Sunday, November 15, 2009

'Elderly wisdom'

This was the second time I witnessed a familiar scene. One of the participants asked if he could lecture on a topic because the session was becoming 'boring' and 'futile'. So, the elderly speaker let him lecture. This already seasoned writer talked about the basic elements of scriptwriting, from short story to teleplay, stageplay and screenplay. I appreciated that very much because I'm just a beginner in this field. But one of the organizers lamented this uncalled for intervention. According to her, the elderly speaker already prepared an activity for the day's workshop. But tracing back the whole session from morning till the afternoon, the organizers did not give any hint as to what activity will occur for the day. It was also not clear from the elderly speaker if he is still interested to conduct an activity. All he was saying was that we could talk with him in his house to critique or polish our stories. So, that says it all. No activity or workshop will occur.

The first time I witnessed this scene was when I attended a counseling workshop. As I noted in my earlier post, the speaker also hinted that she did not prepare anything for the afternoon workshop and in the morning workshop we were inundated with 'pre-school' schools. I would like to see this as failure of the organizers to provide some alternative activities if the speaker failed to deliver. Of course, the experiences of the speakers may be tremendously rich and important but if these wisdom remain with them and cannot be conveyed in a systematic and digestible fashion, who would benefit?

Perhaps, a mentoring program would best fit elderly speakers/teachers. They need not go out of their homes and expend considerable energies in sharing their wisdom. Students must be the ones to go and visit them in their most convenient time and place, one at a time. If not, training or sharing of learnings would only lead to similar cases of frustrations and dissappoinments. Hope I will not encounter the same scenes again...

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