one, not just in my work but to my group’s work as well.

After both Justin and Brad needing to leave us for the night, our group work in the morning started off with a few minutes of catch up. This was a simple task to accomplish and was done fairly quickly. The majority of the rest of the morning consisted of quiet self reflection and group collaborative work. While completing the new learning scales I realized two things, the first being that I am much better at identifying where I am as a learner then I was last year and that I am more comfortable explaining and providing evidence as such. Returning to group work was the next step of the weekend. My group tossed around many ideas on how to move forward but we finally came up with a plan centered around groups of two collaborating more during the week as well as our weekly group hangouts. My group also decided that it would be imperative for Justin and I to travel to Shelburne for in person meeting with our entire group. The rest of the day has been the writing of this and preparing to leave.

Brennan Bordonaro

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