Responsibility and Respect
by Sean Collins
Having been a part of the YMP program last summer, I didn't expect to have a vastly different experience within the first couple of days. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Because of the feedback and prior experience the program accumulated last year, Donna and the other staff members who help to run the program were able to find a new way to give the exercises and projects we do an extra boost of stability and organization. However, this also meant that the way the program functions received a facelift that completely changed the grouping of the projects. Instead of sorting everyone into rooms based on what their individual expertises are, we are scheduled to be put into groups based on how our personalities and individual talents function in a group.
So far in the practices and groups that we have been assigned, I've found out several different ways my way of thinking and expertise can cooperate or function with other people. One of most prevalent examples of this happened when an expert film writer/director visited the group. She encouraged us to diverge into groups and devise a short film topic that we could share with the whole group, as well as decide how this group would function and what roles the group members would fill.
At first, after being put into these groups of students we had only just met the day before, everyone was pretty unsure and quiet, but after only a couple of minutes, the groups were already functioning with each other in a way that groups who have known each other for months might not have been able to. The groups showed a responsibility and respect for each member that made even the staff members proud, and the products of our work turned out very well. Well enough, in fact, that some of the students want to follow up on the faux projects with real stories or videos based on their topics.
Last year, I don't know if these groups would have been nearly as successful without the immense amount of planning and organizing that has been put into this summer's program. At any rate, despite any changes that I dislike, I think this summer is going to be wonderful and that I will have a truly educational and enjoyable experience.
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