I have some catching up to do for the past few weeks, so I will cram it into this post.
8 October: Today we had a very productive meeting with our students. It is clear that sitting around for an hour and reading the script is not the best use of our time as most of the kids lose interest very quickly. To keep them interested we played a game that Kieran introduced everyone to. It worked as a nice ice breaker, and team building exercise. Getting the kids acquainted has been pretty important because they are all from different schools within the Villa. We definitely need to focus a bit more on Mid Summer next week, but I think that today went well.
22 October: Unfortunately I was unable to go to the Villa today due to an interview. I will comment on what I heard from my group members, and what we need to do in the coming weeks. Benjamin had to go to the Villa alone today due to my interview and Kieran’s battle with a concussion. To Benjamin’s dismay it was the most eventful meeting yet, and not a great time to be alone. During the week there had been several altercations between students in the Villa, and Haley warned us that there had been issues among some of our students. Midway through Benjamin’s trip a fight broke out directly outside of the window, and it quickly grasped the attention of all of our students. It was clear that the meeting would be a wash and all of the students lost interest. Haley threatened that if anyone left to get involved in the altercation they would not be welcome back. Unfortunately, this did not seem to phase the students and several left, leaving Benjamin with 5 students. Going forward we need to stress to Haley the importance of a permanent group of kids who will be dedicated and stick with the program. The only problem is that we don’t even know if Haley will be permanent and stick with the program.
29 October: Again, I was unable to attend today due to an interview, though I do have good news to report. The group began reading through lines, and supposedly did a wonderful job. While the majority of the students are not great readers they all completed their lines with a bit of effort. I think one of the primary problems at this point is that the students don’t have the best idea of what the play is actually about. Next week we need to bring in some sort of summary so the kids have some context- I’m sure it will make reading the lines a lot more interesting. Also, on a positive note, Haley mentioned that transportation will be taken care of. On a negative, unsurprising note, she has not made any progress on permission slips. It is important that we stay on top of her to get these out to parents.
5 November: It was nice to finally be back with my group members and our students today. We finished reading through the script, which was somewhat difficult to get through. As Benjamin warned me, some of the students are very poor readers and do need help getting through their lines. It definitely does not help that we have the longest act. There were some new faces today, and some lost ones. We added a few new students that seem sufficiently intrigued in what we are doing, and I think that the group is starting to solidify. With that said, we were missing a couple of students which is a bit concerning- hopefully they will be back next week. As per usual, Haley was not the most helpful today. If anything she instigated problems and could not keep control of the group. Fortunately (or unfortunately.. we’ll see), Haley is not longer with the Villa. Things should get interesting.
12 November: While Haley is technically no longer an employee at St. Joseph’s, she does plan to work with the group until the project is over. I found this somewhat commendable after hearing that she had suddenly left. With that said, she was of very little help and seemed to have even less control of the students now that she is no longer an actual employee. We finally tried to act out the scene today. I’m not really sure if anyone expected anything different, but it went poorly. The kids were completely out of control and we were unable to get through much. I think that we need to sit down as a group before next week’s meeting and figure out how we are going to get this done. Something definitely needs to change.